14 December 2020
Despite the freedom-curtailing corona pandemic, supreme Manchester-born soul voice ROWETTA had a very busy year. The wonderful lady – best known as long-term member of legendary 24-hour party people gang Happy Mondays – did what she does for years now, working with a variety of great artists. Actually not that easy in these strange times, taking into account the security regulations imposed by the virus crisis.
Rowetta‘s most recent project is one, again, for charity. She teamed up with celebrated Liverpool DJ Yousef for a vintage house jam, titled When We Were Free. A reminder of the difficult period we all facing right now, but also an ode to the good times we’ve had, and to the feelings of appreciation for when life returns to what it was before. Again Rowetta, also an active feminist, shows her always positively and sincerely beating heart
is in the right place. Respect!
So, before starting the chat about the past twelve months let’s play that disco stomper with all proceeds of the song going to Ronald McDonald House Charities in Liverpool.
Stream and buy here…
Hello Rowetta, so cool
to have you back…
Despite the surreal situation we live in, you were involved in several
musical projects this year. Tell us more about them, Rowetta
“I’ve collaborated with some amazing producers/ dis and musicians including – Oliver Heldens, Yousef, Solardo, Enzo Siragusa, Todd Terry, Alexander Technique, Jay Potter, The Amorphous Androgynous ft Paul Weller, K&K, Jodie Harsh, The White Island Orchestra, DJ
Dove, Nhan Solo, Jacob Colon, Brown Sneakers, A Man Without A Clue and many more.
This has been the best thing about the situation as an artist writing and recording.
Usually, everyone would be busy touring all year, myself included. This year everyone is grounded so it’s been a great opportunity to be more creative in the studio and to reach out to the people you want to work with. Luckily many have reached out to me in the last few months and I’m really proud of all the new tracks and can’t wait for them all to be released.”
How does it feel to see that Kamala Harris is the
first female and black vice-president in the USA?
“It’s incredible. I am ambassador of the Pankhurst Trust, home of the Suffragetta movement. The Pankhursts fought 100 years ago, giving some women the right to
vote for the first time. Black women could only vote 55 years ago, so this is beautiful
and a great message for young girls of all colours.”
The Pankhursts – historic heroines
A lot of artists used/use social media frequently as a sort of safe stage
to share and perform music. Did you do something similar too, Rowetta?
“I took part in a couple streams for charities, but it was hard for me as one of my
dogs was very ill during lockdown, and he passed away in June, so I couldn’t take
part in many as he was with me 24/7 until the end. I am doing a couple in the next
few weeks. One is for the charity ‘Mind’ which helps with mental health, which is
even more important now than ever.”
What video clip impressed your eyes most in the past 12 months?
“I loved the ‘Rave Machine’ video that Toolroom made for the track I did with
Oliver Heldens. Loved the graphics and colours and the tune of course.”
Your hero-ine of the year?
“Marcus Rashford is without doubt the biggest hero. He’s from Manchester and plays
for my team, Manchester United, but what he has done for children in the UK has been outstanding. He took on the government, stood up for all the children, making sure that none would go without food during this pandemic. Now children that need help, won’t go hungry this winter, because he never gave up. He’s a real superstar on and off the pitch and the greatest role model.”
What made you laugh crazily and made you cry your eyes out in 2020, Rowetta?
“I always have the best laughs with my best mate Bez, from our band, Happy Mondays.
We laugh all the time. I haven’t been able to see him as much, but we talk on the phone
a lot, and he’s just discovered FaceTime.
Losing my dog, Floyd has been the saddest thing to happen to me this year after 14 beautiful years together, but there has been so much sadness and loss this year.”
Which song would you pick to play out loud on 31 December,
when the clock strikes midnight?
“‘When We Were Free’ Yousef & myself.
We’re donating the income from all sales and streams to families in need.
What present(s) will you buy for your two cute dogs?
“They get presents all the time, but definitely new coats and loads of toys
as one is a puppy who loves to play.”
Three things you really want to see happen in 2021?
“Live gigs and festivals back. Ibiza back and me on a stage there and I hope Happy
Mondays play Glastonbury. Last year was to be the 50th Anniversary and I was due to
play with the band, which would have been my 4th time perfuming there, so praying
it’s back on and that I’d love to perform there with some of my other collaborators
like Solardo and Yousef.
Playing the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury in 2000 with David Bowie watching
from the side is one of the best feelings I’ve ever had on a stage. So special.”
Thank you so much for this Q & A, Rowetta.
Have a fabulous Xmas and a back-to-life-music 2021…
As usual, Turn Up The Volume starts and ends an interview with music.
I played this incredibly terrific cover of Joy Division‘s monumental song Atmosphere
by former bassist Peter Hook and his band The Light with the 24-carat gold voice of Rowetta in the middle, countless times and will play it countless times in the future.