Late Night FDL: Earth Song
Chaka Khan has plans for New Year’s Eve…
The American soul diva Chaka Khan, who will take the stage at Masterjam on New Year’s Eve in Dubai, talks about her new album and how the singer Joni Mitchell is her role model.
You are playing a New Year’s Eve show in Dubai. Did it take a lot of convincing for you to work on this big day?
I was there around ’93 and I remember performing at a beautiful beach. I am always happy when I come to Dubai. Whether I am performing or not. To be here for New Year’s is great, so I am looking forward to partying and having a good time with all of you.
One of the hallmarks of your career is your work ethic. Even though you haven’t released an album in nearly five years, you have been constantly touring. What do you put this down to?
I sing to people, that is my calling in life. I basically do everything that I can do to get to a place where I can sing to people because this is what I do. The travel is always a drag. That never gets better. The flying, the drive to the hotel and how you just stay there till you get on stage. But that is a worthy sacrifice.
Going back to your peak period in the 1980s, was the scene as hedonistic as other artists claim it was?
It was a time for excess generally – well for me anyway. I look at myself as a survivor. I never asked for anything and I just went to work. If I never went through what I had to get through, I wouldn’t be the amazing person that I am today.
With all the gigs you do, does it get tiring to keep up your performances each night?
I started to incorporate songs I like to sing in my shows. One of them is Earth Song from my time with Rufus. I also sing the Joni Mitchell song Man From Mars. At the same time, I still love singing Ain’t Nobody after all this time. The song I Feel For You I can get tired of.
Any chance of a new album soon?
I was working on a new album called I-Khan. However, I put that on the back-burner to focus on a new project. The new album will have me singing songs from women that inspired me. Mitchell is one of them. She is a philosopher and a great artist. She is one of the smartest people I know and a great person. I want to grow up and be just like her.
What’s on your mind tonite…?