Dee Anderson: The Rising Star of Jazz and Soul Taking the Industry by Storm
In the world of jazz and soul, a special musician stands out with her captivating jazz tunes. She brings back classic music with strong feelings and pure excitement. She’s not just skilled in music, but also shines as a composer and actress, affecting the showbiz world greatly. This paper digs into her successful career, her deep connection with music, her detailed song making process, her vibrant performances, and the help from mentors that shaped her journey. Uncover this unique artist’s path and work, whose amazing abilities charm and stir her listeners.
What inspires the deep emotional connections you create with both classic jazz renditions and your own compositions, and how does your personal history enhance these performances?
Throughout my career, I’ve found that my strongest bonds with music—whether performing revered jazz standards or my original compositions—stem from intertwining personal history and heartfelt experiences with my art. “Nature Boy,” a favorite from the forties, resonates with me profoundly; it brings back the warmth of my grandparents’ home where the strains of Nat King Cole’s voice on vinyl provided an emotional, almost magical backdrop to my formative years. This sense of personal attachment extends to my songwriting process. As a published writer, composer, and poet, I naturally gravitate toward crafting lyrics that reflect my life’s passions and memories. It’s this authenticity, this commitment to infusing my work with genuine emotion, that not only defines my unique style but also forges a deeper connection with my audience, much like attaching a narrative to a song to evoke a shared emotional journey.
Jazz is a genre that often relies on improvisation. How do you balance spontaneity and structure in your live performances to keep things fresh and engaging for your audience?
Keeping it real and authentic is the most important thing. An audience know if you don’t mean it, and it is more important to feel the song even than to sing it perfectly. Look at legends like Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. They didn’t have perfect pitch, and yet their music has lasted the test of time. It is simple, feel what you are singing and attach it to a personal emotion, and the rest will follow.
Your voice has been described as having both grittiness and soulfulness. How did you develop your distinctive vocal style, and how do you continue to refine it?
I know my voice has improved over the years. I feel it is life experience that has given it more depth and quality and enabled me to connect and engage with audiences. I have a very special vocal coach, the iconic David Grant, who has taught me so much and believes in me as a singer and performer. Self-belief is so important. David has encouraged me to get out there and sing and have a vision of where I want to be in five years’ time. So, watch this space!! I am very spiritual and so believe in manifestation and visualising what we want to achieve.
Jazz has a rich history with many iconic figures. Which jazz musicians have been the most influential in shaping your career and style?
Singers like Billie Holliday, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, have all helped shaped my career, with more recent singers like Lady Gaga and Amy Winehouse – a melting pot of influences and talents.
Growing up in a world of celebrity and entertainment, what are some valuable lessons you learned from your parents, Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, that have influenced your own career in the entertainment industry?
I have some wonderful memories from my childhood. I remember my Mother encouraging my poetry and writing essays at school, and explaining the structure of a story. My father told me I had a talent for writing, which he said I had inherited from my Mum. My grandparents would play piano and encourage me to sing, and i won many singing competitions as a child. I met some icons in the Industry, Dame Shirley Bassey would come to tea and I met the Hollywood superstar Bob Mitchum in my home. It became the norm, and helped when working with legendary singers and actors later in life.
You’ve had a diverse career, both as an actress and a singer. Could you share a memorable moment from your acting career that had a significant impact on your artistic journey?
I was auditioning for Alan Parker, and he filmed me at the audition. He gave me impressive improvisation scenario where I had to cry as a result of a breakup. I drew on a memory and broke down. He loved it and I got the job. I knew how to look sad after that and it stood me in good stead for other acting roles.
“Love in a Dark Place” received widespread acclaim. How did you decide to return to your singing career after your experiences in acting, and what motivated the themes and style of this album?
My passion is and always has been music. I decided to give it my best shot and so I worked with an amazing Producer at The Premises in Hackney where all the greats have recorded. Alan Emptage is sadly no longer with us, but he loved the songs so much he spent weeks mixing the album and as a result produced some magic. The songs were a combination of my late husband Mike Khan, a real talent, and myself.
You are now a co-creator of “Wonderbirds,” a successful online chat show. How did this concept come about, and what do you enjoy most about hosting the show with your celebrity friends?
Wonderbirds was launched in lockdown with Debbie Arnold, Sherrie Hewson and Harriet Thorpe when there was no work for any actors or singers so it became established very quickly. We appeared on sky news and Lorraine and Good Morning Britain, and so built up a huge loyal following of mainly women. We are now in our fourth year, and we are still enjoying our weekly discussions on a variety of topics.
Your show, “Wonderbirds,” has attracted a large and engaged audience. Can you tell us about a particularly memorable guest or moment on the show that left a lasting impression on you?
We have had so many incredible guests, and there are so many memorable moments. I enjoyed Gok Wan as I decided to do the interview naked (it looked like that on zoom), as his show was about loving your body whatever shape or size or maturity. He loved that. Also, when Chris de Burgh serenaded us with Lady in Red. Oh, and Suzie Quattro of course, who is one of my heroes. June Field who is the number one psychic did a great reading for us on the show.