AAJ: You co-wrote "All That I Can See" with James Brian McCollum. Is there a songwriter in you as well?
NH: I don't write every day, I really need to get back to that practice again. They say that a writer is supposed to write every day, even if it is something meaningless. I need to be able to hear myself think to write, and for that I almost have to get away for a few days. I need to reconnect with myself with some quiet time, so that I can write.
AAJ: As an American artist, tell me about your feelings on Michael Jackson.
NH: I was having a meeting with one of my consultants, we were talking about the next album and some music, and somebody called, "Did you hear, Michael Jackson died." I was, like, "What? No, no, somebody bring him back, this doesn't make sense!." [sigh] It's hard to even think about it. I know it's true, that he is gone, but it doesn't make any sense. It does feel like he is going to come back, and it is the first time I have this kind of relationship with death. You are left with the feeling that he is going to come back, with a video, or something, because it just doesn't make any sense, that somebody like him would die like that, and it is a shame the way they have been going on and on about it. And the level of deterioration he had got into, and what people could have done for him, and why they didn't do something for him. Why there wasn't any intervention. It just doesn't seem right.
NH: It is fascinating to me how important music is to people in Europe; that is what amazes me the most. I think we take music for granted in the United States. I feel like I am adding to peoples' lives when I perform in Europe. They listen differently, they know the music, they get it a little differently. They really get jazz. They have a different perspective. They have studied it. I am also amazed by the history of the whole continent, how old buildings are; so beautiful. There is a certain appreciation for education there. Europe is something elseI can't wait to go to Africa, too. The history of Africa is breathtaking.
Nicole Henry, The Very Thought of You (Banister Records 2008)
Nicole Henry, The Nearness of You (Banister Records 2004)
Nicole Henry, Teach Me Tonight (Banister Records 2002)