Dutch singer Caro Emerald plays the Brighton Centre on April 14 on her Emerald Island Tour, her most extensive UK tour so far.
The UK is a place she loves to play – and a country that loves to hear her, ever since her massive breakthrough hit in the UK, A Night Like This, the trigger for enormous, continued success.
Since the release of her 2010 multi-platinum debut album Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor, Caro has fashioned her own niche, blending retro jazz with sampling and modern pop to create her signature sound.
Her second album The Shocking Miss Emerald, released in May 2013, remained in the charts for an entire year.
With more than 2.5 million record sales, 40 million YouTube views, a host of awards and a string of sold-out tours and performances at festivals throughout Europe including Glastonbury and Isle of Wight, Caro has made her mark.
The Amsterdam Conservatory jazz-trained vocalist recalls: “We never expected all that when we wrote A Night Like This.
“We thought it was just another album filler, but it suddenly became a worldwide hit. It is very hard to say why. When you write something, you think that every hit has to have something that is very easy to catch so that you listen to it; it has also got to have something that makes you think you have heard it before… but also feel new. It has got to grab your ear!”
She certainly did that in the UK: “The UK is very important for me to play. It is the biggest market for us. I have been doing a UK tour almost each year, and each year they keep getting bigger. I think the UK is also a very clear audience. Sometimes at seated events, people are disappointed that they aren’t up and dancing, but I like to get people going. You have got to create a moment with your audiences. You do that, and it all feels very intimate.
“I do everything with my team, especially my two producers. They are very inspired people, very wise. They always want the best of the best, and that is what we are always trying to achieve. Every time you play, you are always wanting to make it better. You have to think of everything. And they saw something in me already. I had a certain style on stage that was very feminine and a bit old school. They decided that it would be better if we enhanced it and took it to an extreme. I studied jazz at the conservatoire until I was about 24, and I performed a lot with cover bands, but never my own material. But I had been singing since the age of 11. And I always loved to dress up which is half the fun. But first of all, you need very skilled people around. you. They need to fit the profile. The bass player needs to play three different types of bass, for instance. They are all multi-instrumentalists. But I also choose my band members in terms of character. If somebody is not a nice person, it changes the whole band!”
And that’s how she has sustained success – though it hasn’t been the same everywhere: “In some countries I have lost it. I think this is something that you appreciate in the UK. In Germany, we had a very, very big market for the first album. It sold as many copies in Germany as it did in the UK. It was really big. I did two-week tours in Germany bigger than in the UK. But the second album didn’t do so well in Germany.
“I think the German market is different. It is a different type of audience. It feels to me that people in the UK once they like you, they don’t let you go!”
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