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01 Nov

Martha High Interview Featured

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For something like 32 years Martha High was a key part of James Brown's soul revue. Martha worked with the Godfather longer than any other of his maybe more well-known side's people. Martha High,The soul diva and James Brown's muse talks to Jazzonline.

1- Could you tell us about your album, “tribute to my soul sisters” and about  your performances in Athens?
Yes, my new album is a wonderful collaboration with Ryo Nakata, Osaka MONAURAIL   and DJ Pari , my producers. We chose carefully, the major songs that theses divas were known for in there era. I wanted to share these songs now because they are still powerful songs to day and I’m honored to present them, this day and time.  You will get funk blues jazz and soul. It’s an honor to perform as a solo artist. The last time I was there was with the Godfather of Soul, Mr. James Brown.
 
2- You worked with James Brown for a long time, longer than most people.  What made you stay?
It was an honor, a good job, and a learning process into the business of entertainment.  What better person, to learn the importance of performing and giving you the best in music.


3- But after a while you left .What made you to leave and did you feel apprehensive about leaving James Brown?
I finally left for good, the year of 2000; after 30 plus years. It was time, ”I think “, to put all of those years of training, to good use, my own career. I’m very pleased I did. This is my 6th album as a solo artist.


4- Did you ever regret it?
Not really, of course I had never been on my own but I didn't  want to ever , “wonder”, how things would have been,  if I had not stepped out , “on faith”.


5- What was it like working with James Brown? We've all heard the stories about him being like dictator but what was he really like?
It was difficult at times but not something I would walk away from.  I think all superstars have a side that’s hard to understand but all in all..,  he was a father, brother, friend, mentor and a boss. You can find out how he was as a human being by, reading my book, titled , “He's A Funny Cat, Ms. High “.


6- What is your best memory of James Brown?
Putting me on a pedestal on the Madison Square Gardens, stage and living me my titled to my car,  that he paid off. Yess!


7- What's the most memorable concert you've done with him?
At the Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, The Hollywood Bowl  and the Orpheum Theatre in Paris.


8- In the new generation of soul singers, which one do you like the most and  why?
One of my favorites is Anthony Hamilton because he has the soul of the old school singers..!


9- What advice would you give a young female singer?
Education first; if singing is what you love…, study hard, follow that dream, learn the business side of it, hang in there and keep the faith.


10- What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?
To give my very best in my performance,  if its 10 people or 10,000 people, to give  them the very same.


11- What one song would work as the soundtrack to your life?
My song,  “Lovelight”!


12- What are your plans for the next months?
 
Touring in Europe, making plans to move to Spain and concentrating on my next goals.  Plans to continue  to be blessed and be thankful.

interview by Patricia Graire - October 2017

Last modified on Wednesday, 01 November 2017 10:00

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