10 Questions with… The Kingdom Choir. We got the chance to catch up with them here, you can see what they had to say about their new EP, the royal wedding and more …..
1. Thank you for your time. Looking ahead you start 2022 with a massive show at the London Roundhouse. What are your plans for that show?
Well, of course we will be revisiting some of our show favourites, but maybe with a little bit of a twist. We will also have new music ready and so will be sharing that with our audience. Of course, the roundhouse is an iconic and very unique venue to perform in, so we will be making the most of that space. There will also be some surprises in store and you will have to come to the show to find out what does might be!
2. You end 2021 with a new single and new EP. What can fans expect from both?
Our single is called Together Again and it’s a powerful, yet poignant remembrance of the past 2 years that we have had, much of it in lockdown. We cast our minds back to last Christmas and recognise that it’s become clearer and clearer that ‘Together’ is where we’ve always wanted and needed to be. It’s our hope this song reminds people of that.
Our EP is The Kingdom Choir spin on some festive favourites. I have to say that I’m very pleased with it and hope our listeners love it as much as we do!
3. You came to worldwide attention after a performance at the Royal Wedding. How did life change for the choir after that?
We knew things had changed when immediately after the wedding we were being mobbed outside of Windsor Castle, and had to have security walk us around. We didn’t expect that. Another signal of things to come was when our website crashed twice on the night of the wedding. We thought that there would be a bit of a fuss after the event, and that things would die down soon after. What happened, in fact, is that we did some amazing things like performing at the Invictus games, touring the UK, having a sold-out show at the Royal Albert Hall, touring the US…not to mention all of the radio and TV appearances. It was wild!
4. It obviously introduced you to a world of people who wouldn’t have normally listened to a choir. Did you notice a change in the people coming to see your performances?
Most of us have grown up in the black Pentecostal church, so that was where most of our audiences were previously. After the wedding, our audiences became much more diverse. There are people from all walks of life and all ethnicities coming to see us now. It’s such an honour to reach people that would have been hard for us to reach before.
5. Given that you have now attracted an entirely new audience, how did that change the way you approached performing or writing music?
Our approach to music really started with the arrangement for Stand By Me, which was not our idea at all. The royal couple were very intentional about the sound that they wanted, which was very stripped down and pared back. We had to learn to do things differently, very quickly – and it took us a while – but we got there in the end. We understand that we are now catering for many types of listener. We love our Gospel roots and so will now mix that with a more pop sensibility in our music. We think it works.
6. As well as the new music coming up, we also have Christmas. How will you celebrate Christmas this year?
I am hoping to celebrate Christmas with my family this year. I think that there may be quite a few of us – very different to last year, that’s the hope, anyway.
7. Looking back, 2021 was a strange year, how challenging has it been for the choir?
It was very hard not being together and meeting with each other. I was amazed at how the physical presence of a group of people could be so missed and how much it impacted communication and the sense of self. It taught me that we are wired for connection and that ‘together’ is what we needed.
Having said that, the choir had some wonderful opportunities in being asked to curate several virtual videos. We virtually performed for the Lady Gaga Together At Home concert, for Ascot, for Royal Albert Home and many others. It kept us focused, connected, and gave us something to do. I think that was very crucial for us in the early days. The ‘downtime’ also gave us an opportunity to think about the direction we wanted to go in, and subsequently plan and strategise for the future.
8. If you could collaborate with any artist in the world on one of their songs who would it be and which of their songs would you choose?
The first artist that comes to my mind is Stevie Wonder. He has been an icon to me since childhood. Please don’t pin me down to one song, though. I couldn’t possibly choose!
9. Just for fun, if your five-year-old self suddenly found themselves inhabiting your current body, what would your five-year-old self do first?
I’m sorry to say that my five-year-old self buy as many sweets and chocolates as I wanted.
10. Finally, thanks for your time, just to finish, what are your hopes for 2022 on a personal and musical level?
On a musical level, I hope for more opportunities for the choir to do what we love doing, which is sing! However, we want to sing more of our own music, and will be writing and releasing more of that.
On a personal level, I would love to get into writing more. I love the power of words and the ability to communicate thoughts and feelings with depth. I am also beginning to have the urge to travel reawakened in me again. Of course, in this climate that’s not as easy as it was before, but there are some beautiful places in this world that are simply begging to be visited. It would be a dream to do so.
The Kingdom Choir new EP ‘Together Again’ is out now. Listen to the EP HERE.