Singer Lisa Fischer to step into the spotlight at Norwich Theatre Royal
- Credit: submitted
In the words of a certain Eighties pop-soul classic, 'behind every great man, there has to be a great woman,' and nowhere is that line more fitting than in the story of singer Lisa Fischer who has worked with a host of pop and soul icons. Ahead of her solo show at Norwich Theatre Royal, John Bultitude caught up with the R and B songstress.
Luther Vandross, Chaka Khan, Sting, Tina Turner and The Rolling Stones - Brooklyn-born vocal powerhouse Lisa Fischer has performed with all these music icons and many more through the course of her career.
But on Saturday she is poised to step out from their shadow and into the spotlight as she performs in her own right at Norwich Theatre Royal.
It is the latest chapter in a life which has always had the seam of great melodies and tunes running through it.
Lisa said: 'I just always loved music. My parents had a great love of it and it was always in my life. There was always music being played around the house.'
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Enjoying it was one thing, making a living from it was quite another, and it was while Lisa was at school in her native Brooklyn that she saw an advertisement to join all-girl soul group The Crystals. She met up with original member Dee Dee Kenniebrew who helped her make that first big step into showbusiness.
'I did not know anything about stage presence or make up but she was very patient and very kind and she taught me well,' said Lisa.
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After her spell with The Crystals and later the Marvelettes came her first meeting with the person Lisa credits as a great mentor both personally and professionally - the legendary soul singer Luther Vandross.
From the minute they met, Lisa said she felt a strong bond with him.
'I would sing and he would say put a little more air into that note. He was one of the first people to teach me to put more colour into what I was singing. That whole experience was magical to me. He said if you can dance, you get the gig. 'That worried me but the choreographer gave me something quite simple to learn, luckily,' she laughed.
They became collaborators and great friends, first singing together on a track called Under Me, and Lisa credits Luther as one of the main reasons she get her very first solo record deal with Electra.
Chaka Khan, Sting, Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle and Bobby McFerrin are among the many other big names she has performed with, but despite such A-list musical stars on her CV, she remains very humble about her work.
'I feel lucky to have had the success I have and to have worked with so many great people. A lot of people do not get the opportunity to work with the kind of people that I have. It is great to be able to soak up the sort of energy that these artists give.'
And one of her best-known collaborations is with The Rolling Stones. She has worked with them many times and is best known for duetting with Mick Jagger on their hit Gimme Shelter, which has enjoyed thousands of hits on YouTube.
Lisa has nothing but good words to say about the legendary rockers.
'Mick is just so good on stage and is a child of the moment. His energy is infectious and music just spills out of his body. Keith is just a fireball and he just gives his all on stage. It is just amazing to work with them and they all inject every bit of energy into everything they do.'
Lisa has also had the opportunity for her work to be showcased in the documentary Twenty Feet From Stardom which also featured Darlene Love and Merry Clayton.
And on Saturday she is set to take to the Norwich Theatre Royal stage for the Norfolk and Norwich Festival.
Lisa said: 'I am looking forward to doing some melodic storytelling. I will be doing a couple of songs from my album but I will also be performing lots of others and doing them in different ways which should help explain my career. I cannot wait.'
Lisa Fischer is at Norwich Theatre Royal on Saturday at 8pm. Tickets £7-£22.50. To book, visit www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk or call the box office on 01603 630000.