British singer Rumer just released her album Seasons of My Soul in the United States after a very successful UK debut last year. She has won the MOJO award for Best Breakthrough Act and Best Alternative Act on the UK Asian Music Awards.
Her sound has been compared as a mix between Karen Carpenter and Dusty Springfield. We got to the heart of the Rumer after her recent concert in Chicago.
Jerry Nunn: Hello, Rumer. It was great meeting you after the show in Chicago. Did you notice the row of gay boys in front the stage fawning over you like schoolgirls?
JN: I was one of them! One person at the concert thought you were Demi Moore’s daughter. What inspired the name Rumer?
R: My mother and Demi Moore both love the author Rumer Godden. The name comes from her.
JN: I liked the Elton John story. You said, “He’s a hugger?”
R: Yes, very friendly, like a kind uncle.
JN: Why did you choose to perform “Rocket Man” in particular out of his catalogue?
R: I connected to the song because after my record became successful in the UK my life radically changed overnight. I feel “Rocket Man” expresses that sense of isolation, amazement, missing home, losing your reality, and generally gets across that feeling of extreme loneliness. I felt all of that.
JN: I was waiting for your rendition of “Moon River.” Are you an Audrey Hepburn fan?
R: I love “Moon River.” Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer together is perfection! I like Audrey Hepburn a lot but I don’t identify with her like I do Judy Garland.
JN: I just interview Lorna Luft, her daughter, the other day! What is your favorite musical?
R: I love “Ziegfeld Girl”. I love Adrian Greenberg’s costume design as well. At the end of the movie it just says “Gowns By Adrian.” Now he had to have been in a lavender marriage!
JN: Would you ever want to do an entire covers album?
R: I am currently mixing a concept covers album called ” Boys Don’t Cry,” which is a selection of material composed by men from the 70’s period. I will be covering songs by Paul Williams, Stephen Bishop, Richie Havens, Leon Russell, and Tim Hardin, the list goes on!
JN: What is your opinion on being compared to big Grammy winner Adele?
R: Adele is a tall beautiful goddess like statuesque redhead and I’m a short half Pakistani, I don’t see the resemblance and certainly musically we are light years apart, although I’m desperate to hear her sing ” Cry me a river.” But we are from the same small neighborhood in south London, and over the years have bumped into each other on the street from time to time. We are neighbors!
JN: My favorite song on Seasons of My Soul is “Am I Forgiven?” It’s about a fight correct?
R: It’s like a prayer. Yeah it’s about a fight. It’s about being the worst of yourself, when you know you are capable of being a better person.
JN: Your song “Aretha” speaks to people that don’t fit in. Do you have a personal favorite Aretha Franklin song?
R: I like anything she sings. I like “daydreaming” which she wrote herself. She could sing the phone book and it would take me to church.
JN: Do you have an expensive pair of shoes that you bought after writing that song?
R: I love shoes and I am just as satisfied owning shoes. I don’t have to wear them. I am really fussy about shoes. I love Louboutins.
JN: How was working with Burt Bacharach?
R: It was brief and very business like actually! And quite scary!
JN: Tell me about performing for HRC in New York.
R: It was a great honor to perform for an organization that is campaigning for civil rights for all. It is quite shocking to come here from England and discover some of the policies of the USA. But when you think about what happened to African Americans in the States? That was recent history! It takes your breath away.
The prejudice that the gay community has to endure is prehistoric.
JN: Come back to Chicago for Lollapalooza this summer!
R: I will!
Follow Rumor and her music at http://www.rumer.co.uk.