Shirley Klaris Yonavieve Edwards, Known As SKYE, Talks With Essentially Pop About The Amazing New Record ‘Goodnight Songs For Rebel Girls’ And Her Part In It

SKYE is probably best known as the lead singer of the iconic Morcheeba but recently she has embarked upon a new initiative. She has joined forces with a collection of incredible female vocalists on an album to accompany, or rather complement, the stories from the books ‘Goodnight Stories For Rebel Girls’. The books are a wonderful collection which highlight remarkable women and their extraordinary lives. Empowering, moving and inspirational stories are made all the more powerful by the addition of the incredible illustrations by sixty female artists from around the world.

Now, in a further extension of art there is a record to add to the world of edutainment called ‘ Goodnight Songs For Rebel Girls’ which brings the book brand into partnership with Decca records who have created a release of empowering songs spanning generations, genres and geographies. It celebrates extraordinary women in music by allowing them to bring their particular skills to songs they think will inspire children and adults alike. It includes artists like Imelda May, Mary Grey, Anastasia, KT Tunstall and the incredible SKYE.

I was lucky enough to be able to ask SKYE some questions about the release.:

EP: Does it feel inspiring or slightly overwhelming to be asked to sing alongside this mix of pioneering female performers on “Good Night Songs for Rebel Girls”?

S: It’s not at all overwhelming. I’m really exciting to be part of this album. When I saw the list of all the  accomplished female artist I was like “yes please, sign me up”

EP: Did you get to choose which song to cover? If yes, what made you choose “The Only Way Is Up”?

S: When it came to choosing which track to cover, I thought about the music I was into when I was younger. ‘The Only Way Is Up’ by Yazz was the very first song I bought on vinyl.

EP: Your version of “The Only Way Is Up” really concentrates the listener on the words and their deeper meaning. More, for me, than Yazz or Otis Clay’s original, it feels more supportive and nurturing than explosive. Was this your intention ?

S: Not many people know that it was originally by Otis Clay. I decided to take a completely different approach, recording it acoustically. When it was played to Decca Records, (the label behind the Good Night Songs album) Fiona Pope, from the A&R department said my recording was ‘truly a beautiful ode from mother to child’.

EP: “Goodnight Stories For Rebel Girls” books are such an incredible initiative. They have been called edutainment; do you have a favourite?

S: Edutainment, that’s a perfect way to describe it. I hadn’t heard of Rebel Girls before. I love the positive inspirational message of the Good Night Stories. There will be  couple of their books in my shopping basket for Christmas.

EP: So away from the current release, are you concentrating on SKYE or Morcheeba?

S: Morcheeba have a new album due for release early 2021. Writing and recording has kept Ross and I busy during the first Covid lock down.

EP: You’ve been recording for over twenty years, do you feel any pressure as one of our outstanding female vocalists to inspire and help the younger breakthrough artists on “Good Night Songs”?

S: It’s lovely to know that younger up and coming singers might look to me for inspiration. I don’t impose any pressure on myself, there’s no need for that.

EP: Now that your son is in the band, as well as your husband, does Morcheeba feel like the family business?

S: Morcheeba has always been a family business with Ross and Paul being brothers. Paul is no longer in the band and Ross have become like family working together for 25 years.

EP: Away from music, I know that you are a talented seamstress. Do you still enjoy making clothes? Did the role of fashion designer ever appeal or was it always music for you?

S: I studied Fashion design at the London College of Fashion and I had hopes of becoming a fashion designer.  Fate took me on a different journey when I met Ross at a party in Greenwich in the summer of 1994. Now I design and sew all of the outfits that I wear on stage. I’ve made a new collection for each album that came out since 2009.

EP: Are there any tour plans or are you waiting to see what happens when lockdown is over and restrictions ease? How have you stayed in touch with your fan base over this strangest of years ?

S: Our three week European tour that we cancelled because of Covid has been reschedule, so we have those dates on the calendar for May 2021 along with a few summer festivals planned. Fingers crossed we get to go ahead with these dates!

EP: I know it’s a little like asking which is your favourite child, but do you have a favourite track on “Good Night Songs”?

S: Well, apart from my own track, I really love what KT Tunstall has done with Hymn To Her by the Pretenders. It’s gorgeous.

EP: Thank you and good luck with this amazing release. It’s sure to end up in stockings for young people everywhere!

Track Listing:

  1. Beloved – Imelda May
  2. Beautiful – Macy Grey
  3. Girl on Fire – Lubiana
  4. The Only Way is Up – SKYE
  5. Thank You – Aurora
  6. Stronger – Anastacia
  7. Fresh Start – Joan Jett
  8. Brass in Pocket – Ani DiFranco
  9. Don’t Let me be Misunderstood – Tank and the Bangas
  10. Hymn to Her – KT Tunstall
  11. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Amy Wadge
  12. Issues – Marie White
  13. For Today I am a Boy – Beth Orton
  14. You’ve Got a Friend – Jess Gillam
  15. Joga – Anoushka Shankar
  16. Beautiful (BONUS TRACKS) – Somin of KARD
  17. Va Tu Sei Libero (You Don’t Own Me) (BONUS TRACKS) – Elodie
  18. The Park (BONUS TRACKS) – Pomme

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