We first met her back in 1996, when she released one of the biggest hits of that year and she gave the promise that “she will love us forever”. Donna Lewis kept the promise that she gave to the audience through her smash-hit “I Love You Always Forever” and she returns in music industry both as a solo artist and with her newly formed project, QueenTown!
Since 1996 followed many more songs that gained great success, such as the duet with Richard Mad in “At The Beginning” for the soundtrack of the film “Anastasia”, “Without Love”, “I Could Be the One”, “Love & Affection”, etc arriving in last year, when the touching “Bad Bad Love” proved that Donna Lewis can touch even our most sensitive “strings” even when she’s experimenting with other “darker” musical genres!
Her return in music industry is definitely one of the most important news of the year, and with that in mind, SounDarts.gr asked her to make an all-inclusive interview, in which Donna Lewis spoke with disarming sincerity literally about everything…
Hello Ms. Lewis and welcome to SounDarts.gr! What have you been up to these days?
Thank you for your questions! I have been writing and collaborating with other writers and starting to release songs, the first release is one of my projects called QueenTown.
Recently we heard your new song “Love Explodes” with this project. Could you please tell us a few things about it?
It’s a collaboration between Pamela Sue Mann and I and David Baron producing the songs. We each have our roles, lyrics, music and production.
In 2019 you also released “Bad Bad Love” and the cover of Kate Bush’s classic theme “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” with David Baron! How did these collaborations with David Baron occur and what do they mean to you?
David and I first met through our QueenTown project. David then sent me a string piece and asked me to write melody and lyrics. It was such a gorgeous piece I was so inspired. During that time, I was watching the news on the horrific separation of immigrant families and I wanted to write about what it must feel like for a mother and child to be seperated. I recorded the vocals in my studio and sent them to David and he finally arranged the song ‘Bad Bad Love’. We’ve always been huge Kate Bush fans so we decided to cover one of our favorites Running Up That Hill. David suggested I record a piano vocal version which he then took my vocal and arranged the stunningly gorgeous strings. we’re really proud of it!
Is there any other song of another artist that you wish to cover someday?
I love the song ‘Alfie’ by Bacharach…..there’s just something about the melody that I absolutely love.
Which of your songs holds a special place in your heart and why?
I have a few but ‘kick inside’ was written about my son when I was 7 months pregnant and it says it all. It actually has his heart beat in the song.
Let’s go back to 1996 and your smash-hit “I Love You Always Forever”? How do you recall this period in your career and how was this song written in the first place?
The song was written in my house in Birmingham, England on a little 8 track porta studio. I recorded it all on my Korg M1 keyboard and I wrote the beginning of the song in my head wandering the streets of Birmingham and then finished it when I got home. The song went through changes when I signed to Atlantic records as different producers wanted to try something different but it lost the magic so I went back to my demo and the rest is history. When that song exploded my life was a whirlwind of craziness. I thank radio for making that song a hit! It was the most magical time seeing the song travel the world!
Which of your songs did you have the most trouble writing and which was the one you enjoyed the most while writing it?
Probably “ILYAF” was the most fun as it came together so quickly and perfectly. I don’t usually have trouble writing the song it’s more about getting the production right for the song. “Take me home” from “Blue Planet” was challenging as we had complicated issues in the production of that song. I feel the demo was better than the recording on the record.
Where is your favorite place to tour and who have you enjoyed touring with?
Hard to say …..so many great places but the audiences in Mexico and the Philippines were so into the shows….it was fantastic for us and Japan too……
What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you while working on stage?
Bird pooped on my keyboard while I was playing.
What would you advice a new singer who really wants to get into the music industry?
Keep learning your craft. It’s a practice like the book ‘Outliers’ you need 10,000 hours of practice…….hahaha!
If you had the power, which things would you change in the music industry?
I’d like to see young people who so want to study all aspects of music feel they can go to college and get a job at the end of the day instead of doing something else that isn’t their passion. It’s difficult being a singer/songwriter today and being able to make a living.
Your latest album “Brand New Day” was released in 2015. Are you preparing a new album now? What should we expect from you discographically in the future?
I’m really into experimenting with different genres and working with other artists. I like putting out diverse music which you’ll see in the future.
What is your message to all your fans out there?
Thank you so much to all of you for supporting my music and I hope I can take you on an emotional journey with my future releases. Be Happy, healthy and love each other!
Interview: Thodoris Kolliopoulos