Originally published: Wednesday, 03 November 2010 11:50 @ abudhabiweek.ae
UK soul artist talks to Abu Dhabi Week ahead of her F1 weekend gig.
Two weeks ago we confirmed Gabrielle as one of the acts performing a series of intimate, late-night gigs at The Yas Hotel’s Longitude Bar following the Formula 1.
This week we caught up with the London-born soul sensation for a quick chat, to find out what fans can expect from her performance on Friday 12th November.
Gabrielle is actually your middle name?
I wanted to use a name that was mine, rather than manufacturing something. I started singing in clubs and used my first name, Louisa, and my middle name, Gabrielle, and it just stuck.
How did a girl a girl from Hackney get started in the music business?
I was singing in nightclubs, and actually did Dreams originally as a demo. One of the producers took it out and bootlegged it, and that’s when my record company first heard of me. They wanted to sign me, and the rest just happened so quickly.
How did you feel when Dreams came in straight at #2 in the UK Top 40?
The way it all happened was so unexpected. The fact that it went in at number two, and made it to number one, it was like all of my dreams came true at once. I never thought I would be that successful.
Two Brit Awards and several albums later, you were on the receiving end of some fairly negative publicity?
I think everyone in the public eye will be on the receiving end of negative press at one point or another, unless they’re a nun!
What advice would you give to young musicians entering the music business?
It’s got to be something you want to do. I think the attention people get these days is more intense than when I started out.
You have to have faith in what you do, and enjoy it; that’s the most important thing.
You’re working on your sixth album?
I’m hoping it’s going to be finished by the end of next year. It may seem like a long way off, but I combine working in the studio with being a full-time mum so I have my hands full.
The new album is going to be a mix of classic Gabrielle tunes, but there’ll also be a few modern tracks thrown in. I say this because my children are always telling me: ‘Mum, have something you can dance to’ or ‘Mum, have one where you don’t sing about men’. It’s quite funny!
Will you be performing any of your new material in Abu Dhabi?
No, I’m not adventurous enough to be trying anything new until everything has the seal of approval for the album.
It will be an intimate set in Abu Dhabi, where I’ll play to around 300 people. There’ll be a lot of classic Gabrielle songs there, so I want people there to be focused on having fun and singing along! I want to hear voices back at me!
I look forward to being there on 12th, and I’d like to say to everyone, come on down, check me out, and enjoy listening to the band.
What are your impressions of the UAE?
When I first visited Dubai a few years ago it was so hot! But the weather was great, the food was amazing and the people were lovely, so I’m looking forward to more of the same in Abu Dhabi.
If you could perform with anyone dead or alive, or would it be, and why?
I would say Marvin Gaye. He had the most wonderful voice.