The Kaje - Issue 3 (July 2010)
The Kaje is all about the arts - from the upcoming and underground through to the commercial mainstream. Issue 3 takes a look at: Ballet Boyz, Xander Bliss, The Good Natured, Craig Houston, Lail Arad, Giorgio Faletti, Ingrid Michaelson, Monica Mancini, Max Hardberger, Graffiti 6, Dawn Foster, Yetunde. Our 'Forgotten Gems' this month are: Delta Goodrem's 'Innocent Eyes', Ernest Hemingway's 'A Moveable Feast' and 'The Piano'.
11 www.thekaje.com The ﬁrst time I heard Israeli parented, London born and raised singer/songwriter Lail Arad was performing a cover version of Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack” with her cousin Gaila on YouTube. Like many aspiring talents, Lail had noticed that- the internet was her gateway to public knowledge. Far from being nonchalant about her dream ca- reer, Lail was truly proactive and gained atten- tion “A lot of those videos are two years old, but now there is more attention to what I am doing that they are having a second life which feels a bit funny for me. Each one has its own story. At the time I was just gigging and I didn’t have a label. I wasn’t even recording so I just used the tools I had around me. It was just another form of expression. The Adam Green video has a very speciﬁc story which is explained within the song and the Justin Timberlake one was just for fun.” “I think you can focus on what you want to do and build your own career. If it is good then hopefully people will be inter- ested in it.” “The music industry has changed a lot and is still changing. Let’s see what happens as it is not in the best state. But it didn’t bother me. I think it is nice that you can make your own videos. I think you can focus on what you want to do and build your own career. If it is good then hopefully people will be interested in it. I did make demos and put them on MySpace but never spent days putting them in envelopes to send to people. I got my record deal in a random way. Someone introduced me to this woman in Paris and she invited me to do a show. She liked it and it all just rolled from there.” Whilst Lail had dreamt of a career as a singer/songwriter, it could never be said that she falls into the category of a wan- nabe. Lail is chasing a dream career rather than a moment in the spotlight, something which is emphatically clear as we sit chatting in a sun- drenched Regent’s Park. The previous night Lail had celebrated the launch of her debut album “Someone New” with a sold out intimate gig at Camden’s Green Note but as she turns up for her photoshoot and interview, she is relaxed and unaccompanied. “Nothing has felt completely like this is the mo- ment that has changed my life. It has been so gradual. It has just seemed like this is the next natural step. Even with the album online launch party, this seemed like the next logical step and then the physical release is next. The gigs will keep getting bigger and so on, but it is all grad- ual. I am so lucky in ways I didn’t get picked up randomly when I was 18. I have been able to do things my way. Everything that took more time was better for it, through the learning experienc- es I have had as a result. A lot of artists I like started older, say Camille or Rufus Wainwright, you can just feel the maturity in their work. They are artists and they have built what they are do- ing. They won’t be going away in a rush.” “I never thought about wheth- er a song could be played on radio. The aim is to write the best songs possible.” In a similar vein to her musical inspirations, Lail has not viewed “Someone New” as an opportu- nity to become an instant celebrity. In fact, Lail has not even considered whether her mate- rial would be considered radio friendly or not. “I wasn’t even writing an album, I was just writing songs. I wrote lots and lots of songs, killed them off and wrote new ones. There was always a batch in circulation. Then when I signed with the label and we got a producer, I looked at what I had and chose which ones were best for the al- bum. I never thought about whether a song could be played on radio. The aim is to write the best songs possible.” “If someone described the album as pop, then I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with that. There are some elements on the album that are quite pop. The production is colourful and fun.” When it comes to deﬁning her own sound Lail states quite clearly that she does not “really like brack- eting anything together” though she concedes that a lot of my inﬂuence is folk, but a different folk to Laura Marling and Noah & the Whale. I am sure there is some crossover but a lot that comes out of them is quite traditional, whereas I used to listen to more folk-rock, like Dylan and Leon Russell. It is little bit more rock ‘n roll. The lyrics are a little less pure. I am deﬁnitely not a purist.” “Someone Newl” is out now. www.myspace.com/lailarad Words and Image: Jeremy Williams