Singer takes genre mixing style to a whole new level
A graduate of the Royal Academy of Music in the United Kingdom, this Welsh songbird once worked as a freelance singing teacher and a model.
Now, at just 29 years old, she is one of the most sought-after classical-pop crossover singers around. She has eight albums under her belt, with her latest, “Believe,” having just been released this month.
Jenkins is also a familiar face in Korea. Earlier this year she came here as a guest singer during a concert by Placido Domingo.
The JoongAng Daily talked with this artist, who critics say is the next big thing in the popera scene.
Q. How do you feel about the album?
A. I’m very proud of it. This is by far my most commercial sounding album. It was a dream for me to make a record with David Foster and we wanted to make something that used popular songs but still made people feel like they were having a classical experience. I wanted to make an album that would be my most commercial, and would contain the most crossover songs, so far.
The idea was to take well-known songs from popular genres and sing them in my style so that people would feel like they were having a classical experience. I want to make opera more accessible to people and I hope this will be a way to introduce them [to it] without them feeling intimidated by it.
How do you train and maintain your voice?
I do lots of things to look after my voice. I don’t drink or smoke. I don’t eat dairy or spicy foods when I’m singing. I take lots of vitamins so that I feel as healthy as possible.
Besides that, I do everything in moderation. I run when I can. I don’t eat meat. If I want something naughty like chocolate, then I let myself have it, but I won’t go mad.
You performed in Korea earlier this year. What was your impression of Korean audiences?
I loved Korea and really look forward to coming back. I feel like my last trip was too short. There is still so much to see and so many people to meet! I loved everything about the concert. The audience was incredible - excited and cheering just like at a pop concert.
One of my best memories is of Placido and I singing a Korean song as the encore. Every time we finished a verse, the audience erupted into applause. I hope my pronunciation was correct!
What else is on your agenda in the coming days?
As a crossover artist, I like that I get to sing things from the pop repertoire as well as classical pieces. Who knows where the next album will take me!
I am sending lots of love and hugs to all my friends and fans in Korea. Can’t wait to see you all, and in the meantime, I hope you enjoy listening to the new album - I made it for you!
By Kim Hyung-eun [firstname.lastname@example.org]