It might have been almost a decade since Vanessa Amorosi performed to Australian audiences, but she is certainly back home on the stage. Returning back home to a run of dates on Series Three of the Red Hot Summer Tour ahead of announcing her highly anticipated Heavy Lies The Head show dates, Vanessa again cementing herself as one of the best vocalists in the country.
It was 2011 when Vanessa moved to Los Angeles to begin a journey of self-discovery and develop her music career in different ways. Once in LA and somewhat anonymous for the first time, Vanessa immersed herself in all kinds of musical experiences. She became obsessed with exploring the real roots of her first and greatest musical love " gospel. And it didn't take long for the hardcore and influential LA music scene to realise this 'new kid in town' had an unmatched voice. Vanessa is now a familiar face on the local live scene, regularly performing alongside the best musicians in the world.
Returning to Australia for the first time in a decade has been a special experience. "I'm absolutely thrilled and even sometimes emotional during my shows on this Red Hot Summer Tour," she says. "I feel very blessed to be travelling this beautiful and vast country of ours and being reunited with the audience I grew up with."
Wrapping up the dates on the Red Hot Summer Tour, and a few select shows alongside long-time mate Jon Stevens, Vanessa will be heading out on the road for her solo tour Heavy Lies The Head, which celebrates the single release of the same name. The breathtaking, emotional and long-awaited new song is the first of more tracks to follow in coming months and marks a triumphant return for this amazing musician. Vanessa's last album, the platinum- selling Hazardous, which featured her number one smash hit, This Is Who I Am. To date, her combined album and single sales across her career have reached over two million worldwide.
"I am just so thrilled to be back recording and performing live," says Vanessa. "Nothing brings me greater joy than sharing my music with everyone and I can't wait to be travelling and meeting people right across this fantastic country. I can't believe it has been nearly ten years away from the stage, but I have been super busy writing lots of music of all styles and I am really proud and passionate about my first single. There is no doubt it is controversial and cutting edge on where much of today's music sits today, but I have been honest in pursuing the music that I want to sing and you will see a collection of songs from rock tracks to dance tracks and a power ballad."
Vanessa's A-list collaborators on her growing song collection include Sweden's Aleena Gibson (Jason Derulo, Nick Carter) and Trevor Muzzy (Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga), as well as Jon Levine (Drake, Dua Lipa), Jordan Palmer (Andy Grammar, Lights), Louis Schoorl (Tina Arena, 5 Seconds Of Summer), and Levi Lennox (ZAYN, M.I.A.).
It's incredible to think it's almost 20 years since a teenage Vanessa Amorosi from outer-eastern Melbourne burst onto the Australian charts with her debut number one album The Power, which featured four massive hit singles: Have A Look; Absolutely Everybody; Shine; and The Power, and who stole the show at the opening and closing ceremonies of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, seen by an estimated two billion people.
Tickets for Vanessa Amorosi's Heavy Lies The Head tour are on sale now. Vanessa's new single Heavy Lies The Head is at radio now.
Thursday 16th May 2019
York on Lilydale, MT EVELYN VIC
Friday 17th May 2019
Chelsea Heights Hotel, CHELSEA HEIGHTS VIC
Saturday 18th May 2019
Shoppingtown Hotel, DONCASTER VIC
For more information, please visit www.vanessaamorosi.com
Question: What motivated you to return to the music industry?
Vanessa Amorosi: The plan was always to come back; it was just which record to come back with. In 2011, I started writing for a new record but I just wasn't inspired as I had nothing to draw from and felt bland. I had the opportunity to return to the States and work in Churches doing Gospel arrangements; I hoped that would fuel me to write music again that excited me. The process wasn't as easy as I thought, I got to the States and found I had climb the ropes and prove myself, again – it took a fair time to be respected as it's a world away from pop. During that time I wrote music for other artists.
In the last couple of years, I started writing pop music, with a team that really excited me and I didn't want to give the music to anyone else, I wanted to use it (laughs) it was incredible. The journey took off from there, I had a new team organised with a Manager and Label to move forward.
Question: What inspired the track, Heavy Lies The Head?
Vanessa Amorosi: Heavy Lies The Head is about leaving toxic situations and letting karma take care of it. It's important to come to terms with what it is and not live in denial but also leaving it behind – some things just need to be left, walking away is sometimes the easiest thing to do.
Question: What should we expect from your upcoming tour?
Vanessa Amorosi: A party! My shows seem to be very wild and out-of-control (laughs), I don't know why! I feel that when I start playing older material, the music takes the audience back to childhood and they go crazy – the crazier they go, the crazier I go!
It's going to be nice to reconnect with audiences with my new music which explains the last few years, being away and what's happened.
Question: If you could have anyone, in the world, attend a show, who would it be?
Vanessa Amorosi: Such a good question! I have no idea… It would be nice if Mary Jane Blige came.
Question: Do you prefer performing live or recording?
Vanessa Amorosi: I need both, being in the studio and creating is something that I need to do as it is my therapy but then celebrating it on a stage is a whole different energy and I want both, I'm spoilt like that (laughs).
Question: What did you learn during your time in Los Angeles?
Vanessa Amorosi: I had really created a lot of restrictions on what I do, art wise – I stuck to a formula and did things a certain way. What I learnt from my time in LA was that I had to work out what I could do that made me unique as an artist and there are no restrictions on that. Heavy Lies The Head is much different to my previous songs as it is not so produced, it is raw as I didn't go back and rewrite lyrics to soften the song. I also use my low register in Heavy Lies The Head which I never wanted to do on any of my other records as I didn't feel it was a desirable trait for pop but with this record I am using all my register.
Question: Are you still songwriting for other artists?
Vanessa Amorosi: At the moment it seems to be me, me, me (laughs)! I wouldn't turn down a session with other artists as I really enjoy working with other creative people as I can step out of my own little zone and into their zone for a little while which is an interesting process.
Question: Is the inspiration and motivation for songwriting different when you're not writing for yourself?
Vanessa Amorosi: Yes, I feel I am very brutal when I write for myself as I don't have to worry about swearing or whether I am using too much range or if the chops are not what another artist would want to do. When writing for another artist I start bland so they can imagine themselves doing it.
Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?
Vanessa Amorosi: I would have loved to work with Prince - that would have been amazing! I was recently watching footage of Prince performing with other well-known artists (Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Steve Winwood, Dhani Harriso) for the song While My Guitar Gently Weeps originally by The Beatles. Prince's guitar solo during that performance almost made me laugh as it was such a typical Prince performance where he annihilated everyone (laughs) on stage!
Interview by Brooke Hunter