"Red Flags and High Heels" - interview with jazz songtress Fiona Ross

With her fifth studio album landing after Ross being named among the 100 Alternative Power Music List for 2020 by shesaid.so, the internationally acclaimed, London-based vocalist, pianist, composer, producer and journalist has garnered experience and expertise to cast a wide net to capture the dark, light and much of what lies between in this personal and very relatable new collection. We have conducted an interview with Fiona.

Jazz Weekly described your album as poetic resonating with Millennial Angst. What is the message you want to deliver with this album?

Well, my message as always, is that I am just writing what is in my head at the time to be honest. Red Flags and High Heels reflects on the emotional highs and emotional lows of this thing called life. The ‘Red Flags’ represent those things that just don’t sit right with you and although you are not always sure why and you don't always know what to do about it. The constant analysis. People’s ignorance. Those things you know you shouldn’t do, but you do anyway and you have no idea why you did them until after it has all gone wrong. But also the good things but with the inevitable highs it brings the lows. The ‘High Heels’ represent fun, sex and strength. For many, high heels bring to mind something sexy and playful, while for others they represent power, strength and freedom. So, this album has elements of all those things.

the album launch held at the famous Pizza Express live Jazz Club, in Soho, London by Ron Milsom
The album launch held at the famous Pizza Express live Jazz Club, in Soho, London by Ron Milsom

What other feedback have you received from music journals and from your fans about the new album?

I have been completely overwhelmed by the response of this album and so many wonderful comments from people who are not only my fans and supporters but critics. It’s always very hard when you release music, wondering if people will enjoy your work and it can be very emotional sending it out for review. I am always incredibly grateful for the support I have from so many.

‘Another excellent release from Ms. Ross that will brighten up the most dreary of winter days that lie ahead and leave you smiling’ Jazz Views

‘A probing album that oozes passion, punch and panache’ Jazz Journal

‘Her playing is lovingly understated, an impressionistic soundscape over which her vocals flow like a stream’ London Jazz News

My last album featured sleeve notes with the legend that is Maxine Gordon – she is a role model and a mentor to me. When I was thinking about this album, I thought it would be really incredible to have strong, fierce and inspirational women, who have inspired me, write the sleeve notes for each of my albums from now onwards, with Maxine leading the way. Celine Peterson instantly came to mind and I am so grateful for the time and understanding she gave my album ‘‘Being able to connect with a singer and song writer who can find the strength to share such deeply personal words with us in such a way that makes us feel safe, is rare’ Celine Peterson

Saxophonist Hannah Horton taken by Tatiana Gorilovsky
Saxophonist Hannah Horton taken by Tatiana Gorilovsky