It’s not easy to break into the music business, much less remain relevant after your first hit, but Ms. Cyndi Lauper has managed to elevate herself to superstar status and stay there throughout her 30 years as a performer. And all the while, she juggles touring, a family and now a fledging Broadway career!
Ms. Lauper’s already crazy life has gone into overdrive the release of her tenth studio album, Memphis Blues, in 2010. Within three years, she competed in The Celebrity Apprentice, composed the music for the Tony-award winning musical Kinky Boots and now she has a new reality TV show, Cyndi Lauper: Still So Unusual. The incredible Ms. Lauper tells us more:
1. 30 years have come and gone since the release of your debut album She’s So Unusual, How does it feel like being back on tour and performing songs from the same albumthat propelled you into superstardom?
It’s really been a lot of fun. It was really fun to go back and listen to the album - really listen to the album - so I could replicate it note for note with the same arrangements that we recorded for the album and reproduce it live. Over years, as you play songs out on tour, they change slightly. Some songs change more than slightly, so to go back and listen to what we did was just really a great visit down memory lane. We tried so hard to make the album great and to give positive messages through storytelling of the songs - and at the same time make it a bit of a party. I think we pulled that off.
2. Is there any specific track on the album that you’re particularly excited to perform again?
There are many songs that I hadn't performed live in years like Kiss You and Yea Yea, so it’s been fun performing them again. It’s just been great.
3. You recently wrote for and won a Tony for the musical Kinky Boots, congratulations by the way. Tell us, how did you initially get involved with the project and what compelled you to do it?
Harvey Fierstein called me and asked me. That simple. He is a friend, and he's a genius, and before he even finished getting the sentence finished I said “yes.” Just to work with Harvey was a privilege. I have always been a fan of Broadway. The first records I ever heard were Broadway records because that is what my Mom listened to - her "show tunes." I found I had a voice when I was just like 4 or 5 years old, singing along to my mom’s records and performing for her and my grandparents and sister and baby brother. So in a funny way getting to work on Broadway is like my life coming full circle.
4. How different was the process in writing for Kinky Boots different from, say, writing songs for a studio album
Songwriting is story telling. When you write a song, you are telling a little story. The thing that is different about writing a song for a musical is your song needs to move the story of the show forward scene to scene, and you don’t have that particular task when recording an album.
5. You have a new show Cyndi Lauper: Still so Unusual. How did the show come about?
I got to meet a few of the executives of Mark Burnett Productions, and I had this idea for a TV show. So over the course of many meetings with them somehow they turned to me and said your life is so interesting. You have so much going on - I was touring, I was writing my autobiography Memoir, I was working on Kinky Boots and they said they needed to document this year of my life. We included my family because, of course, they are a big part of my life, so what you see is me trying to balance all those projects and still be a good wife and mother.
6. What can viewers expect to see when they tune in to your show?
You will meet my family, my business family and you will get a behind the scenes look at me doing what I do – being on TV, making music, writings songs and how I try to keep all these balls in the air at the same time and do my best work and still try and be there for my family Sometimes I fail and sometimes I succeed, and you will see all of that the good and the bad.
7. You have been nominated for and won Tonys, Grammys, MTV awards, been on over a dozen tours, topped charts all around the world, and now you have your own TV show. What would you say is your proudest and wildest moment?
The day my son was born.
8. What do you think about pop music today?
There is a lot of great music being made all the time. It’s just harder to find it because the old system doesn’t work and finding new music online is tough because there is so much. I always find new bands I love, like the band Hunter Valentine who I brought out on tour with me. I love the new P!nk album - she's one of my favorites. I love Jake Bugg. There is lots of great music out there.
9. Finally, do you have anything you’d like to say to your fans in Singapore?
Thanks for tuning in! I promise to come tour there soon so we can have a party together.
Cyndi Lauper: Still so Unusual on premiere on WE tv (SingTel Mio TV Channel 259) on 5 September, 11PM.