Caro Emerald’s velvety smooth, modernized but vintage, swing jazz sound combined with her retro fashion style has struck a chord with audiences
across the globe.
On 28th February, the Dutch star will be present for the second time in Romania, for her concert in Bucharest, at Sala Palatului. The Emerald Island Tour in Central and Eastern Europe starts on 19th February in Prague and will end on 2nd March in Sofia, comprising 8 shows in 8 countries.
ozb magazine talked to Caro Emerald on the phone
about – what else ? – tropical islands and not only.
By Fulvia Meirosu
How about this tour, what’s new?
Well this show is the show that we developed last year and it contains some new songs, which we’ve been working on the past year. We‘ve been very inspired by a music genre called Exotica. It’s been dreaming away about far away places, islands, jungles, the music that you would hear in your head. We have a couple of new songs that sound tropical for our new show, that together mixed with some old songs creates that feeling of being on a tropical island.
What is your favourite tropical island?
I haven’t been to so many but from the ones that I have visited, I would say Mauritius.
This will be your second time in Bucharest?
Yes, I think so. Well to be honest, the last time I was there I didn’t have the time to look around. Usually it’s really hard work you know. Sometimes I have some time to look around, but the last time in Bucharest not. Maybe this time, I don’t know about the schedule, but it would be nice.
How long do you stay in each city you visit?
It depends, because I play in 8 different countries. I have few days off, and on these days we have to travel to the next country. For instance if I have to be in Bucharest tomorrow, I will go there today. If I have a hotel in the centre of the city, I can go out and see something of the city. I love it when people can recommend me things, because I don’t have the time to discover things myself.
How many songs do you perform in a concert?
I don’t know exactly by heart, but I think 20 or 22, quite a lot.
How much time does it take you to prepare a concert ?
Well it takes a lot of time, it’s a group effort. My band and my bandleader made these beautiful arrangements, and my fellow producer also joined this whole process. Everyone is doing his part. It all starts with this idea, Emerald Island. What kind of songs do we want to play, the beautiful arrangements that my bandleader has to come up with, that all takes a lot of time. He starts that process months before the tour starts. We rehearse everything for a week, and then we take time how things have to go and look. And we do separate rehearsals for the visuals of the show. And all these things really gets you in the mood for the concert. And then we do the final rehearsal, that takes 2 or 3 days as well, and then we go on tour, so it takes a couple of months preparing.
Who is doing your dresses for the shows and videos?
I work together with a great stylist. I really love to think about this and work this out , together with my stylist. We work things out on a mood board and also discuss it with the group. It’s all well thought out, we carefully look for instance, what does Emerald Island need, and based on that we make our decisions.
How come you started to sing this type of music?
The way this started is a bit of a coincidence, I studied Jazz music and I knew from very early on that I wanted to become a singer. The reason I choose Jazz music was because of a practical reason, I had to make a choice between Jazz and Classical Music. For me Jazz is the basis of all music, I love other kinds of music as well, for instance pop, so I try to make a blend of it. And I think that really works for me.
What do you like more, performing concerts, live tv shows or recording?
I cannot choose. The perfection is in the balance of the two, you know. When I am touring for a long time, I have this urge to go back to the studio, have more time to go in detail. Because in the studio that’s where I discover new things. And of course live performing is exciting as well, you only have one shot, and it better be good.
Do you have emotions when you perform in front of an audience?
Yes, very much. I practise a lot, so I know how to use it. The ultimate performance for me is to feel comfortable enough, but not too comfortable, I want to be emotional in the song, I want to feel the song. If that’s happening, for me that’s the perfect performance.
What is for you the perfect audience?
The perfect audience is of course that audience leaving after the concert with a feeling that they really have been somewhere that night. It all has also something to do what kind of venue you are playing , what is the distance to the audience. Can I see their faces, can I hear their voices?. I like it for instance if people sing along and know my songs very well. I love to see the difference in emotions from the start of the show and at the end. At the beginning the audience has to warm up, at the end everyone is standing, laughing , dancing. This is how it should be, and this is what I’m looking for and want to achieve.
Except for this tour, do you have another tour this year?
Yes I will also start a new show after the summer , first the UK and Holland. And if it’s successful we will consider other countries as well.