Ada Morghe released her EP earlier this month, a special edition of her second album BOX, which features her new single Lean On Me which is due out tomorrow. Having started her music career just a few years ago after one of her songs was chosen for the soundtrack of Mother Bee, Ada has since been working with producer Hans-Martin Buff and went on to record at Abbey Road Studios, and then released her debut album Pictures. At the end of last year, Ada performed a benefit concert from her home to help the music industry. We spoke to Ada about releasing the special edition of BOX, her new single Lean On Me and how her music career came about.
You recently released your special edition of BOX, can you tell us more about it?
Last autumn we recorded unplugged versions of a few songs from the BOX album for the Franco-German broadcaster ARTE. I think that these withdrawn versions fit very well into our current times. Especially Wake Up, because despite all the restrictions that challenge us all extremely, we can still create special moments to enjoy life. “In every breath of every day lies the innocence of a brand-new way.”
What inspired you to release it now and how have you found working on it during the pandemic?
We were all so happy to finally be able to play together again, so I think you can feel this zest for life in the songs. This pandemic demands so much from us all that we need music that exudes energy.
The EP features a new track Lean On Me, how long did it take to write and where does the inspiration come from for your music?
Usually I can never say exactly how long it will take me for a song because it grows over weeks or sometimes months before it is finished. Until the end I keep changing lines of text. But in the case of Lean On Me it only took a day. It was a Sunday. My daughters were sitting on the sofa while I was playing the piano. They inspired me to write this song, because it felt like a writing a letter to them.
How was it seeing the response to your music after releasing your debut album Pictures a couple of years ago?
That was and is still an incredible feeling. Music is probably the art form that affects people the most, because it’s part of their life – it can be the soundtrack of their first love or some other important memory. Knowing that your music can be heard all over the world and that people associate it with all kinds of different moments, is great.
Your second album BOX was released last year, how different were both albums to work on?
The songs of BOX are more personal and musically BOX has a wider range with influences from Jazz, Pop, Funk and Soul. I also started writing with other artists which was new to me and very inspiring. In the sense of knowing what you want, I would call BOX my “grown-up” album.
Who do you think your music will appeal to and who are some of your favourite music artists to listen to?
Most people listen to different styles of music and what they like does not necessarily have to correlate with their appearance. But I would say people who love to listen to live music, who appreciate to hear real instruments and stories, will like my music. One artist who I love to listen to at the moment is Taylor Swift. I never used to listen to her music, but her last two albums are wonderful, they show her incredible songwriting talent and that a good song doesn’t need to be produced with many effects. I also love to listen to the music of Emeli Sandé, London Grammar, Amy Winehouse, Michael Kiwanuka and many more.
What do you enjoy most about making and filming music videos?
I especially appreciate the freedom of expression. In contrast to film, the music video is like a short or art film. You don’t necessarily have to tell a story; it can be much more cryptic, more associative. Above all, it should underline the mood of the song. A good music video is like a poem to me – I don’t always have to understand it, but it has to touch me.
We understand you got into music after writing your production Mother Bee and having the soundtrack discovered by producer Hans-Martin Buff, can you say more about this?
The film composers of Mother Bee chose one of my songs for the soundtrack and introduced me to their friend, my producer Hans-Martin Buff. Until then, I had occasionally given concerts as a singer, but never released any of my own songs. Buff was my door opener to the professional music industry. But even if I am a late bloomer in the business, music has always played an important role in my life and today I would say that I benefit enormously from my experience as an actress and author.
What was it like recording at Abbey Road Studios?
In the truest sense of the word: a dream. I had to pinch myself a few times to realise that I was actually standing in the legendary Abbey Road Studios to record my songs. It’s almost as if you feel the magic of all the great music that has been recorded there. I’m sure this atmosphere pushes the creativity of everybody.
Where does your love of writing come from and is it something you always wanted to do?
For me, writing has always been an opportunity to understand me and the world. I write to perceive and celebrate the miracle of being alive and to find meaning even though in the end there probably isn’t one.
At the end of last year, you performed a benefit concert, how was this?
Like all of us, I miss the live moments, whether in the theatre, at concerts or in museums, but since music is not my only job, I am in a very privileged situation. For most artists, this pandemic is a disaster. Not only financially, but also personally. Who am I if I can no longer practice my art? The concert was very moving to me, because I felt connected to every other artist and the world.
What are your upcoming career plans for writing and music?
I started a music project with the Enigma’s co-producer Jens Gad last year which I can hopefully release this spring. Currently, I am writing new songs for a third album and a new play for next year’s theatre season.
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