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article imageJoan Armatrading discusses new album 'Not Too Far Away,' touring Special

By Markos Papadatos     May 16, 2018 in Music
Acclaimed British singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading chatted with Digital Journal about her new studio album "Not Too Far Away."
On the song selection process for her new album, Armatrading said, "Usually when I write, I will write whatever comes into my head. That means sometimes words first, sometimes music first, on the piano sometimes on the guitar, with a riff, whatever. Once the album is completed, I will then rearrange the songs into the order that I feel works best. On this album, I wrote all words first. I didn't put any music to a song until I had finished all the words. In terms of the order of the song selection the album is in exactly the order that I wrote the songs. So the first song, is the first on the album that I wrote and the last song, is the last song I wrote for the album."
When asked about her personal favorite song on this record, she said, "As the writer, of course, I love them all but quite often the title track indicates some sort of preference. Having said that I love the quirkiness of 'Invisible (Blue Light)' and I love the sentiment of 'Loving What You Hate.' This is an impossible question to answer."
On the key to longevity in the music industry, Armatrading said, "If I knew the key to that I would be handing it out to lots of people. There are so many things that need to happen for you to have a long career, and one of the most important things is that people want to stay connected to what you do. Of course, talent comes into it, luck, right time right place, but the audience play a big part in how long a career one has."
She shared that she enjoyed listening to other people doing duets, but it is not necessarily something that she has thought of doing herself.
In late May and June, Armatrading will be playing at City Winery here in New York. "At the City Winery gigs, the audience can expect a mixture of new and old songs. That means I will be playing 'Love and Affection' but I will also play 'I Like It When We're Together'," she said.
Digital transformation of music business
On the impact of technology on the music industry, Armatrading said, "Technology has certainly changed the music industry. Some people say for the worst but I think it's just different. It's giving younger artists the opportunity to put out their music themselves, to connect to fans directly and it allows them to feel that they're in charge. Technology has opened up music allowing people to do their mix-tape on the fly."
Armatrading continued, "The downside is that the return, especially for new musicians, is very low. Musicians have to spend money to make their craft and like any industry needs a return to be able to continue making that music. It's a matter of getting the balance right and I feel that is coming. I think people are beginning to realize that without support the music business won't sustain in the way it needs to. People love music so I think we will get to that balance."
For her fans, Armatrading expressed her gratitude, with a sincere "thank you." She defined the word success as follows: "I feel very successful in being able to write the songs that I write, and have people connect so strongly to them."
Not Too Far Away is available on iTunes.
To learn more about British singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading, check out her official website.
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