Carmel has huge hits in 'Bad Day', 'More More More', 'Sally' and others, but now the singer is back following a break from the industry with her brand new double A side.
We got the opportunity to put some questions to the talented musician, all about what she's been up to in the years out of the spotlight and what we should expect going forward.
Your new double A side is some of your first new material since the 90s, why did you decide to make this comeback now?
Well, I've been putting out music quietly all the time:
- 2000 - Italian project with Serazzi including various tracks in Italy.
- 2005 - Live new material including 'I Can't Breathe'; a collaboration with poet Sonia Hughes.
- 2006 - Brice Wassy African Fusion artist - collaboration with Neoglobal.
- 2012 - Secret Records Limited album 'Strictly Piaf'; alternative covers of that French artist.
- 2014 - Toured with my new band.
- 2015 - Records released, 'Sad Situation' and 'Second Wife Blues'.
From 1996 I took the decision to stay at home and commit to bringing up my son. Great decision! My juggling was mainly doing local choirs and songwriting projects/recordings in Outreach projects in Manchester.
Is this just the beginning of a whole new project for you?
We're thrilled to be doing radios and TV with these new songs. Since my son is now at uni doing well, I can devote my time to music. We've recorded some tracks and have a lot more to do. We look forward to ideas out there to do further collaborations, too.
How did you find the break from the industry?
The break from the powerful industry was awesome. The first time since I could learn how to cook. My son thought I was ace because I could make Dennis the Menace cupcakes (from a packet), I even heard him brag about my Chilli Con Carne (from a packet!)
I liked holidays and weekends when we could play football and the kids played street cricket. It was all dogs and kids stay-overs. Being a single mum at that time, I did the age-old thing of relying on the triangle of school, church and home. Mass on Sunday morning was routine and it went on until my kid was 11-years-old when he informed me he was a scientist and believed in Darwin's Theory of Evolution! He got out of going then. I went on.
How would you say you've evolved as an artist from your debut up to this point?
Evolving as an artist takes time. My second album 'The Falling' took off in France and I mainly worked in Europe in general. The Indie status in the UK remained. I was desperately shy before and even couldn't sing in front of musicians sometimes. Awkward! But France helped me grow with confidence and overcome that. Now that's a good thing and if I ever feel trapped inside again I boot that shyness away and jibber jabber, laugh and joke. Listen to others. I learned more about voice, more about piano and trained to become a Grade B sound engineer.
Where now do you draw influence and inspiration from for your material?
I'm influenced by events in life, raw emotions. Sometimes it could be a weird chord on piano, but sometimes a melody comes to me when I'm walking in town, there's no real explanation.
Sometimes I could be asked to write on a project like [the one] Miles Copeland ran in his castle in France, where you write in groups of three and have to write a song a day. I love a challenge.
Once, someone said, 'I bet you can't write a song about a Honeysuckle', so I did.
'Sad Situation' was sadly inspired by the tragic loss of Mick Jagger's partner. 'Second Wife Blues' was an onslaught to my ex!
What do you make of the music scene today and those right at the top of it?
The music scene today is polarised. Either you're a dominant power player or you're hidden away. There are less music show formats but there's loads of musicians out there.
If you could work with anybody going forward on new material, who would you choose and why?
I would work with a club dance writer and think the minimal side of me might like that.
What are your plans for the coming weeks and months career-wise?
We're planning some gigs in Spring, promotions right now and recording in-between.
Do you have any big definitive aims or goals going forward?
I look forward to working live mainly as that is my background. I would like to carry on and record with different companies out there and create some memorable stuff. I'd like to hear my lad brag about that! (laughs)
'Second Wife Blues' and 'Sad Situation' are out now, available on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, CD Baby and other retailers.