10 Questions with Corinne Bailey Rae: Exclusive!

Mar 30, 2010 at 2:09 a.m. ET

Corinne Bailey Rae sits down with SheKnows to talk about music and movies -- not necessarily in that order.

The UK-born Rae is enjoying the sweet taste of success with her album The Sea. It has been an emotional journey since the singer first blew audiences away with her self-titled 2006 breakthrough, Corinne Bailey Rae. With the success of her singles including Put Your Records On, that record earned three Grammy nominations and the always-fabulous status of having Corinne Bailey Rae go platinum.

Corinne Bailey Rae

Bailey Rae lands on American shores for her first tour of The States in three years April 6. Then, on April 7, the singer hits The Tonight Show with Jay Leno before making her highly anticipated performance at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival on April 17.

Also, check local listing for the summer 2010 return of the female-centric Lilith Fair to discover when Bailey Rae will be joining the terrific tour.

It took everything she had to return to the studio after the tragic loss of her husband, and in the end, proved to be the perfect tonic for what ailed her. Although the scar is still deep and painful, through song and hope, Rae has arisen a stronger person -- albeit one missing her soul mate every second of every day.

Corinne Bailey Rae shinesA SheKnows "favourite"

While Rae was criss-crossing the globe supporting The Sea, we tracked her down for an exclusive email interview. This is Corinne Bailey Rae in her own words and prose!

SheKnows: First off, two fun questions: The Best Meal you ever ate...what was it and where?

Corinne Bailey Rae: There is a fantastic tapas restaurant in Leeds (England) that has fed me for the last two years. Some of my favourite meals have been there!

SheKnows: Favorite movie if you have one, or favorite movies?

Corinne Bailey Rae: I have plenty of favourite films. I just saw Patti Smith's A Dream of Life. That is very inspiring.

SheKnows: I wondered when it was you realized that you wanted to make a career in music and how the support was around you from family and friends?

Corinne Bailey Rae: I realised I wanted to do music after I started my band at 15 and had a few gigs. I loved it. Everyone around me was in a band and it didn't seem an unusual choice at that time. I felt a lot of support from my friends and family, they were always at my gigs.

UK versus USA audiences

SheKnows: You've performed on both sides of the "pond," how do you think American and UK audiences differ? Or do they?

Corinne Bailey Rae: US audiences are more familiar with the call-and-response so I love playing here because you have a unique relationship with the audience. I love playing in the UK because it is harder for us to let go, but when we do it's a big deal.

Lending a handSheKnows: As a musician, your world is somewhat split into recording in a studio and performing live. How has each aspect of what you do been for you as an artist? Do you greatly favor one activity over the other?

Corinne Bailey Rae: I love writing, recording and performing. I find the work to be seasonal. You have time resting and writing and there's no pressure. Then you really want to record the songs and arrange them. I co-produced this album so it was exciting developing the sound of the record, picking musicians, building layers and following instincts. Playing the music is my favourite aspect but the conditions have to be right. I am loving playing with this band because I am fans of them and they all played on the album.

The movement of The Sea

SheKnows: Now on your album, The Sea, which is incredible, there are so many tracks you could have pulled as the title track, why The Sea?

Corinne Bailey Rae: I called the album The Sea in reference to the movement of the album, the way the music flows. The tempos are freer than my last record. The album has textures and layers, sometimes it's really intense, sometimes it retreats to just my guitar and vocal. I felt like it was tidal. I felt The Sea was a good metaphor for the subject matter of the record; overwhelming spiritual experiences, love, grief.

SheKnows: As a singer and artist, many times you wear your emotions on your sleeves for the world to see. Is that therapeutic, difficult or simply just part of the job.

Corinne Bailey Rae: I write songs that I feel are honest. It would be difficult for me to write a song if it was about something I didn't know or hadn't experienced.

Up next...Bailey Rae dishes a dream duet and what she listened to growing up that molded her sound.

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