After 12 #1 hit singles- with 9 of them being consecutive and obliterating the previous record held by Madonna and Janet- you would think that an artist would be a bit of a DIVA (in the bad sense). Not so with the legendary Kristine W! Something I found out when I asked her if she had got to see her favourite artist- George Gershwin- in concert; “Oh, he’s been dead forever!” she told me. George Gershwin of course died in 1937. Thank god we were doing a phone interview because my face was probably as red as a tomato. We laughed it off and continued.
When I found out that Kristine W was returning to Vancouver for another live performance, I jumped at the chance to interview her for Homorazzi, but I wanted to take a little different approach: getting to know her more personally. Of course, you gotta ask the standard question: why do you think gay people relate to your music etc, which is what pretty much everyone asks her every time she is interviewed… “I have always supported them,” she tells me, “ever since they started to embrace my music, I have always supported them. I’ve also had to struggle with a lot of things in my life, and so have they. We understand each other.”
This, of course, is completely true. Who hasn’t heard a Kristine song and just related? Please honey, “Walk Away” was like the anthem of my life when it came out. The mega single produced by super producer Tony Moran was Kristine’s 10th #1, and deservedly so, but we expect nothing less from this powerhouse artist. I say artist because Kristine is 100% mind blowing, pure talent. Yes, there are some amazing singers in our scene- and some that I am completely obsessed with- but Kristine is one that has always stood out a bit more than the others.
“I play 5 instruments: bass guitar, saxophone, guitar, drums and the piano.” I knew she played the guitar and the saxophone, but the others were a surprise to me, because I only really saw her in club appearances. “I love performing with my instruments, but it’s just getting very difficult to bring them all along. You’re very restricted with what you can bring on the plane. I like to bring a couple instruments with me if I can.” The guitar and the saxophone are two that she always carries with her: her sax being a staple on stage, and the guitar being her favourite because, “it’s the most mobile, and I can write songs with it.” Asked which one she’s played the longest: “The piano. Probably since I was 6 or 7.” She actually wrote her first song with that instrument when she was 8. “I was taken out of the Royal Conservatory of Music, because I always had a very jazzy ear and liked to improvise. I jazzed up Fur Elise a lot. My mother (who is also a singer), said why did I need the conservatory if I was always doing my own thing anyway.”
“But I got a bit sad and angry when that happened, that I wrote my first song ‘Not so Merry-Go-Round’. I was about 8 years old. I changed that song to a more adult song and it’s on the new album. My mother wanted me to finish it: she kept asking about that song I wrote when I was younger.”
The new album that she’s talking about is “The Power of Music”, which comes out this June. This is the reason she’s in Vancouver, kicking off a tour in support of the new album. “It’s been crazy organizing everything: emails and texts going back and forth.” But, it is completed. There are 16 tracks in total on the album, and with some amazing guests: “Big Daddy Kane raps on the album; George Lynch appears on a track. It’s such a great album,; I’m really proud of it.”
No doubt that it will spawn a few #1 hits, just adding to the already impressive total that she has accumulated during her career, which we celebrated with her triumphant return to Vancouver. “I love it here! James [Steck, promotions of Celebrities Nightclub] picks me up. He’s like a brother to me, and I love this city. I want to thank everyone for their support of the music. Make sure you put that in there!”
Anything for you Kristine!