Article by Dave Wright
Cara Dillon is one of those artists who seem like they were always meant to be singers. At the age of 14, she won the All Ireland singing trophy and she started her first band, Óige, shortly afterwards. In 1995, she left to join an Irish folk supergroup, Equation, and signed at Warners. Unfortunately, it proved difficult to work within the confines of the major label while staying true to their musical vision so in 2000 she and her future husband, Sam Lakeman, left to pursue their sound on their own. After recording their first album themselves, they soon found success with Rough Trade Records. Subsequent works further solidified their place in the folk world and soon they were touring all over the globe.
Cara’s most recent album, A Thousand Hearts, received somewhat mixed reviews but what everyone seems to agree on is her power and eloquence onstage. In addition to her stunningly beautiful voice, which has been described as among the best you’ll ever hear, she also has an incredible knack for connecting with her audience beyond the music. Her persona strikes one as more like a neighbor than a performer who has toured the world, piling up accolades. She was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions for us before her show in October.
1. What are you working on now?
I have been recording my very first Christmas album. It will be available sometime in November and I will be touring the UK to perform the songs from that album. I absolutely love Christmas and have wanted to make a record with all my favourite songs for years.
2. What artist do you like that people would be surprised to learn about?
I’m a huge Kate Bush fan as most of my followers will already know, but I like so many other artists like Coldplay, Taylor Swift, Adele, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Johnny Cash, The Script, Tom Petty, Crowded House…the list goes on and on.
3. What do you do to recharge when you’re burned out on music?
I bake…I bake like a crazy woman… cakes, scones, cupcakes. I also play with my kids to help chill out.
4. What do you think you’d have done if you hadn’t become a singer?
God only knows! I’d like to think it would be an interesting and fulfilling career…hopefully one that helps other people as well. Definitely NOT working for a bank!
5. If you could go back, what about your career would you like to do differently?
I wish I’d come to China earlier in my career. It’s been such a joy to visit and perform my music to my fans there. It’s still a thrill overtime I make the journey.
6. Which of your songs means the most to you and why?
“October Winds” I wrote this after my father passed away in October 2003 and it was an important part of my healing process.
7. How is touring China different from other places and what inspired you to come back?
The biggest issue is the scale of the country…it’s massive and the distances take their toll when travelling! The language can also be a problem…I’d be totally lost without an interpreter. However, I think the fans are probably the most dedicated I’ve met anywhere in the world. I love being able to bring them into my world through my music.