Des’ree is set to release her new album, ‘A Love Story’, her first since 2003, on October 11. First single from the album is the very gorgeous ‘Don’t Be Afraid’. ‘A Love Story’ is available to pre-order here and is out through Stargazer Records.
In 2003 the BRIT and Ivor Novello Award winning singer & songwriter Des’ree assumed that ‘Dream Soldier’ would be her last album.
Chronic stage fright, a fear of flying and suffering in silence were proving too much to bear for her to continue. Being diagnosed with an underactive thyroid had her energy at an all-time low and, when Sony did not take up the option for another record, she chose to walk away from the industry to see what else life had in store.
Whilst rehabilitating, Des’ree took up courses in other arts – ceramics, pottery, still life drawing/painting and jewellery design – settling on her other passion: alternative medicine. The joy of being in a classroom helped her de-stress and rebuild her strength – she qualified as a Nutritionist and then as a Naturopath.
Returning to music continued to remain unlikely – not only did Des’ree feel creatively barren she felt she did not have the characteristics necessary for the pop world. Innately shy and preferring to be in the background proved to be incompatible with the demands and expectations of the front line of show business. However, the possibility of writing and singing again remained a slow burning flicker in her heart.
In 2014 that possibility became a reality – the beginnings of new songs began to stir. Having recorded them in her Dictaphone, Des’ree decided to contact her longstanding co-writers Michael Graves and Tim Atack. With new collaborators David Munday and Howard Francis, and with engineer/mixer extraordinaire Robin Baynton at the controls, Des’ree returned to the studio with the intention to just record for pure pleasure, without expectations.
Being in the studio this time felt so different – so free! Free of the stress or pressure to re-write old hits, it soon became clear that the growing body of work was capable of becoming an album that had a theme and told a story, and which, perhaps, could be released.
That intention however was put on hold when Des’ree’s mother became seriously ill and she and her sister became her carers. For the last time, despite the heart-breaking sadness, Des’ree was able share some of the new songs to which her Mum would quietly smile and give her endorsement.
Now ‘A Love Story’ is complete – a collection of heartfelt songs that show Des’ree’s maturity and vulnerability, that speak of events and emotions which, despite their deeply personal nature, many will relate to.
Another dream realised.
You can stream/buy ‘Don’t Be Afraid’ here.