Ricki-Lee - Fear and Freedom
Ricki-Lee makes a spectacular return to the music scene with a new album and she's got plenty to say about fear and freedom
She has been a little quiet on the music front for some time but as she told me, she has just been living life and getting inspired. Never far from Australia's radar, we've seen her on our TV screens and heard her on our radio regularly. Now it's time for Ricki-Lee to get back to showing us what she's made of, no fear - it's all about freedom and being happy.
The way we should all be living. So, if you're feeling a bit run down, got the Monday blues, blast some of that Fear and Freedom and take a leaf from Ricki-Lee's book.
Ricki-Lee Coulter is a force of nature. In the past eight years she has gone from Idol favourite to Aussie icon with stops at radio DJ, spokesperson and TV presenter along the way. After two years away from music, her new album Fear and Freedom is an expression of who she is today, “Everything that you go through in life gives you perspective and something to talk about,” she says.
“That’s what the album is, it celebrates becoming the person I am today and everything it took to get here.”
So what brought her back to music? “It was a natural thing, there was a lot to write about,” says Coulter. “I took a couple of years off and it was nice to be back in the studio.”
Fear and freedom are themes that Coulter can relate to, and one song in particular speaks to her about freedom.
“I think at the moment it’s Because I Can, it’s a real middle-finger-to-the-world song,” she explains. “It’s that carefree attitude of, I’m going to do something that everyone thinks is ridiculous because I can, there is nothing holding me back. I love the freedom in that song.”
Fear and Freedom (EMI Australia) is out now.
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Why did you become a singer?
I guess sometimes these things aren’t really a decision, it’s more a thing you have to do. I decided that I really wanted to do it as a career about five years ago. I was at a point in my life where I was going to settle down or focus on my career and I made the decision I would have to do that or I would always regret it.
What spurred that decision?
I was just in a relationship and for me it was that point of do I focus on this part of life or do I focus on being a musician?
You’ve had a whirlwind year so far, what’s been the highlight? Obviously I loved working with Jack White and Claire Bowditch, going on tour. I’m enjoying learning and growing and being able to put out my first album.
What was Jack White like?
Really fun. Someone from management knew someone that worked at his record label and they passed on a few songs from my album and Jack really loved it and invited me over.
What is it like playing to a US audience?
It’s good; I think their sense of humour is a bit different. It’s just a different kind of people and they seem to really enjoy what I do and my music. I’m really just starting out there.
What is your album about?
The songs are about different things really. Different experiences I’ve had and different topics, there isn’t just one thing in particular.
What’s your fave song from the album?
I really love “To The Horses”. That’s a really special song for me; it’s almost like a spiritual song for me. It is just about me, who I am and following my dreams. Having to do what I do without having a choice about it and loving that. I also love the song “That’s What You Get” which is going to be the next single. That is a really fun song, I wrote that quite recently.
How would you describe your music?
It’s like a mix of blues and early rock and roll, kind of like early Elvis stuff. Style wise there’s a bit of rockabilly.
And your fashion style?
I’m starting to change a little bit. I’ve always had a lot of different styles coming and going. My fashion sense is “make an effort”. At the moment I think I am channelling this weird mix of cowgirl and Indian and fifties glamour.
There are a lot of pictures around with you wearing a harmonica around your neck. What is the significance there?
I have some harmonicas and I made the necklace. It’s quite a novelty. I really like it because it’s so chunky and different and no one else has one.
If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing?
I would probably be living on a ranch and hanging out with horses. I would be some kind of artistic soul, but I can’t imagine doing anything else really.
When you are travelling the world, what is the one thing you always take with you?
I like to take my pillow. I have this really great pillow that is made out of this special fibre, but I left it in New York the other day so I am really pissed off about that.
What will you dress up as for Halloween?
I was thinking about this the other day and it would be fun to be the front of a horse. Not the back though, you don’t want to be the arse end of a horse.
If you pressed shuffle on your iPod right now, what song would come up?
A song by a girl called Miss Little, who is coming on tour with me. She has a song called “A Place Without Time”. It’s such a beautiful song and her voice is amazing, every time I hear it I get a bit teary.
If you could switch places with anyone in the world for a day, who would it be?
It would be fun to be Dolly Parton.
I just think she is amazing.