Exclusive Interview With Mica Paris, The Queen Of UK Soul

by Malvika Padin

5th November, 2018

From Marvin Gaye to Drake, Mica Paris listens to any music and is influenced by many. In her own words, she is a greedy musician. But Ella Fitzgerald holds a special place in the soul singer’s life.

Talking about the historic jazz figure, and her own upcoming performance at Quaglino’s, London, which pays homage to Ella, Mica, says, “This woman sang until she died. She performed till the end. I just love her. Ella Fitzgerald is an unsung hero. Everyone knows her music, but not everyone knows it’s her. So, I think we can’t go forward without paying homage to the past.

Performing with her quartet at the well-known venue, Mica goes on to delve deeper into her expectations of the show. She says, “It’s just an amazing performance. We’ve been touring that show since last year. The show started off being about Ella Fitzgerald’s centenary last year. I did two songs and put it on iTunes, and everyone went bloody mental. It’s exciting because I just did it as a homage to her, and then it blew up. Suddenly, everyone just wants Ella, so of course, I decided to continue with the Ella shows. But I interpret her songs in my own way. It’s not just karaoke. I make it Mica Paris’s way of doing Ella, and it’s been going down well.

Ella seems to have a major part to play in the Queen of UK Soul’s life, she mentions, “I’m still playing Ella with my band. Well, I’ve got two bands; my soul band that does Mica Paris and my jazz band that does Ella, and I’m also doing other things so basically, I’m a mess and I’m all over the place. But I love it.

Moving on to audiences, Mica explains that Ella’s music seems to have a reach across a wide age range. “Everywhere we take the show, people – from all age groups – go crazy for it. It’s not just older crowds, we’re getting young people in there. Young people want old music now. It’s come back- which is really good for me,” she says.

When asked what message she hopes to convey to her listeners with her music, Mica exclaims she just wants people to feel the music. As she explains, “I want you to feel it. With me and my music, it’s all about taking you away from your daily life, and when you listen to me you are transported by my performance. It’s as simple as that. If I haven’t done that, then I haven’t done it right.

Her music comes from a place of personal experiences she says. It’s always about her own life and her own experiences, and as we talk about listeners, she reiterates that everybody is one. She goes on to say, “Everything is about me. About what I’ve been through. I can only tell you about what I’ve been through, that’s the way life is. But, if I talk about my experience, I guarantee there’ll be someone out there going through the same things.

Finally we go on to talk about future plans, and from continuing her tour with musical Fame, for which she just been nominated ‘Best Supporting Actress’ at the Broadway Award, to two albums, one Mica Paris one and another Ella Fitzgerald one. There is also a new book, her second, detailing the plight of women in the music industry, to more additions to her Radio 2 ‘Mica Meets..’ series which has the same premise as her forthcoming book.

Mica Paris seems to have a busy year planned and when asked how she does it all she laughs and with what I can only assume, through the phone line, is a shrug says “I don’t know!

Mica Paris will be performing at Quaglino’s on Monday November 12th for one night only. Find out more and book tickets.

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