Believe or not there are people in the music industry who bond over music. Seriously, recover from your shock because that’s how I bonded with @shazzzadd over our shared love of Coldplay. We had quite a laugh going to see Coldplay the night after a company trip to see AC/DC that blew out our eardrums. I couldn’t hear properly for a week but nothing could damper our shared joy over our slightly muted Coldplay experience full of tears when Chris dedicated ‘The Hardest Part’ to Jennifer Hudson, whose family tragedy had occurred the week prior.
Now Shazza and I continue to share our cultural loves and tips and laughing while we do it. She is generous to (almost) a fault as the saying goes and is wonderfully creative.
Location : London
Vocation: working out my future
1. You recently went on a trip to India. Where did you go and what were some of the highlights?
I went to Kerala, Southern India and it was incredible. The locals call it “God’s Own Country’ and I can certainly see why they call it that – It’s a beautiful place; very green and lush. I stayed right on a beach in a resort called Varkala that I highly recommend. The weather was rather different from London, over 105 degrees most day – the best place was sitting on the beach, under an umbrella catching the cooling sea breezes ! They say “mad dogs and English men go out in the mid-day sun” and the Indians certainly thought that way….they would come and walk along the beautiful beach as the sun was setting and they played cricket and volleyball at 7 am in the morning.
The highlight of trip was being taken to see some Elephants. It was just me and a guide and I met the most incredible elephant (see photo). He’s 38 and is the superstar of the elephants world; the second biggest in Kerala who
travels the country fronting important religious festivals. He simply was magnificent, and he certainly knew it; although he was gentle and loved the attention I gave him. It was a fabulous experience as I wasn’t part of a big group – it certainly felt very special….
2. How India inspired your creative mind?
Kerala is such a vibrant place. It is full of the most incredible colours and smells – I’m an avid photographer, and I ended up taking over 2,500 photos in 3 weeks! I had my macbook with me, so could upload my photos every day. I’m passionate about taking photos of animals and people – and there were certainly a lot of both categories. I love being able to put my photos straight on facebook, so my friends could experience my holiday with me. I always travel on holiday alone, and I think my friends enjoy my photos, and knowing I’m still alive !
3. What are your current creative projects?
I was recently made redundant from my job – I had worked at the same record company for 16 years, and I now have a lot of time on my hands. As well as photography, my main hobby is card making and all kinds of crafts. My home is over-run with everything craft related….so my first current project is a complete overhaul of my stock….I have a small apartment, so I really need to be organised. I need to make the most of not working and get some projects together that I have been wanting to do for a while. I want to get some of my best photos printed and framed so I can get a stall at my local craft market. Together with my home made cards and other craft projects I hope to have some nice gifts to sell.
4. As a music industry veteran you’ve worked with some huge names including two icons- the first Michael Jackson who’s 1 year anniversary of his death is coming up in June which connects him to the other who is in the news right now, George Michael. (FYI people MJ passed on George Michael’s birthday June 25th. I was going to do my first ‘vlog’ but it didn’t seem right.) What were ‘the Michaels’ like in person?
I worked with Michael Jackson in 1996 and it was an incredible experience. I had to stay in a hotel with the travel party for a few days overseeing the visit. He was a very private man, so didn’t spend as much time as I would normally with an artist, but when I did he was extremely charming. I didn’t actually ever work with the “other” Michael – George – my boyfriend at the time did and I was very lucky to be able to travel with Wham! on their first US live tour in the early 80’s. It was my first ever trip to America; I travelled with 2 other girlfriends of the crew and did a whistle-stop tour of LA, Dallas, Boston and NY. Wham! played in small theatres; that could have been sold 3 or 4 times over by the time the band arrived in the States. I had just started working in the music business at the time, and this trip really cemented my love of music, and the working in the music business bug was formed.
5. Film stars are so glamourous and this year you attended The Golden Globes in Lalaland. How did you end up there and what were some of the highlights?
I’ve been to all sorts of music-related award shows, with the biggest music stars in the world, but nothing could match my excitement to actually attend this year’s Golden Globe Awards. I have a very well connected friend who took me. LA is one of my most favourite places in the world, so just to be there was fab anyway – although unfortunately I bought the London rain with me; I have never seen rain in LA, so imagine the disappointment of needing to use an umbrella to walk down the red carpet. I had said to my pal (who goes to the Globes often) that we would be s l o w l y walking down the red carpet – I wanted to take in the whole experience….I really wanted to walk using “pigeon steps” – do you know that saying in the US – tiny steps, but I that would make me look stupid. I couldn’t believe how narrow the red carpet was and how every single person was a face I recognised …..I had to be careful not get too excited as I knew there were hundreds of camera lenses trained to follow all on the red carpet. So I kept a poker face and squealed silently when I saw Gerard Butler and George Clooney!
It was even more exciting inside when I saw the size of the room – a regular sized hotel ballroom. Our table couldn’t have been positioned better – everyone had to pass us so I literally saw every single actor/actress in that room. As well as loving music, I just love movies and to be sitting surrounded by the great and the good of Hollywood was a dream come true.
Thank you Shazz that was splendid. I’m so happy to have someone as giving and wonderful as you as a friend. xx