The smooth, sax-filled sounds of “Smooth Operator” are what most people think of when her name comes up, but the songwriting talent and soulful voice of Sade (a.k.a. Helen Folasade Adu) goes beyond that iconic single. In fact, she’s the most successful British solo female artist in history and an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for her services to popular music!
CRYSTAL, a brand new band consisting of members of Brute Heart, will be taking on Sade’s unique jazz-soul-R&B hybrid at Girl Germs’ kickoff Live Tribute to Women in Rock on May 30. They were kind enough to share what they love about Sade and how they’ve been influenced by her.
What CRYSTAL love about Sade: “First of all, we think that Sade is a brilliant songwriter with an amazing, silky smooth, iconic voice. We’re also drawn to her genre of music. Our favorite thing about her are her arrangements. And the way that she can make repetitive chords sound so good with her melody lines. She is kind of a genius in that way.”
Why they picked her music to cover: “We wanted to challenge ourselves with playing music that we don’t normally play by a strong, extremely talented musician. “
Sade’s songwriting: “Sade is a mature songwriter. As a kid, seeing and hearing such depth in a song on the radio and MTV showed a different side of popular music. As an adult seeing and hearing her, the experience is similar. Her style is so graceful and grounded. Most popular music (especially by women) has some kind of edgy attitude. Sade’s edge is more subtle. She shows us that other things are possible.”
Little-known fact: “Everyone should know that she and her band write their own songs. For being so famous and having a few chart hits, she is pretty underrated. Her music is so good! Listen to more of it!”
Their favorite Sade era: “We are definitely into the Sade of the ’80s, but her entire career is a flawless, classy, interesting soundscape full of genius songwriting. Don’t let yourself get stuck in the ’80s…have you ever heard ‘Love is Found’?! So good.”