Anne Steele is Made Out Of Stars
What makes cabaret such an appealing style of music?
Going to a cabaret is a very unique experience. It’s intimate and connected. It’s not like seeing a theatre piece, because the singer is being herself. I find that my audiences feel very close to me by the end of a show and really go on the journey with me.
On this tour, because I’m doing original music from my new album, I’m especially connected to the music because I wrote it. That makes it next-level for me.
Who are some of your musical heroes and inspirations?
As a singer, I’ve always been connected to Barbra Streisand and Whitney Houston. They were certainly the biggest influence on me as a young singer when I was learning about phrasing , breath control and intention with a lyric.
Now, I look to a lot of women that are singer/songwriters, or at least co-writers. I’m obsessed with Sara Bareilles, and have been from the first
second I heard her sing. She is truly one of my favourite songwriters. I also feel highly inspired by Pink, Kelly Clarkson and Adele. I don’t limit
myself to women though. I love Bruno Mars, Jason Mraz, and – the greatest of all-time – Stevie Wonder.
In this show, which are some of the tracks that you feel will deliver the biggest connection with your audience?
Of course, I’m hoping that my originals will connect because that is the goal as a songwriter – to write something universal that everyone can find in their own life. So, I’m hoping I Miss those Days will connect. It’s a song about losing a connection with old friends when life moves on and then looking back with fondness. I wrote it after I lost a dear friend that I’d lost contact with after several years. I’m sure everyone can relate to the concept of letting life get in the way of keeping close the people you’ve loved.
I also have a song called Love Somebody that is about when the voices of doubt and insecurity can get too loud in your head. Sometimes you need to go out and dance and connect and love somebody, even if it’s just for the night. I feel like we can all relate to that, right?
Having worked your way through the live music scene in New York City, how has that shaped your style of performance?
I started my NYC music career in piano bars. I worked there for 15 years. I left here and there for shows while developing my cabaret career at the same time, but I can tell you that nothing made me grow more as a musician, entertainer and singer than those years. It takes real chops to
deal with New York crowds. You also work with the most incredibly talented musicians and singers and you all collaborate and grow together. It really was a special time in my life. That time is what my song I Miss those Days was written about.
After building a successful cabaret career, I decided to leave piano bar. Let’s call it retired. Then, with the support of my incredible wife, I
decided to go out tour. That’s where everything opened up. I now tour 30 dates a year. I know that, because I earned my chops in New York City, I can handle anything and the road has been amazing.
Having this new album to promote is the greatest time ever. It’s my own story in music, and it’s really everything I ever wanted.
If someone was just starting out, and wanting to build a career as a singer or cabaret performer, what advice or guidance would you give them?
Be brave. Earn your place. Go out and sing everywhere and anywhere you can. Take chances. Life is short – if you believe you can do it, others will believe it too. Write. Use your experiences to shape your own story. Singing your own words changes the game. It makes you want it so
much more. Be strong, and never quit.
What do you hope that people feel when they’re at one of your shows?
I hope that people will feel that they have made a connection. That they have felt something they haven’t felt before. That my lyrics, or even the
cover songs that I do, will make them think about their own lives and their experiences and feel them deeper. That they will want to call an old friend or family member and say that they love them. That they will drink a beer or a chardonnay and laugh and cry and sing along and celebrate.
That’s what music is about. The human connection is everything.