Singer in the ascendant

“Every now and then, an artist comes along whose voice transforms almost any kind of song.” My feature on Rhiannon Giddens in today’s Sunday Times [£]:

For all the intensity of her studio performances, she remains as unassuming in person as she was the first time I interviewed her, five years ago. Above all, she still seems dazed by the speed at which events have unfolded. “Talk about life-changing,” the 37-year-old says. “Everything’s changed.”

Now, all of a sudden, she is being asked to do fashion shoots. “At heart, I’m a folkie who doesn’t wear make-up and likes to go barefoot,” she says. “But you do what you have to do to reach as many people as possible. If that means posing for the cover shot of a magazine, if I’ve got to start thinking about clothes, that’s a small price to pay for being part of something that reaches more people and lets them know about this music. I’m just the messenger. I’m out there in a conscious way.”

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Chief theatre critic for The Times. Twitter: CliveDavisUK Facebook: Instagram: clivephotos
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