Belfast Telegraph

Singer-songwriter Katie Melua reveals previous 'frustration' playing hit songs

Katie Melua has said she grew tired of performing the "hit" songs from earlier in her career and that some of her lyrics were irrelevant to her younger self.

Melua burst onto the music scene in 2003 with her debut album , which spawned popular singles Closest Thing To Crazy and title track Call Off The Search, while her follow-up record Piece By Piece was known for top five hit Nine Million Bicycles.

The Georgian-British singer-songwriter, 32, said her early songs made more sense to her now.

She told the Press Association: " I went through a period where I would find it frustrating to play the hits, but I have to say now, like when I was playing Closest Thing To Crazy on my latest tour, it actually felt incredible, because I feel like I'm growing into that song.

"I think an 18, 19-year-old singing that song, where the line is, 'Feeling 22, acting 17', it doesn't actually match.

"Whereas now I'm over 30, and even when I'm older, I feel like that song's going to become more potent and powerful.

"If anything I become more and more fond of it as the years have gone on. It's becoming more and more real."

Melua praised Georgian polyphonic choir, the Gori Women's Choir - with whom she collaborated on her latest record, In Winter - with helping to refresh her attitude towards music, particularly her own body of work.

She said: "I really appreciate everything, these experiences that I've had and I do think it's partly because of this latest project and working with this choir, and the attitude in Georgia which is so excited and fresh about the potential and what people can be capable of doing."

Melua spoke of the new nationwide attitude towards the arts, culture and music in Georgia after years of its people feeling "hopeless" following conflict in the 1990s after she received the Order of Honour in her home country.

During the final night of her 28-date European tour on Tuesday, she performed with the choir in the capital Tbilisi.

The head of the administration of the president of Georgia, Giorgi Abashishvili, on behalf of President Giorgi Margvelashvili, awarded her the prestigious accolade for her "fruitful activities and personal contribution in promoting Georgian culture abroad".

Although a well-known name globally and as such an important talent to emerge from Georgia, Melua insisted she did not see herself as a celebrity and that she could not abide musicians being put up on a pedestal.

She said: " I don't really believe in the myth of me being that well-known and that famous.

"All it is is, there are things I've done, music I've made that has resonated with people and I feel like the only reason I am where I am, is because of the songs, because of the work."

She has "become completely tired of the whole iconic-obsessed culture" in which the star is "celebrated and elevated to this supernatural level".

Melua said: "Famous people and brilliant musicians aren't any more than any other human being, they just happen to do work and they happen to work - and magical work, I think music and songs do have those incredible transformative abilities to the listener - and so it creates the illusion of some kind of superior status.

"But I'm really against it personally, I just don't think it's healthy.

"I don't even think about it too much, in terms of being a name or being a VIP or any of that stuff.

"I think it isolates you from the rest of your culture and society."

She said: "I went down a bit of a rabbit hole in the past with actually believing some of that hype and I got pretty sick, so I don't buy into it nowadays."

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