Ahead of the Music Connex Live Showcase at Band on the Wall on Saturday 27th June, we spoke to Soul vocalist Carmen Hendricks, discussing her introduction to music, the appeal of live performance and her opinion on the enduring qualities of soul music.
Tell us about your introduction to music, and what genres or artists were the first to really catch your attention.
‘My introduction to music was made by my parents who are serious music lovers. Being brought up in the height of apartheid in South Africa music was something they could not take away from us and because we were not allowed to leave our allocated group areas of living we had music sessions all the time. It’s how our people gathered and kept smiling. Sergio Mendez & Brazil ’66, Al Jarreau, Sade, Randy Crawford, Roberta Flack… these were artist that made me melt when ever their music would play. I couldn’t even describe the joy I felt internally.’
What drew you to live performance, and when you began performing, who informed your approach?
‘I just felt drawn, like I was home and comfortable performing live. My approach was just me being me, it felt effortless…like breathing.’
What in your opinion is the enduring quality of soul music, and why is it still important to people in the 21st century?
‘In my very humble opinion, the enduring quality of soul music is that; that is exactely where it derives from. Keeping it pure and authentic to whoever is delivering it’s magic. It’s important to people in the 21st century because we all have a soul and need it to be fed. We are soul beings having a physical experience and soul music reminds us of that. Listen, follow your heart, stand in your truth… Soul Music!’