Exclusives.co.za interviews Louise Carver who talks about music as a calling, her influences and what she is reading at the moment. The South African singer and songwriter has just released her new single titled “How You Gonna Do it” and will be releasing her fifth studio album in July.
Interview Conducted via email.
Exclusives: On your website you compare some of the sounds from your new single to Alfred Hitchcock’s feature film Psycho. Where do you find inspiration for creating new music?
LC: I really don’t know to be honest – I believe most of it must happen subconsciously. I trust my gut on which producer to use and also which sound to go for, but what I write about happens without any great strategy – my song writing is motivated by what I need to express at that point in time.
Exclusives: I read that you have a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. Have you had any involvement in any of these areas after graduating?
LC: I use all three subjects every day in the music industry – it requires all these skills to stay in the game.
Exclusives: While music has a lot of meaning to a lot of people, its meaning is different from person to person. What does music mean to you?
LC: It means so many different things to me. It can be like poetry or it can be like a well honed craft – I admire both. Classic songs like ‘Bridge over troubled water’ are eternally beautiful but I also admire the actual craft of song writing and a good pop song should be acknowledged.
Exclusives: What music are you listening to on your MP3 player at the moment?
LC: I am constantly downloading new tracks – I have just downloaded the new Lira single.
Exclusives: Since 1998, you have been releasing an album every 2-3 years. How do you approach music and what do you find is the most challenging aspect of creating a new album?
LC: I approach music always with good songs being the foundation to an album – without strong songs, you do not have an album. Then I choose the musical direction which I would like to explore and then I choose the producer who will be the best at creating that sound. We then get to work on each song which takes months and months of hard work to get it just right.
Exclusives: As far as I understand you have been playing piano since the age of 11? Who were your biggest musical influences while you were growing up?
LC: I actually started piano at 5 years old and started writing my own music by eleven. My influences were what my parents played so Classical, Folk, Pop were all in the mix. My favourites are still Tracy Chapman, Simon and Garfunkel, Queen and John Williams classical guitar.
Exclusives: You signed your first music contract at a very young age. What drew you to the act of making music?
LC: It was a vocation for me…all roads led to music without me even knowing it. I was performing, writing and singing from a very young age and already getting a lot of special treatment. There was never any question that I would be in this crazy industry. All my parents wanted though, was for me to have a back up plan and go to University.
Exclusives: Do you have any advice for aspiring singer/songwriters?
LC: Yes – get a degree or tertiary education in Business studies or Law, as you will need it.
Exclusives: Are you reading anything at the moment?
LC: Yes, A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini