When it comes to powerful singing, Oleta Adams comes to mind immediately. Her million-selling hits, Circle of Oneand Get Here remain legendary favorites to pop and jazz music aficionados. She dazzles audiences around the world with her performances, having appeared with Phil Collins, Luther Vandross, Michael Bolton and many more artists in sell out concerts over the years. Adams is a three time Grammy nominee performer, yes, a songwriter as well. Her smooth, soulful sounds will enlighten the One World Theatre in Austin and here, we get up close and personal with the champagne chanteuse on singing with her idols, her future with Broadway and how she maintains balance in her life.
Lance Avery Morgan: Oleta, we all know you are a dynamite singer, yet many may not know that you write many of your songs, too. Tell me about what it’s like to sing what you write.
Oleta Adams: I think it comes from a deeper place and because of that, the songs take on more meaning for me. I can offer another dimension of myself besides singing. Plus, I try to write about things I have thought carefully about and perhaps I can help people figure out answers to their problems.
LAM: Your songs are indeed soulful. And you perform live all over the world. Is the energy the audience gives you important – do you feed off of that?
OA: Absolutely - that’s the way we singers keep going. Different audiences respond directly, because of cultures, venues… you name it.
LAM: Tell me about performing with Phil Collins…
OA: He’s so gracious and it was fun doing the big band thing with him because jazz is his passion. And it was fun for me to sing with 16 horns. Are you kidding? He loves music and you can tell that in his performances. When you find musicians who pursue different things so they don’t get bored, like Phil does, that’s amazing.
LAM: And you performed with the late Luther Vandross – you two were close friends, right?
OA: We were and he was so warm. I miss him. He respected us and really appreciated talent as a fellow musician. Being around him you got a joy because he was so talented and touring with him was a treasure.