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Dionne Warwick Interview

 

(SD) 1. Congratulations on your 50th year in music. At this point in your career, what does this milestone mean to you as an artist?

(Dionne Warwick)
Well (laughs) in a word…it’s been an incredible journey thus far and I’m looking forward to what other expectations I have for myself to develop. Those being the possibility of doing a wonderful piece of television to require at least a consideration for an Emmy, another one for a piece of film to be considered for the remote possibility of an Oscar and of course the last thing, something I truly want to accomplish is Broadway! 


(SD) 2. For the very first time, you’ve released a contemporary Jazz album titled “Only Trust Your Heart,” what was the deciding factor to record this record?

(Dionne Warwick)
Well actually the publishing firm that owns the catalogue requested my voice to represent this songbook which was not too far fetched because prior to leaving Arista records I also had done a tribute record to Cole Porter so the genre was not that new to me, but being considered a Jazz artist is quite new.


(SD) 3. Did you enjoy making this record?

(Dionne Warwick)
I had an incredible time. I worked with some brilliant musicians in the live sessions and of course I was singing some wonderful songs so what was not to like about that.


(SD) 4. Looking back to the early days of your life as an aspiring artist, where did you envision yourself going and are you satisfied with the results that you’ve achieved thus far?

(Dionne Warwick)
To answer the second part of the question, I couldn’t be happier; I mean anyone that can achieve 50 years of doing consistently the same thing should be quite pleased with their accomplishments. In regards to the beginning of my career, it was not too much unlike the beginning of everybody else’s career, baby steps were taken until I was able to stand on both feet and walk tall.


(SD) 5. When initially breaking into the business, who were some of the stars that you turned to for advice in building the chapters of your career?

(Dionne Warwick)
You know actually I did what I thought was the right thing to do; I made it my business to be able to go to see the icons of our industry at that time and throughout their entire careers. People like Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Diahann Carroll, Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra they all ended up being my mentors. Advice was not really what I was seeking, I was seeking the wisdom and how they functioned and they obtained their status.  


(SD) 6. Growing up in East Orange, New Jersey, what are some of your fondest memories from your childhood and the Gospel music that you and your family performed?

(Dionne Warwick)
I think it’s safe to say and I hope everybody else has enjoyed their childhood; I had a multitude of friends, I was always involved with my family, and Gospel music has and will always be my first love of music. I had a normal childhood and I loved every second of it.


(SD) 7. Singing in the church choir from a young age; would you agree to say that the early formation of your vocal technique emerged in that environment?

(Dionne Warwick)
I sang for the very first time in my grandfather’s church, I was six years old at that period of time and I’ve been singing ever since. Coming from a Gospel singing family, the old saying to tell the truth was embedded into our entire family, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree; I come from I think some of the finest voices that this world has ever heard.


(SD) 8. How would you best define your musical style being that you’ve been able to record all genres including pop, gospel and R&B?

(Dionne Warwick)
I don’t define my voice which is the beauty of being able to say I cannot be categorized, I have always said and I will continue to say that my vocal abilities are whatever the listening ear decides at that time.


(SD) 9. Why did you agree to participate in Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice and what did you learn from it if anything working around all the colorful personalities?

(Dionne Warwick)
(Laughs) The Apprentice for me was a very interesting experience, something I’ve never experienced before and don’t intend to experience ever again. (Laughs) I didn’t learn anything besides from the fact that there are many, many different types of personalities floating around in our world; some of them can be enjoyable and some of them not so much enjoyable.


(SD) 10. Why do you choose to live between the United States and Brazil, and what do you love most about the diverse culture of both places in which you reside?

(Dionne Warwick)
Well of course I was born and raised in New Jersey so that’s home. My second home is Brazil and I fell in love with the country many, many years ago in the early 60’s when I first performed there and I’ve been going back every year since that period of time. I decided that was where I really wanted to be seeing that all the priorities I had as a child go back to there; their respect of elders, they love their children, they love their country and they love God and they’re not afraid to let you know that.


(SD) 11. I heard you mention that you enjoy listening to country music, who are some of your favorites?

(Dionne Warwick)
I listen to some of the new country and I think they’re brilliant. I like Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson; they are many that I know in terms of ilk. Country music to me is very, very much like Gospel; it tells an incredible story from the beginning to the end and it’s truthful! 


(SD) 12. Do you enjoy performing in other countries such as Japan and would you say that the audience differs compared to the United States?

(Dionne Warwick)
You know what, I find them quite delightful and the first time I went over I vividly remember someone telling me, “Don’t be surprised if you don’t hear applause and don’t be surprised if you don’t get the same reaction that you do in the states.” I cannot remember who the performer was, although I wish I could. I guess the Japanese didn’t know who they were or why they were there because I got rousing applauses, in fact I got them to sing with me so I love going to Japan. We’ve always had a wonderful relationship there. 


(SD) 13. What’s next for Dionne Warwick?

(Dionne Warwick)
I’d love to find a month where I could just sleep all month long. (Laughs) In all seriousness, I’m touring all over the world to perform concerts; we’re in the process of planning a 50th anniversary tour to celebrate my 50 years in show business and that will conquer the entire world like it did last time on my 40th. 

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