BEVERLEY CRAVEN INTERVIEW
BRIT-Award winning singer Beverley Craven will be visiting Victoria Hall (Settle) on the 8th April 2017, as part of her UK tour. The singer/songwriter became a household name in the early 1990’s following the release of her debut album, which became a worldwide hit selling more than two million copies. Her single ‘Promise Me’ went on to become a huge hit across Europe and she followed this up with a string of chart successes including ‘Memories’, ‘Holding On’, ‘Woman To Woman’ and ‘Love Scenes’.
Encouraged by her mother, an accomplished classical violinist, Beverley began taking piano lessons at the age of seven. She also proved to be a talented swimmer, going on to represent her county in national championships. In the late 80s Beverley’s perseverance paid off when she was offered a job as a backing vocalist on a European tour with soul legend Bobby Womack. In 1988 the big break finally came when one of her demo tapes fell into the hands of Epic Records who immediately offered her a recording contract.
After a stint in the States, developing her writing and performing skills, Beverley commenced work on her self-titled debut album, which was released in the UK in 1990. It’s success was almost unprecedented and within a year it had been certified double platinum with sales of over one million copies and it went on to spend an incredible 52 weeks on the UK album chart.
The debut single, ‘Promise Me’, also became a huge hit, reaching number 3 on the UK singles chart and also charting across Europe. Further hits followed with ‘Holding On’, ‘Woman To Woman’ and ‘Memories’, whilst Beverley performed sold-out shows across the UK, mainland Europe and the USA. In 1992 Beverley received a Brit Award for Best British Newcomer and was also nominated for Best British single and album of the year, performing on stage at the awards ceremony.
Beverley’s second album, ‘Love Scenes’, was released in September 1993 and reached number 4 in the UK album charts. After taking a break from the music scene, Beverley returning in 1999 with her third album, ‘Mixed Emotions’, recorded at her home studios in London. So ten years after the release of her last studio album, Beverley is finally back with ‘Close To Home’, her long-awaited and perhaps most personal album to date.
Speaking about the album Beverley Craven said, “It’s a rebirth in many ways, only this time there’s no record deal and no pressure. I’m doing things on my terms now and you know what – I’m really enjoying myself!”
1. What inspired you to take up music?
I remember asking my Mum if I could have piano lessons at the ripe old age of six. But she told me that I was too young and had to wait a year, so I started learning classical piano at the age of seven. I went through the grades (to Grade 7) at which point I discovered Kate Bush and she inspired me to write my own stuff when I was fifteen.
2. Which artist’s influence your music?
I don’t think any artists influence my writing now, but when I first started out I loved Judi Tzuke, ELO, Billy Joel, Steely Dan, Elton John & Stevie Wonder.
3. What is your favorite album and why?
I think my favorite album is probably Kate Bush’s Never Forever, but I can’t listen to it now because the songs stay in my head for DAYS afterwards, and it’s a bit like torture because I know every line, lyric and nuance!
4. If you could duet with anyone who would it be and why?
Well, I’ve been lucky enough to have had that wish fulfilled…I sang a duet with Michael MacDonald at a corporate show in Madeira many years ago – he was amazing. I’ve often fantasised about singing BVs for Kate Bush though…
5. Out of all of the songs you have written & performed which is your favorite?
That’s like asking me to pick my favorite child!! I guess if it wasn’t for Promise Me I might not have had a career, so I’m very grateful to that song. I like it when something I’ve written is special to someone else.
6. When writing new material do you think it’s important to be individual?
I think there’s a balancing act between writing a melody that’s unique and writing something that sounds almost familiar – I always have the listener in mind when it comes to the sentiment because one of my main objectives is to relate to other people…I like writing about universal subjects with a personal slant.
7. Your music has sold over 4 million records around the world, what does it feel like to know your fans have purchased so many records?
I love to watch other people’s renditions of Promise Me online – it makes me feel really proud! And I love it when people come up to me after a show and tell me how something I’ve written has helped them through a difficult time in their life – it makes me feel legitimate as a writer.
Trouble is people are now coming up to me after a show and telling me that their mother used to play my album to them when they were very little…and that makes me feel really old!
8. What are you plans for 2017 / 2018?
Well…I’ve almost finished renovating my house, which has been an ongoing labour of love – just the bathroom to do now and then the exterior decorating. Apart from that, I really enjoy going out as a duo and playing live with Frank Mead (I often joke that I’m just using him for sax…but actually he plays several instruments). We have quite a few dates lined up in the UK and a few in Europe later in the year, so that’ll be fun. Oh, and I’d quite like to meet the man of my dreams and fall hopelessly in love…does that count?