Singing the blues are in my soul. It has also inspired my husband," says a very raspy voice on the phone. The person, on the other end, has made a career out of singing ‘old-skool’ blues and soul.
Texan born, Paris-based singer, Nina Van Horn, a contemporary of artistes like Janis Joplin and Bette Midler, will perform a live set at Blue Frog tomorrow and on July 24, before moving on to Bangalore.
The crooner tells us that her career choice happened purely by accident. "My husband is a blues fan and somewhere, his influence rubbed off," she says.
"We both love to travel. We would bike across the world and make music on the road. That is where my inspiration came from," reminisces Horn, who started off as a country singer, dancer and even dabbled with opera. It took a Hollywood moment, meeting actor Dan Akroyd, for her to take her music seriously.
"He ranted on about how there was no Janis anymore and I could sing like that. I was bringing back the flower culture for him, he said. That inspired me and I moved to New Orleans, where I groomed myself to be a blues singer," says Horn, who’s performed with artistes like Midler, Chucky Berry and Eric Burdon.
Horn has released six albums and her last record, Hell of a Woman, is a salute to all the women who’ve sung the blues across generations. There are acoustic renditions of Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith and Victoria Spivey. “It’s a commonality that there aren’t many women in blues anymore.
It’s always been more of a man’s thing and soul has started to perish in pop culture. This is an adulation to the women who sang some of the greatest songs in the world. The lyrics hint at everything from drugs, alcohol abuse, women’s rights to the homely Bettys of the 1920’s and 1930’s,” says Horn.