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  ALANNAH MYLES -Interview



Alannah Myles
Black Velvet
Release Year: 1989
Release Year: 1992
Release Year: 1995
Release Year: 1997
Release Year: 2009


Band's Website:

What better way to start 2020 than to remember the last talk we had with the legendary Alannah Myles!


GEORGE: Welcome to the most melodic place Alannah, make yourself comfortable!!
Let’s take first things first and talk about the urge that you have for music since
you were a child. What was the element that made music a part of you?

ALANNAH: Thank you for this fine opportunity to reach my fans.
The inspiration for me to create music as a child seemed more than a simple urge.
It was my calling. Whatever may have stood in my way, I was determined not to be put
off the path of my true destiny. Equal to those who enjoy listening to it, music is
my therapy. I have always treated it as a gift with the respect it deserves.
Acting in TV commercials and all types of modelling were applied to both my image and
videos which were an imperative promotional tool back in the early 1990s. What I am
grateful for is that sight unseen, it was the sound of my voice that made radio
stations play it as much as they did and for those who had to hear it over & over
again didn”t get sick of it.
Ahem....Radio never sees what you look like

GEORGE: Being the daughter of the Canadian broadcast pioneer
William Douglas Byles did it helped you at your first steps of your career?

ALANNAH: It may well have helped to mould my character growing up with an impresario
who groomed me in front of wealthy cronies, radio station owners or TV talk sow hosts,
some famously accomplished. But the advantages he could offer would come way too early
in my life to prove fruitful.

GEORGE: How did you met Christopher Ward and what did he discovered
in you that made him help you at your first steps in your music career?

ALANNAH: Christopher believed in me enough to invest his hard earned money on my singing
our songs as well as groomed me for the rigours of public speaking and managed my career
in Canada for the first 6 months of my 1989 WMG album release. We met when I was in my
early twenties at a party in Toronto’s beaches and a year later, watching him sing with
his band at The Elmocambo in Toronto. We lived together for around 8 years until a year
prior to the release of my first CD. It was my belief in his songwriting and David Tyson”s
producing that fuelled our success. We all worked together like a well oiled machine.

GEORGE: With your first self titled album you hit the charts (Canada #1, Switzerland #1,
US#5) and won a Grammy award for best female rock performance. “Black Velvet” became instantly
an anthem that follows all rockers until this day. How this success did become?
I bet it wasn’t easy at all…Give me some clues about it.

ALANNAH: I pushed myself to near exhaustion for the first 2 years of my recording career to
accomplish all of my goals in around 18 months of breakneck global touring & promo.
I took full responsibility for every graphic idea, wardrobe item, video concept, even hair &
makeup. It is not something I’m able share in one paragraph. Catapulted from obscurity to
global recognition for my recordings happened in only a matter of 5 years beginning with
our first 3 recorded masters that won the approval of Atlantic Records head of A&R, Tunc Erim
who played it for Ahmet Ertegun who signed me direct to the label in less than a month,
sight unseen. Tuncplaed full trust in us leaving us on our own up in Toronto to complete
the songwriting for my first record. But there were ten long years of recording demos,
working to find the right music for my voice, receiving constant rejection letters from
Canadian labels

GEORGE: “Alannah Myles” was an album that sold over one million units in Canada and
was placed among artists like “Guns & Roses”, “Bruce Springsteen”. “Bryan Adams” and
more distinguished artists, plus it gave you a Diamond award for sales.
How did you manage such a huge success?

ALANNAH: To date my first record has probably sold close to 2 million records in Canada
and several million internationally. I managed my success while constantly working,
touring to support my recorded music and promoting it in almost every territory rather
than staying home in Canada. I never thought of music that I made as Canadian.
It was blues based, with American roots, inFluenced by British artists, orchestral music
and anything FM radio would play. I do not consider myself a Canadian recording artist,
just happens to be where I was born. Female rock musicians are not a celebrated commodity
in Canada. I think the reputation that goes with “rock” is intimidating. People who meet
or speak with me are surprised to find I”m approachable and down to earth.

GEORGE: After five albums and lots of rewards and a huge accept from the world what
made you to hold back from the music industry for four years now and what are you doing
all this time that passed since your last album?

ALANNAH: I spent 8 years song writing and recording after my fifth “A Rival” record released
in 1997 and my Very best Of CD in 2000 before releasing my sixth studio record “Black Velvet”
in 2009 on Canadian indie label, Linus/True North Records. I titled it Black Velvet because
so much time had lapsed that I thought people who remembered the title of my evergreen song
would have forgotten my name. As history, the power of the internet or Sim on Cowell
would have it, I could not have been more wrong. It seems everyone who sings the song titles
it “Alannah Myles” Black Velvet for which I feel there is no greater reward.

GEORGE: At the year 2008 you visited Greece and you had a concert with a symphonic
orchestra and I know that night was astonishing for all the Greek fans that came to
listen to you. Any plans for coming back for a night like that?

ALANNAH: I would be happy to perform my songs with an orchestra as I had done in Greece.
It was one of the highlights of my career and I would be thrilled to do it again.
I”d like one day to record a greatest hits album of my most popular songs with a band
and an orchestra.

GEORGE: What kind of music do you think that represents you and why?

ALANNAH: Many kinds. I am unable to choose one type of music which is reflected on each of
my albums. Perhaps why it was so confusing for record companies to market my music without
doing so to my listeners. Most artists don”t sing as many styles of music as I do on the
same record.

GEORGE: With every new release comes a new challenge, tell me
what differs from album to album and what changes between.

ALANNAH: You can hear the challenge in my rerecord of Black Velvet on my current CD of
the same title. My current record is a collection of new, songs with a contemporary
sound similar to my first & second CDs. It will take many years for my investment to
pay off but I do not regret a thing. Songwriter, producer, A& R, executive producer,
financier & singer. It was an enormous challenge.

GEORGE: Tell me about the best moments of your career so far.

ALANNAH: They are obvious. What I live for now is yet to come.

GEORGE: If you could turn back time would you change
something in your career?

ALANNAH: I would have said yes alot more. I regret not enjoying the process of rising
to such a powerful position. If I had to do it all again I would hope I could do it
without the stress of things not being “good enough” I placed on my shoulders. Only now
I listen back and think the body of my work as an artist is substantial and worthy of
the respect it has received and deserves.

GEORGE: What does the word success brings to you?

ALANNAH: It used to mean somebody who can pay the bills.
Now it means peace of mind, body & heart.
Emotional & financial security. All of the above.

GEORGE: Music makes people feel and awakes the emotions,
how can you transfuse your music into them?

ALANNAH: A bird Flies because it uses what God gave it
without thinking too much about it.

GEORGE: Give me a pledge for the years to come,
what your fans should wait from you?

ALANNAH: Survival. During the time I was recording my current CD I wrote
dozens of songs for my next CD which I”ll record when the time is right.

GEORGE: Have you got something to say for BeRock's Minizine readers?

ALANNAH: What I live for now is yet to come.

GEORGE: Thank you for the conversation Alannah, keep on rockin’!!

ALANNAH: You’re most welcome.

George "Snaki" Karatzas
For BeRock Radio's MiniZine (2020)
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