27th of January - 26th of February 2020
Click on the picture to see the exhibited artworks in magazine format
Fiona has become known for creating a her own contemporary Jazz sound using fast paced Latin Jazz, vintage jazz club and a little neo soul along with heart wrenching ballads that demonstrate that ‘Her style is poetic and the messages ooze with Millennial angst’ (Jazz weekly). She came to the world’s attention as "The artist that gave Ed Sheeran his 'first push'" (Daily Express), but has very quickly established herself as an artist in her own right and has received incredible reviews across the globe for all of her four albums. Her live performances have seen her perform at prestigious venues including 606 Club, Pizza Express, Bulls Head, Nells Jazz and Blues, Toulouse Lautrec and Zedel. Her recent album 'Fierce and Non-Compliant' sees an incredible line of special guest including Grammy award winning bassist Snow Owl and sleeve notes written by award winning author and Jazz historian Maxine Gordon. She released a new album 'Fierce and Non-Compliant' in 2019.
FIERCE AND NON-COMPLIANT
‘Her talents are simply extraordinary’
Kind of Jazz
Fiona’s new album brings an incredible line up of special guests. As a Jazz journalist, she has interviewed some incredible people (including Maxine Gordon, Steve Gadd, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Terri Lynne Carrington, Kyle Eastwood) and ‘I wanted to include some
people on the album that have really inspired me as a person and as an artist.
I was truly blown away that they said yes"
Art work for the album features work created by Chris Cunningham.
Chris Cunningham is an Artist based in the UK with artworks all around the world. Working with everything from charcoal to digital and everything in between.
‘I was honoured to be invited by Fiona to provide artwork for her fantastic new album Fierce and Non-Compliant. I listened to her music and we talked back and forth. What was delightful was how heartfelt and personal the lyrics were. I decided I would try and convey her tremendous spirit and vivacious personality. It’s been a privilege to work with such a wonderful and talented lady’ - Chris Cunningham
How different is spreading your album in UK vs the US? What had been the most challenging to achieve?
The time difference! Connecting with my supporters in different time zones – means I don’t get much sleep, ha! But you know, life is too short, so I have to take the opportunities when they arise. I am a bit of a data freak, so I spend a lot of time working out who likes to listen to my music, how and from where. It’s incredible for me to know that my music is played in 78 countries at the moment. Crazy! Challenges have been trying to reach out to everybody and in different ways according to the platforms they use. If people are kind enough to listen to my music and follow me, it’s very important to me to not disappoint anyone. I have been incredibly fortunate to have played a large amount of the top Jazz clubs in London last year as part of my album tour and the audiences have been just wonderful. But the Jazz scene in the UK, although growing is still very small. In comparison, the US is huge and has a massive Jazz scene - and of course is where Jazz originated from. I have just started to get some amazing press from the US, which is just thrilling, but what is important to me is connecting with people who enjoy my music wherever they are. It is one of the most wonderful things about music – the diversity and ability to connect and remove barriers.
What is the new album 'Fierce and Non-Compliant' about?
I tweeted a quote, not about me, about being ‘fierce and non compliant’ a couple of years ago and someone replied saying it was a great name for an album. I agreed and tweeted that I would call my next album this. But at the time, I just thought it was a great title and I hadn’t given it any further thought. I was looking through photos of me when I was a child, and ha, I did look very fierce and non compliant – quite the diva when I was little. I was quite spoilt I think. I have used one of those photos as my album cover. But the album is not about me saying I am fierce at all, the title track explains what I am trying to say. Other people say I am those things and in fact I use some of my press quotes as lyrics. ‘Going to set the world on fire, I’ve seen it written down’ for example. Ultimately, I think, the album is really about just being yourself and that it’s more than ok to be who you are and feel how you feel. You will make mistakes on the way, but own them and move on. We are all just trying to do our thing and if we all help each other out along the way, we can! What has been amazing is that reviews and press I have received have talked about how I have created my own sound and how much I ‘own’ the music. It’s important to me to be real and genuine and not pretend to be something else. I think it’s important for everyone.
What inspires you the most while making this album?
Many things – and people - inspire me and I really hate to disappoint people. But all I can do is work hard and try my best. I think the title of the album ended up being an inspiration really. Every time I was facing a challenge, I thought about how I couldn’t possibly release an album with fierce in the title if I let things get to me. I won’t be a hypocrite. So it helped drive me on and through the challenges I guess.
Where and which category(/categories) have you submitted this new album for? How would you describe how you are feeling now?
Honestly, I have been completed overwhelmed by how well my latest album has been received. In fact, all of my albums have done incredibly well and I wasn’t expecting any of it. You know, as an artist, you just try to do your thing to the best of your ability and well, you can’t make anyone like what you do. It’s incredibly humbling to not only been recognised by the public, but by peers too. I recently won the ‘outstanding achievement’ award for the album from the Global Music Awards. An huge honour.
Please share with us more about 'For My Dad' from the new album.
Well, I didn’t plan to write a song for my Dad, it just sort of happened. In my writing book, I found a list of chords I had written, but with no other info. This was odd, as I always write lyrics and music together. I played through the chords, and just ended up writing about my Dad. It’s a very simple song in many ways – just piano, voice and trumpet – and it was recorded live in a stairwell as I wanted the production to capture the rawness. My Dad died when I was younger and it’s something I don’t often talk about, but I would like to think he would love to see all the work I am doing. The back cover of the album is a photo of my Dad and I, so I guess in a way it's partly a tribute to my Dad.
Where will be your next gig and where will you be touring to promote 'Fierce and Non-Compliant'?
I’ve just finished by UK tour for the album and will be gigging further afield this year. Although, Brexit has held up some of my European bookings, but don’t get me started on that! I am very excited about a performance I have in the UK as part of the International Jazz Day in April. I will also be delivering a masterclass and performing in Manchester – and with a very special guest. Details will be published very soon.