The transforming and transporting power of music: sometimes it has the ability to take you to another plane; an inner, spiritual space in which you can lose yourself for a little while, nourish the soul and let the outside world fall away.
An artist with just such a transporting power is singer and pianist Kandace Springs, whose debut album, Soul Eyes, is due for release via Blue Note Records in July.
The 27-year-old, Nashville-based singer-songwriter counts such stylists as Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Roberta Flack and Norah Jones as her heroes, transforming those aforementioned influences into a personalized sound that reveals itself effortlessly. “The artists who have inspired me the most all sang so naturally,” Springs says. “That helped me find my own sound.”
Currently on tour in the UK with Gregory Porter, Springs’ success hasn’t come overnight. Her 2014 self-titled debut EP had a decidedly contemporary R&B/hip-hop bent, but the artist couldn’t shake the feeling that she wasn’t yet singing her true self.
Conversations with her longtime producers Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers led to soul searching and rethinking her musical direction. Eventually Springs returned to a more spacious, organic sound that channels her earlier jazz influences as well as her Nashville upbringing.
Springs attracted the attention of Prince, who heard her makeover of Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” and invited her to perform with him at Paisley Park for the 30th anniversary of Purple Rain. “He encouraged me a lot before I recorded this new record, especially during the time in which I was trying to figure out my sound,” Springs says. “He told me that I needed to do what comes naturally to me. He was absolutely right.”
Springs adds: “I would like to be known as one of the younger people that are keeping jazz and soul alive and vibrant. I love the realness of jazz and soul.”
Listen to Kandace Springs’ track “Soul Eyes” via the Spotify link below.
Kandace Springs is currently on tour in the UK with Gregory Porter. You can catch her on the following dates:
06th Apr: Colston Hall, Bristol
08th Apr: Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
09th Apr: Sheffield City Hall, Sheffield
10th Apr: Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
11th Apr: His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen
12th Apr: Perth Concert Hall, Perth
14th Apr: Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow
15th Apr: Sage, Gateshead
16th Apr: De Montfort Hall, Leicester
17th Apr: Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool
19th Apr: Brighton Dome, Brighton
20th Apr: St.David’s Hall, Cardiff
21st Apr: Lighthouse, Poole
22nd Apr: Pavilions, Plymouth
24th Apr: Symphony Hall, Birmingham
28th Apr: Eventim Apollo, London
02nd Jul: Love Supreme Festival, Lewes