- How did you get your initial start in music?
My initial influences came from home, my mother has a tremendous alto voice; hearing her dulcet tones ring out in the choir or church service served as a personal inspiration. This was nurtured in my local church, where I sang in the youth gospel choir and began to sing solo. I was particularly ‘tickled’ by musical challenges such as “only singing in harmony to every advert you heard on TV and radio” – it was great aural training. My initial technical training came whilst taking classical singing lessons whilst at Grammar school. I had a wonderful music teacher who ‘exposed’ me to a range of composers, from Messiaen to Mozart.
2. What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?
I’d love to be a successful recording gospel artist, both at home and abroad. My dream is to one day perform gospel with the Philharmonic orchestra, providing a quality performance with a valuable message.
3. How long have you been writing your?
Although I haven’t yet written my own material, I really enjoy arranging songs and delivering a new flavour to a well known pieces. This gives me the opportunity to fuse classical and gospel influences. However, songwriting is something I’m keen to develop further.
4. Who are your top three influences and why?
At the heart of who I sing about is and will always be Jesus. The message of His love, sacrifice, hope and destiny are echoed in my life and what I sing.
Musically? Oooooh is almost impossible to limit it to only three influences. My musical influences lie in artists from CeCe Winans, Lalah Hathaway, Israel Houghton, Mahalia Jackson through to bands like The Commisioned. I love that their music is more than ‘just a sound’; they sing/sang based on a purpose driven life. For example, I love the elegance of the ‘First Lady of Jazz’, Ella Fitzgerald. I equally love the harmonic density found in pieces by Karl Jenkins and John Rutter. If I only had to list three influences it would be Yolanda Adams, Karl Jenkins and Walter Hawkins.
5. Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release? N/A?
(If it’s in relation to the videos….)
His eye is on the sparrow – It’s one of my favourite gospel hymns. Such a powerful, yet comforting message to know that the Creator of the universe is concerned about me – how great to know that I ‘matter’!
The theme of the song is inspired by the words of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew in the Bible: “Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matthew 6:26) and “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:29-31).
I love the bright hopefulness Civilla Martin, the composer,witnessed amidst a desperate situation. He witnessed a ‘simple expression of boundless faith’; I felt compelled to share this, as a constant reminder of God’s faithfulness and grace. I’ve been particularly touched by individuals involved with the armed forces as they expressed how much solace they found in my recording.
6. Where are you based and what’s your local scene like? Any favourite venues?
I’m based in the Midlands. For several years I’ve enjoyed performing at a wonderful range of venues, predominantly at weddings – from the romantic to the lavish. Amongst my favourites are the stunning Birtsmorton Court, Kilworth House and Eastnor Castle.
7. Who else can you recommend from your local scene for people to have a listen to?
Most folks will know about the fabulous Beverley Knight and the excellent Laura Mvula, but I’m also really excited about the sounds of worship artists in the midlands, like King’s Ministries and Ryan Baker-Barnes.
8. Give our readers a roundup of where they can find you online and hear more of your music.
follow me on twitter: @viewatson
listen in on Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/vie-watson
check out: my YouTube channel
Alternatively, readers can like my Facebook page; just search for Vie Watson