Today’s Essential Weekly Playlist comes from British/Colombian singer songwriter, Vanessa Forero.
Vanessa won the 2015 BandOnTheWall/Brighter Sounds residency with BRIT Award Artist, Beth Orton. Vanessa’s debut single, ‘Heaven Knows’, is the first single from her forthcoming EP, which is due for release in 2016.
We’ll be catching up with Vanessa over the next few weeks – but in the meantime here’s her Essential Playlist.
SIDESTEPPER – DEJA:
A few years ago I met British Producer/DJ/songwriter Richard Blair ‘Sidestepper’ in Bogota where he’s living, and with no exaggeration, it was nothing short of life-changing. Something in it all connected me to my Colombian roots, introduced me to a whole new music scene going on out there, and just awoke me to my truest self in so many senses, but mainly in realizing there was an artist in me desperate to come out. And now here I am!
ELMER BERNSTEIN – THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN:
This is my happy song. I also might have pretended to be a cowgirl on a horse racing round the dining table as a kid to this. 2:08 – I dare you to not bounce!
My main instrument is the piano so when I heard another female playing the piano with such attitude like Tori Amos, I was hooked. The piano playing in this song remains to be my favourite in popular music. Tori has so much character, charm, girl-balls, and off-the-wallness. People say I sound a bit like her at times, that’s because I’ve absorbed a LOT of this woman’s music. Huge inspiration.
DEBUSSY – CLAIR DE LUNE:
I grew up listening to my Dad practice his piano pieces and this was the one that moved me the most, every time, it still does, the harmony is so celestial and delicately evocative. I’m convinced Debussy can see into my soul!
JAKE ISAAC – HOME:
I first saw Jake Isaac at Barn On The farm festival and I had my mouth open in awe with my feet dancing the whole time. He’s such a force of infectious energy, rhythm and creativity. I’m honoured to have eaten a kebab sandwich with him and co-written a wonderful song together.
BUFFY ST. MARIE:
After the fourth person told me I was just like a mini Buffy St.Marie, I thought I better check her out – she instantly became my new Goddess! She’s a songwriter, musician, singer, producer, story-teller, fellow raven-haired, fringe-cladded, lover of feathers. At 74 she’s still going! More than that – she won the Polaris music awards! She defies the status quo and her existence has brought me to life.
LAURA MARLING – RAMBLING MAN:
I remember this song locking me in the car when radio 1 played it years ago. I loved the rhythms in the stringed instruments, and her voice inspired me. It wasn’t one of the big diva voices about, she had this honest, natural voice, not trying or even really performing, just sharing herself in song, and for someone without a voice of Whitney (me) I felt massively inspired by Laura and all she does. Still do.
How the heck am I meant to select one track from my favourite composer Thomas Newman. He’s the guy who makes you cry when you watch a movie. Like shawshank redemption, little women, and this one from Meet Joe Black which I’ve had to ban from my car because it makes my eyes leak! I would LOVE to meet this man one day, he is a wizard of emotions via the spell of music!
My inner Latina girl comes out when I hear the sounds of Guillermo Portabales. I’ve always loved his songs, recordings and instrumentation. My mum played her old latin music vinyls growing up so this stuff is in my blood.
One of the artists I have the highest respect and wonder for is Jon Hopkins. He learned a lot from the legendary Brian Eno and has a way of bringing life and ambient space to electronic music. Film music is one of my passions so when I heard he’d scored a movie, I was straight onto it, and was not disappointed when I heard this one. He is an essential music/sound maker and I’m privileged to share this time period with someone like him.