Undeniably one of the best voices of our generation, Grammy award-winning singing sensation Gregory Porter has made his eagerly-awaited return to the studio with the uplifting new single ‘Revival’, out today on Decca Records/Blue Note. He also announces the release of his sixth studio album ‘All Rise’ on 17th April.
Following on from 2017’s ‘Nat King Cole & Me’ album, which charted at No.3, Porter’s forthcoming record ‘All Rise’ marks a return to his beloved original songwriting – heart-on-sleeve lyrics imbued with everyday philosophy and real-life detail, set to a stirring mix of jazz, soul, blues, and gospel.
First single, ‘Revival’, sets the tone, kicking off with Gregory’s signature hand-clapping. Drop the needle on this irrepressible, gospel-infused track and just try to pretend you aren’t lifted by the spirit. He explains, “For me, it’s the message of walking into this life and having some fear and self-doubt, and the point where you grab onto something that you know is real, the silent and real things, the truth… Once you can grab onto the truth then this fearlessness comes.”
Speaking of the powerful new music video to ‘Revival’ (premiering on YouTube tonight at 6pm), Gregory says,
“The concept of the music video is about revival and renewal of the spirit, of life’s energy. I wanted the video to have an important political message too, which is why we chose to honour the young man from Baltimore, Freddie Gray, at the beginning. There are so many things in life that can get you down and make you feel small, whether it be racism, self-doubt, insecurity or financial situations. It’s about finding your source of strength to bring you back to seeing who you truly are so that you can be restored to the giant that you are.”
And this is just one of the many moments of pure joy on the new album. ‘All Rise’, produced by Troy Miller (Laura Mvula, Jamie Cullum, Emili Sandé) also represents the evolution of Porter’s art to something even more emphatic, emotive, intimate, and universal too.
“Yes, you could say that I went big,” says Gregory about the album, which combines the talents of his longtime loyal bandmates, a handpicked horn section, a 10-member choir, and the London Symphony Orchestra Strings.
Since his world-beating 2013 Blue Note debut, ‘Liquid Spirit’, which won the Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album, Gregory hasn’t let down his legion of fans, whether collaborating with Disclosure on ‘Holding On’, releasing his dance hit ‘Liquid Spirit – Claptone Remix’ which became one of the most popular tracks in Ibiza, scoring another Grammy for ‘Take Me to the Alley’ (2016), or telling his life story through Cole’s songbook. Porter is still surprised by his runaway success, but he has a theory:
“I was soothed by my voice as a child and I think that’s the same thing others get from it. I’m trying to heal myself with these songs.”
Not only has Gregory made chart history by bringing jazz back to the masses, graced the iconic Pyramid Stage and the world’s most prestigious gig venues, performed for the Queen, appeared on the biggest TV shows as well as presented his own series (‘Gregory Porter’s Popular Voices’ on BBC Four), 2019 saw the singer launch and host his own podcast, ‘The Hang’, featuring such distinguished guests as Annie Lennox and Jeff Goldblum. He also became the first celebrity to sing a lullaby on CBeebies Bedtime Stories!
Along with his new album, 2020 sees Gregory take the position of ‘Guest Curator’ at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival, performing there on 5th May, and embark upon a major UK tour (9-26 May), with a series of arena shows as well as four nights at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
As ever, Gregory Porter manages to cut through the noise of genres and the mess of life, bringing his rich, soulful voice and exuberant personality to everyone and everything. And lucky for us that he does.
UK LIVE DATES – MAY 2020:
5th Cheltenham Jazz Festival
9th Manchester Arena
10th Cardiff Motorpoint Arena
11th Leeds First Direct Arena
13th Glasgow SEC Hydro
14th Newcastle Utilita Arena
16th Birmingham Resorts World Arena
17th Hull Bonus Arena
19th/20th/22nd&23rd London Royal Albert Hall
25th Bournemouth International Centre
26th Brighton Centre
For all tour details please visit kennedystreet.com.
Tickets on sale now, available from Ticketline.co.uk or venues.
Gregory Porter’s new album ‘All Rise’ is out on Decca Records/Blue Note on 17th April 2020.