Like something you would hear from pirate radio – That is how I would describe her. For a sixties chick lost in a noughties world, nothing makes my heart beat a little faster than that.
Where do I start to explain Duffy and how amazing she is. Lets me remind you and you can go down musical memory lane with me.
Let go back eight years and Mercy hit the airways with cheekiness and a whole lot of backbone. You may remember it, the runaway hit that musicians dream of. Used everywhere and loved by all. Her single Warwick Avenue quickly followed but let me tell you there is a whole lot more to this Goddess then one hit album
Lets go back even farther.
Aimee Ann Duffy is from a small town in Wales. English her second language and music is her life. She always knew she wanted to be a singer. At seven she was kicked out of the school choir they stated she was – too rough around the edge – in actual fact, her voice was too big. With nowhere else to practice her singing , Aimee was content to practice her vocals in the school lavatories.
She would carry around a notebook with her to scribble down lyrics. At twelve her favorite singers were the likes of Etta James and Ella Fitzgerald. The Beatles, The Stones, The Walker Brothers, Sandie Shaw and Millie Small soon followed. Notable mention to My Boy Lollipop – she played it so much that she destroyed the tape
Her hunger to be a singer never dwindled. Fate may have stepped in when her father started to manage a social club in Nefyn. She kept honing skills and took the stage. She did the music thing the old-fashioned way. Hours spent hours recording tapes and posting them to record labels. She formed bands and kept chipping away at it.
She went to university but sang the hits of the sixties and seventies in a jazz and blues club. In the end a tutor told her to forget school, go out there and chase her dreams and she did. She met two former musicians who introduced her to some more people and that was where her album Rockferry started.
She and countless others worked on it for four years. Proving that overnight successes do actually take years of persistence and blind faith
The music world, if not the world in general was clearly ready for a new sound, or rather a rebirth of an old sound.
Keep in mind Amy Winehouse’s Black To Black was release two years previously and Adele’s debut album 19 was released in the same year as Rockferry.
Brit awards and a Grammy soon followed Duffy and people eagerly awaited her follow up album Endlessly, which entered the eyes and ears of the public in 2010, to mixed reviews.
Maybe people weren’t ready for her sudden shift from sultry to sugary. I wonder if the people that were disappointed went back to that album. If they would feel the same way
Artists need to evolve with their music and that is what Duffy did. It wasn’t such a shift as it may have felt at the time and is worth a re-listen. After all. Endlessly would have still been featured on Pirate Radio ( in my opinion)
Duffy started to wonder about her place in music and success had made her feel slightly uncomfortable. She started to reconsider, thinking
What am I doing my job for? I’m not doing it to be adored or admired, to make money or be successful – I’m doing it to do something of excellence. So I did think, ‘Maybe I won’t do this at all
She disappeared from the public eye and was happy to do so.
For me the next time I saw her – it took me by surprise. I actually heard her before I saw her and was overjoyed.
She appeared in the movie Legend about the infamous Kray twins As the singer Timi Yuro
She was featured on the amazing soundtrack. Three songs in total. Two attributed to Timi Yuro. and one to Duffy called A Whole Lot Of Love which is beyond stellar
Thankfully she has been working hard in the studio on a new album. In March working in Abbey Road Studios and before Christmas signing off Instagram because she was going into recording mode.
What is sad for the Instagram world and only good news for the music world.
Whether she’ll stay with the sixties and seventies sound or branch out into something new and different, As an audience we have to give her room to grow.
Duffy’s journey through the musical world has been one of twists and turns which you can google but this is all about the music. Being Music Monday and all
One thing is clear Duffy has more talent in her little finger then some artists have in their whole body
I for one cannot wait to see what she does next