Following the release of her brand new album, music video and after performing her final live show of the year, we got the chance to put some questions to Rumer all about her latest project, what she'll be getting up to for the rest of the year and more! Read on to find out what she had to say…
When did you initially come up with the idea to take on Bacharach and David's work?
It was something that was presented to me by the record company, and I accepted the challenge.
What sort of process did you go through when recording this album?
Initially you start with the pre-production and AR (artist and repertoire) process. This is when you research all the material, try out different songs in different styles, different keys. These decisions affect so much down the line that it's crucial to get it right. This is the most important part of the process and I like to take my time over it. After that, you make demo vocals to basic tracks and then those tracks develop in the studio over a period of time to become the finished pieces. After that there is a process of refinement, subtle tuning, time correction - all the technical stuff. Then when you're happy with that mix, you start to mix the tracks properly, then you send them for mastering. It's a laborious and costly process that involves many highly skilled and experienced musicians, engineers and more.
A lot of these songs are very emotions pieces - was it easy to relate to them?
Some more than others. There were a few I found difficult to relate to such as 'Anyone Who Had A Heart' and 'Are You There With Another Girl?' because the female characters are, in my opinion, weak and a little pathetic. In some Bacharach and David songs the female characters put up with things I never would. The guys in both these songs? I wouldn't put up with them for five minutes!
How have you found the response to the cuts from the albums released so far?
The response has been great from everyone, and I am so glad because that's what we aim to do every time we make a record.
What's it been like getting such good feedback from the people you're covering?
Well we are not covering people per se, but a catalogue that has been made famous by many, many artists and over many decades. Dionne Warwick wrote to compliment us on the record and Burt Bacharach wrote to say that he thought it was special.
What's unique about this project is you've worked with your husband Rob Shirakbari! What was that experience like?
The album ended up with a really organic feeling because a lot of pre-production was done at home while say, I'm doing the dishes and Rob's at the piano. Also, Rob has worked with both Dionne and Burt all his life (I met Rob at a Dionne Warwick event), so he understands the music better than anyone. He essentially coached me through it. It was a massive advantage. At the same time, you can't really moan about how much time he is spending in the studio and you can't get annoyed when he's so busy editing vocals he can't make it home for dinner! There are good and bad points.
You played your last show of 2016 last month - what's the experience like being on stage singing for your fans?
I get very frightened, to be honest. I suffer from debilitating stage anxiety and I have tried everything from different kinds of therapy, drugs, teleprompters… You name it, although I haven't tried beta blockers yet. I perform in spite of this fear, because I think it would be sad to quit because of it. Of course, as much as I am scared and on stage, I feel nothing but appreciation and gratitude for those who have made the effort to come, and I always want to do my best for them.
Do you enjoy the touring lifestyle?
It depends. It can be fun and I have some wonderful memories of tours I've done, but touring is expensive and so you don't stay in nice places; usually cheap motels. It's rough on your body after a while. But overall, I like to travel and meet people.
Do you have definitive aims or goals for your career moving forward?
I'm six months pregnant so I am going to see where motherhood takes me. I think I'm going to continue making music and performing. I'm 37 and have released four albums and one compilation of B-Sides in the seven years since signing to Warner Music. I am very proud of the work I've done so far. I am just very much in my body at the moment, and facing a big change! So let's see what happens after that!
Rumer's new album 'This Girl's In Love: A Bacharach And David Songbook' is available now.
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