Chicks Chat with…
Kym Mazelle, singer, song writer from the U.S residing London. With hit’s such as Love Me the Right Way, Searching for Golden Eye, Wait, No More Tears (a duet with Joslyn Brown). Oh and who can forget Young Hearts Run Free featured in Baz Lurhmans Romeo and Juliet. The list goes on… Kym is no stranger to TLC read her previous beauty chat here.We at Those London Chicks are so pleased that one of our favourites Kym has taken the time out to speak with us. As she celebrates 30 years in the business!
I read somewhere that you grew up in the same neighborhood as the Jackson family. What was that like?
Lively I was a baby well really young so I just joined in with the other kids on the block listening and dancing. I had to stay in front of the house on the front steps.
When did you realise you had this extraordinary voice?
I wouldn’t say extraordinary, it was strong and raw unusual. I was very young when I knew an old soul.
The music business is notoriously hard to break into. How did you get into it?
I had something no one else did at the time and everyone wanted a piece.
Born and bought up in the US, why the UK?
It was written in the stars. I had a vision from young, that I’d be singing in Foreign lands (you know like Joseph the dreamer in the Bible) Even when I did’nt understand the dreams they began to come clearer watching Ike and Tina Turner interviews, Josephine Baker, Billie Holiday, and local Chicago artist that all had stories of performing in Europe. So when my time came I was on the forefront of a new form of music we were making (House Music) that a particular Country (London)was very interested in all of us and the formula. This didn’t hurt me at all, it all fell into my lap I got a call I took a flight(my 1st International flight) and showcase the song “Taste My Love” and I’m A Lover with Frankie Knuckles and Orange Juice Jones all the labels were there I wore a pair of bluejean shorts and some thigh boots with my long nails and braids this was 1988. It started a biding war. The rest is history I signed to EMI/Syncopate in UK for the world. They relocated me to London, from young daughter and my lovely 35th floor Chicago apartment with views and a doorman I thought I must be mad taking a risk like this. xo
How do you think sustained momentum and motivation over the years?
Pacing myself and looking and learning and respecting the ones that came before me in the industry.
Wow Kym, 30 years in the music business. Congrats!! How are you going to mark the occasion?
I’ve been marking the occasion from May actually. It’s happened quite organically I returned to UK after spending part of the Winter months in the States with my Mom and the 1st couple of shows I had people started to make a few comments oh 30 yrs 30 yrs. I paid it no mind. Then I thought maybe God is trying to tell me something??? I had an event schedule for July at The Ivy An Evening with sort of night with Q & A also Miss Kanya King was my interviewer and I thought perfect I started running the theme. Then a promoter ask me to do a night to Celebrate 30 years since my first single “Taste My Love” That’s when the penny dropped. I was like snap that kicked it off for me to be dubbed The 1st lady of House 1987 on my label straight out of College in Chicago. Yes so October 6th The Hideaway in Streathem book your tables seats now it going to sell out!!!
“I just like the stage, live, touching, communicating and transferring positive energy across.”
Who would you say were or are musical inspirations or favourites and why?
All the greats. I was raised by the best of them. Lived 2 doors down from the Jackson’s rehearsal spot, roommates with Chaka Khan, Al Green use to date the lady across the street from me when I was young. And Donald Kinsey Blues guitarist another Garyite MD’d, recorded and toured with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh.
I’m being general here, but singers are often in one of two camps either a preference for the studio or for being on the road? What is yours and why?
Neither I just like the stage, live, touching, communicating and transferring positive energy across. I use to like all the travelling but after a while it’s a bit much and really takes a lot out of you.
As a song-writer too, describe your process?
I must say my process has changed over the years. No offence but living in the UK from my pioneer you guys were not ready nor disciplined at all. I’d call up folk and say lets go to the studio and catch the vibes. Like how we’d done in States (I’m talking mid to late 80’s early 90’s) everyone here was on a home chillin or wasting time like I could’nt understand it. Now this generation has caught up and I’m like ok her I go again. I have so many melody lines filed on tape in my library and mental rolodex I can hum the lines to the new kids on the block explain to them and let em fly!!!
Having been in the business for 30 years. Do you think there is more pressure on young female artists coming out now, if so why?
Not really it’s about the same, only thing is hardly anything is hidden. You had to commit and work hard then, you still do now. Lots of ft. work then same as now especially now with all the dj’s who are mostly men and sexist with ego’s… oh my. And they’re not singing a note, and can’t for the most part.
Following on from that, can you offer up some of your ‘pearls of wisdom’ on how they can negotiate that?
Listen and respect your elders in the industry you can learn a lot if we think you deserve us. I see a lot of rude young people on a daily here today burnt out and gone tomorrow.
During your illustrious career, what has been your crowning moment so far?
Making it through all the bs without choking anyone!!! Lol…
You have worked with some amazing artists. Singing with the likes of Robert Howard from The Blow Monkeys and of course Jocelyn Brown. If you could work with any one artist, who would it be and why?
I have really been blessed to work with so many people in the industry not all of the projects were released they did’nt need to be in some cases it was just about standing in the studio toe to toe sharing a mic with Mick Jagger it does get any better than that. Really so perhaps finishing the song I started with Mick in 1992. I still have the cassette tape.
And finally, as mentioned in your previous beauty interview with us, you have an amazing smile. What keeps you smiling Kym?
What keeps me smiling is pacing myself, resting, putting God first, good friends and family.
So lovely to chat with you Karen and my London Chicks Family. Lots of love Kym Mazelle
Thank you and congrats Kym
Keep smiling lovely!
Interviewed by Karen Bryson
Book Tickets and celebrate with Kym HERE
Friday 6th October at The Hide Away London SW16 2BF
Or visit her website: www.officialkymmazelle.com