Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. -Berthold Auerbach
We recently became acquainted with Candice Night and her music which has topped the charts at Billboard. We love how her voices haunts and soothes as it blends with the mix of traditional and modern day instruments against a folk-rock background. What caught our attention even more is that Candice is a new mom. Grab a cup of coffee or tea – you are going to love this interview.
Candice, you have been singing melodies since 6 months (yes, 6 months readers!), been actively involved in theater, modeling and all forms of the arts. Would you say your involvement in the arts from childhood helped lead you to a singing career?
I think it led to my insatiable appetite for music. A great enjoyment and huge appreciation for it as a medium, an escape, and an outlet, My household was always a very musical one, with both parents playing piano and singing and listening to everything from big band sounds to show tunes. As I got older I really delved into the lyrical side of songs and saw many parallels between my own emotions and what was being expressed in certain songs. In my teens my escape from pressures was always to get lost in the world of music. It was a powerful calling. So I knew I had to be around music somehow as a career. I thought I might work for a radio station or record company, but when I was interning at a radio station and met Ritchie, (my husband and then guitarist of Deep Purple, who is also my co-writer and guitarist of our band Blackmore’s Night), my life took a very unexpected and wonderful turn. Looking back, it was the fact that I was enrolled in acting and theater productions at the age of 4 that allowed me to be able to slip into another character so easily. It fed my imagination and that in turn helped me in my lyrical writing and my stage presence. It was my modeling that honed any skills on video and photo shoots for the cds and my singing from such an early age that gave me a precise ear for pitching. So, it all came into play!
You recently became a mom to a beautiful girl Autumn. How has being a mom inspired your singing?
I actually did the American tour and recorded all of our cd, Autumn Sky, while I was pregnant. I recorded until 2 weeks before I gave birth! It is a very cathartic experience to be able to create music. You are basically sharing your most intimate journal entries, your hopes and fears and dreams with the world within your songs. Then people either dismiss them or adopt them as their own. But when you are creating music and creating a life within you at the same time, that just goes beyond anything words can describe. That parallel of creation is breathtaking. I wasn’t sure if I was having a boy or a girl, and at that point it didn’t matter, but now reflecting on the songs I wrote, my daughter is present as in inspiration in so many of them. Whether it is Strawberry Girl, which is basically what I imagined her to be like if I were to have a girl, and it is amazing how she came out just as I dreamed! Or Believe In Me, a reflection of me, yet so incredibly individual and different at the same time. She is almost 1 and continues to inspire me every moment of the day. I am constantly amazed by her.
Did you sing to Autumn when you were pregnant? Does she seem to “remember” the songs you sang to her? Do you have a favorite song to sing to Autumn now?
I sang to her, I played my instruments, I even played my cd player with my headphones on my tummy! She loves music and she always gets a big smile and dances whenever she hears music, whether it is me singing or from another source. But there are those incredibly intimate and special moments when I will be singing a lullaby or a song I wrote to her and she will just be in my arms, looking into my eyes or watching my mouth and touching my face and you think there is no where I would rather be and I want to live in this moment forever. I do still sing her Strawberry Girl and some songs written especially for her that we haven’t recorded because they are so personal. And of course the standards like Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. But I am thinking of collecting some of the more unknown lullabies and recording a cd because there are some really beautiful songs out there that you never hear of. Some of my fans started sending some to me after I gave birth and I fell in love with some of the songs. There were some songs that made me so emotional that I couldn’t even sing them to her.
Your career brings you on the road a lot. How do you balance being a working/traveling mom and home life?
The most difficult thing I have had to do was to leave Autumn at home at the age of 3 months for a whole month because we needed to perform in Germany. I am lucky to have my parents live close to me so they took good care of Autumn for that month. But, although I knew she was in good hands, it didn’t make the separation any easier on me. There were bets placed that I would be on a plane home as soon as I had a couple of days off, just to hold her. Before I left I recorded a dvd of me talking and singing to her. I recorded a lullaby cd for her to hear my voice. My parents played them for her everyday so she knew Mommy was around. I also skyped her twice a day so I could at least see her and she responded to me on the computer screen. I just recently tried doing that while I was on tour here and now that she’s 11 months, she saw me and tried to reach me through the screen and got very upset when she couldn’t get to me, so I can’t use that mode of connection anymore! Luckily, she will be coming with us on our upcoming international tours so I won’t have to. Now that’s she’s a bit older, we feel more comfortable having her travel with us. So the upcoming tours will be very interesting! It is hard to balance things though, as a working Mom. There is so much you need to do for work purposes and so much you need to do for home and family. Sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day. But I find that you don’t have to put so much pressure on yourself, you aren’t super human. You do as much as you can, and then everything else will get done when you can do it. It helps to prioritize. But sometimes, you just have to say “No- I can not do that right now”. And as Moms, or as women, that’s not in our genes or comfort zone, sometimes. To admit we’re human, or we can’t fix or take care of something at that very moment. Its a hard lesson to learn.
What tips do you have for keeping in touch with your child when you are out of your regular routine when traveling?
I really loved the idea of recording yourself on a camcorder so your child can see you and hear you, whether its reading a book to them or just a goodnight message or a daily “I Love You”. Phone calls are always great, Autumn just hears my voice and grabs the phone and I listen to her press all the buttons and often, accidentally hang up on me. I love it. I like to leave something behind that smells like me also, so she can sleep with it at night and it is comforting. A compilation cd is great- of the songs you sing to your child or that they hear while you are around. It really depends how old the child is, I know, and as she gets older, she will be able to understand more that Mommy is coming back soon and the communication will be easier via Skype or phone. Right now, we’re at a separation anxiety stage a little bit, so its tricky. But she’s better with me on the phone when I have to go away, I think its still the fascination of Mommy’s voice coming out of a box and her button pressing that she enjoys.
What is the latest project you are working on? How has Autumn become part of this project & your music in general?
We are recording a new cd, as well as I will be releasing my solo cd later this year. Actually, when Autumn was born we changed the name of our current cd from its working title to Autumn Sky because of her. We wanted people to know that the cd was inspired by her and to have hopes that she will have no boundaries in life. The sky is the limit…. I even did her nursery in a sky theme so she has her own Autumn’s sky in her room with Moons and stars on the walls. Ritchie has been holding the guitar over her for her to strum since she was just a couple of months old. So whenever she sees the guitar she gets so excited and wants to strum it. She sings along to everything from her See and Say- which she has been humming to since she was 5 months old- to the dial tone on the speaker phone. She dances all the time. While I was doing mapping tracks for our new cd Autumn grabbed one of my recorders and started blowing into it! How she even figured that out is a mystery to me. So on many of the mapping tracks we can hear Autie playing recorder or singing along on top of what we are doing. Maybe I’ll do a hidden track on the cd for her performances! I also have to do a video for my new solo cd which I will be filming later on this summer and I am trying to write a story board that will allow her to be in the video with me. She is a part of everything we do now. I bring her with me whenever I can. I call her my Pocket Princess because I love to take her with me everywhere. I am constantly hovering over her with a video camera or a still camera. I call myself Mamarazzi I take so many photos of her. Ritchie can be Paparazzi. Ritchie wrote his first song for her when she was home for just 2 days from the hospital. She was in her swing , sleeping, and he wrote the most beautiful words and music inspired by this little sleeping angel. She inspires us all the time.
Candice at a glance
If you had no commitments or obligations, what would you do with a free day? I would spend time outside in nature with Autumn showing her how the grass feels beneath her feet, the wind in her hair, the smells of the flowers, the sand and water on the seashore. Just spending time in nature is so relaxing and invigorating at the same time. It heightens my senses but also cleanses my spirit. I want to share all the wonders and beauty of the natural world with Autumn and for her to be brought up with that same wonder and awe but also respect for nature. We would hear the birds, watch the sunset and then chase fireflies at night. The perfect end to a perfect day.
How do you recharge your mommy battery? I nap when she naps if at all possible. No better way to recharge than much needed sleep. Just shut everything else off and quick cat nap while my angel is napping as well. Or just getting outside to feel the fresh air is a quick pick me up. A total luxury for me would be to run down the road and get a facial or a massage. But those are few and far between!
What is something that is always in your fridge? Eggs. I had gestational diabetes when I was pregnant and I was allowed to have 2 4 inch pancakes and an egg for breakfast. Now that I no longer have diabetes, its still my favorite breakfast, though I have more than 1 pancake these days. But its breakfast food as well as making omelets for a quick lunch or dinner if you run out of ideas or ingredients.
What is your favorite genre of music? I don’t think music should have genres. It always amazes me that something that is born of creative expression and freedom needs to be fit neatly into a box with a nice little label on it for people to be interested or understand it. What we do has so much variety than no one know what box to put us in! So, I have to say I love music that is melodic. That has an air of mystery to it. That has thought to the lyric that brings you on an emotional journey. I love Sarah Brightman, Maggie Reilly, All About Eve. Romantic and visual lyrics and captivating female vocals is what I am drawn to.
If someone were to write a song about your life, what would the title be? Inspired by the Mystery
Bring yourself a little piece of heaven – hear a sample of Candice’s music here