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Music Interview

Katherine Jenkins interview: 'My greatest hits is a rip-off'

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Katherine Jenkins
It's been a busy seven years for Katherine Jenkins. Since her 2004 debut Premiere, the Welsh classical singer has released seven studio albums, switched labels in a record-breaking deal and appeared on shows Popstar to Operastar and Doctor Who.

Digital Spy caught up with the mezzo-soprano to talk about her new album Daydream, the success of Popstar to Operastar winner Joe McElderry and how she feels about her former label releasing a compilation at the same time as her new LP.

Why did you pick 'Break It To My Heart' as the album's lead single?
"The album has a lot more of the classical stuff, with pop songs and folk songs, and this is one of the pop songs I did with John Shanks (Take That, Olly Murs). I tried to find the right voice and it was the song's words that got me. There seems to have been a good response to it. My mum always prefers the more classical stuff and she even likes this single!"

The accompanying music video is quite dark...
"I think it's me channeling my inner black widow! It's quite gothic, dark and moody because it represents a very sad song. I wanted it to look like she was almost grieving, but not quite there yet. We wanted to do something simple and portray the idea that the walls are closing in on her."

Is the single a good representation of what to expect from your new album Daydream?
"I'm not sure if it's a representation of the album, because my records have always been a really strong mix of so many different things. I've always included a collection of different styles and we've always added to more poppier songs that can be sent to radio. It doesn't sum up the album, but it's a good indication of what to expect from the poppier side."

What did you want to achieve with this album?
"When you think about what a daydream is, it's your most personal thoughts that you would never tell anyone else about as you'd be embarrassed. There are just things you would never say and so I wanted the record to be about love or dreaming of another life or world.

"They are the main topics of the songs, but are also represented through the musical presentation as well. We made the album more intimate and tried to create a mood."

Is there a particular track on the album you're excited for fans to hear?
"For me 'Black Is The Colour' is my favourite song on the album. It's a song that I think has been adopted by the Irish, even though it either comes from Scotland or America - I've heard two different stories!

"It's a very simple love song about unrequited love and when I first heard the words I thought, 'Wow, that's so romantic'. We started it off simple, but it finishes in this big Braveheart arrangement. I just think it's really moving and quite haunting."

Katherine Jenkins


There has been some controversy over your old label Universal releasing a Best Of package at the same time as your new album; are you worried it will confuse fans?
"I think I've done all I can. I took to Twitter and had a little bit of a rant over it. I'm not trying to cause trouble for anyone and I know that when you leave a label they do a greatest hits - and they have a right to do that. I just feel that three in two years is pushing it. Because of the timing it's so easy to confuse people and there aren't any new songs on the Universal record.

"I feel it's unfair on my fans and I just wanted to stand up and tell them that it has nothing to do with me, I promise I'm not ripping you off. I will still get the royalties from it, but I'm telling them not to buy it! If people are going to spend their hard-earned money, I want them to get the one they intended to get."

How do you react when you see your name on these 'most influential' or 'richest musician' lists?
"I think they make those rich lists up! I have no idea how they know! It's not true - they make the figures up and people believe it. I try not to take them too seriously. I've been very lucky - I'm not saying that I haven't got money because I know I'm blessed. People just love to exaggerate and take it out of all proportion."

Joe McElderry has had huge success with his Classic album; have you had a chance to congratulate him?
"I texted him to say well done. He was such a lovely guy and he was the standout contestant [on Popstar to Operastar] from the beginning. I loved doing the series because I was a teacher before and I love coaching new people. Hopefully it shows people that opera isn't as intimidating as they perceive it to be."

Do you think Joe can go on to record more albums?
"Classic sold really well and so I think he's got massive potential. Rolando [Villazon] and I talked to him and said that he could go away from the spotlight for a bit and study for four years and go and do a course at the Royal Academy. He could come out and have a serious career in classical singing.

"But I think he would be happier if he continues with the touring and maybe musical theatre as well and I think that's what he'll do. But he definitely has the potential."

Have you decided whether or not you will judge on the next series of Popstar To Operastar?
"I think it's too soon to talk about another series, but I feel like we probably won't do another one. Rolando and I talked about it and it takes up so much of our time.

"There are six weeks of shows, but we teach them for two months before, so it's a good three months of our time. As much as we enjoyed it and agreed that it was such a good series, we'd like to leave it in a good place in people's minds."

The Voice is starting in the UK next year - is that something you'd be interested in appearing on?
"I've heard about the concept of it and it sounds like a brilliant show. I've been asked a couple of times if I've been approached and I haven't, but I don't really want to get involved in too many of the judging panel programmes. I think it can overshadow what you do. I will definitely watch them like everybody else, but I'm going to be focusing on my music for the time being."

Katherine Jenkins's new album Daydream is available to buy now.

Watch the music video for 'Break It To My Heart' below:

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