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Sound track your life
Teenage kicks

Interview by Mark Anstead

The singer Hayley Westenra enjoys Alicia Keys and Dreamcatcher

Oh so quiet

If I want to relax I’ll listen to Karl Jenkins’s Benedictus — it has a quiet intensity to it and I let it conjure up pictures in my mind. I can imagine it being used in a film — after a war, perhaps, when everything is deserted and quiet. He has managed to squeeze all kinds of different emotions into the piece, even though it stays generally restful. One for an evening curled up on the sofa.

Owner of a lonely heart

One song that I can’t get out of my head at the moment is Alicia Keys’s If I Ain’t Got You. It’s about how nothing matches up to true love. I was playing it all the time when I was driving around LA feeling lonely. It’s tough enough being an outsider in LA, and the feeling is doubled when you realise that the whole place is so spread out — all the shopping places feel deserted.

A fine romanza

The first album I bought as a teenager was Andrea Bocelli’s Romanza. I don’t know what made me pick it up, but I was drawn to it. He has a strong voice, but it always sounds a little fragile and I like that. Last year I performed with him on his New Zealand and Australian tour. We sang Time to Say Goodbye, which he originally recorded with Sarah Brightman, and I’m performing a duet with him on my next album.

What Kate did

For my English GCSE exam a couple of years ago I studied Wuthering Heights and it made me fall in love with Kate Bush’s song of the same name, which is on my first album. My record company advised me against recording it because it’s a song so closely associated with her. But I got a huge popular response from it, even though a lot of people my age hadn’t heard it before.

The write stuff

I haven’t written any of my own songs yet, but when I do I’d love to be able to write like Heather Nova. It always takes a few times before I can grasp what she’s writing about. I saw her in concert last year, and when I met her afterwards I told her she’s been an inspiration to me even though it always seemed embarrassing to say that kind of thing.

Happy doze

In New Zealand, when I was doing my homework, I always used to put music on in the background, and Dreamcatcher, a Norwegian duo, are great for that. Their sound is slightly Celtic and folksy. I sometimes use it to get to sleep as well, so you can draw your own conclusions about me and homework! When I play it while I’m traveling it always reminds me of home.

Hayley Westenra’s album, Odyssey, is out now.


source : The Times Online
credits : news item advised by sebastian melmoth
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