February 2020 - Cover Story: For the Love of Harry Connick, Jr.
I was sixteen when I first heard his voice. It was smooth, silky, and had that New Orleans twang. Harry Connick Jr. was the modern-day crooner during the '90s. His album "We Are In Love" made a name for itself. His big band sound broke through the newly founded grunge scene and slews of hip-hop artists. I saw him live in 1998, promoting his album, “She.” Now, celebrating the 30th anniversary of We Are In Love, Connick is heading back to Albuquerque on March 3rd for his concert “True Love - An Intimate Performance,” at the Kiva Auditorium. I just had to interview the man whose very voice brought couples together, found his true love, and continues to bring joy to millions of fans.
How does it feel to celebrate the anniversary of such an iconic album ("We Are In Love")?
This album brings back such memories for me. It was the first recording [session] I ever brought Jill to. I had a lot of fun in the studio recording this one. Time really flies.
Tell us about this new tour. What can we expect with "True Love: An Intimate Performance?"
This tour is different for me. I call it an "intimate performance" because it's with a smaller group of musicians. To the audience, it will feel like they are a fly on the wall in a very up-close and personal situation. This tour is ALL about the music.
What is your process when it comes to creating a song? What inspires you?
It starts with an idea, then a lyric, a melody, and then the harmony. Almost every time, this is my process. The song's idea could be inspired by something external - something I see - but most of the time, it's a feeling that I feel compelled to write about in a song.
You've taken just about every opportunity that's come to you: Broadway, TV, music. How do you choose?
I love all on that list! Fortunately, I have a great team that helps me channel my creative efforts into one project at a time. If not, I’d never get anything done!
You took what I saw as a bold move with "She." Will we see another round of funk in the future?
I sure hope so - funk music is a big part of my life. I hope to do another [album]. They are a pure joy to make. The music is a blast to perform.
Is there a musician that you are still dying to work with?
I’ve worked with just about everyone. But out of the newcomers, I think it'd be fun to record with Billie Eilish. I think she's talented.
Why do you think your music stands the test of time in this electronic pop generation?
I love what I do. I think people respect sincerity. I try to make music with the best musicians, even if it's not your cup of tea. I think people know that I’m obsessed with my art. I think they like that notion.
Congratulations on your successful Broadway show. Cole Porter is a nice choice. What inspired you to develop the tribute?
Thanks! I've always loved Cole Porter's music. I was a fan of his songs even before I knew they were his compositions. I’ve always wanted to do a songbook album - an album of songs by just one composer - and he's always been my favorite.
What does the future hold for HCJ after Cole Porter?
Tons! I am working on a bunch of different ideas [for] music, film, tv, and stage. I’m busy developing ideas I’m passionate about. I can't wait until I can make them all public!
What would you like your legacy to be?
I just hope I’m remembered. People know me for different things. I hope people know how much I love my wife and family, how much I love humanity and art, and how much I appreciate the gift of life and the importance of respect and hard work.
Tickets for True Love - An Intimate Performance are on sale now at http://www.albuquerquecc.com/event/harry-connick-jr-launches-true-love-an-intimate-performance-tour/