Published November 18th, 2016
In the lead up to one of the most anticipated RnB events to ever touch down on Australian soil, RnB Fridays Live, we’ve caught up with each RnB legend set to take the stage around the country. Placing a spotlight on the iconic artists, we look back to where it all began and where they are now.
Although it’s been over 13 years since Blu Cantrell released her latest record, not once has she or her music ever faded into obscurity (or out of our playlists). Her hit songs ‘Hit Em Up Style’ and ‘Breathe’ featuring Sean Paul were iconic of the era they were birthed in and have cemented themselves nowadays as songs to define a musical generation. Now, after a long awaited return, Blu Cantrell is back in the studio working on her latest album and touring the world once again.
“I want this to be the third chapter. I want it to pick up from where I left off and have this become the next chapter in my career.”
Citing influences from Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin and Prince, Blu Cantrell became a household name with her debut single ‘Hit ‘Em Up Style’ from her debut album So Blu. The song with its catchy melody and lyrics expressing the importance of a woman’s independence expressed the personality that defines Blu’s artistry and threw her into state of popularity that to this day, still exists.
“When i started to realise how popular it was, it made me nervous. But the good kind of nervous [laughs]. It gave me butterflies.”
But Blu is more than any mere pop star singing a catchy hook. During her youth, Blu was exposed to jazz music through her mother, who herself was a jazz singer and would bring Blu to her performances. It was this act that helped Blu understand and develop her understanding of singing and music, an influence that bleeds thru.
“She put me onto so many artists growing up and it really had a such a strong influence on me. She’s definitely one of the influences for me with my music, my voice and as an artist.”
2016 is looking to be the start of Blu’s next chapter with her third album in the works, her collaboration with artists and her involvement in RnB Fridays Livemaking the world wonder 2017 will hold for her.
“I’ve definitely become a much better singer from when I first started. When I play, it’ll be a really good show with a lot of great songs. I always strive to put on a great show no matter where I am.”
It’s hard to say what this revival will entail for Blu and what she’ll bring to audiences. But if her past is anything to go by, her next stage or, as she puts it – next chapter, will remind the world that the story is far from finished.