As songstress Kandace Springs readies for her Samueli Theater debut, she reflects on where she’s been and where she’s headed next.
What first sparked your love of music? I grew up listening to my dad singing around the house and playing all of these amazing soul and jazz records—Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald! One day, he brought home a piano that someone had abandoned, and I started messing around with it. The rest is history.
For new listeners, how would you describe your style and sound? If Ella Fitzgerald, Sade and Lauryn Hill had a baby, that would be me. Jazz is my first love, but I always have touches of R&B and gospel in my music.
What has been your most memorable career highlight to date? There are quite a few, but performing with Prince on the 30th anniversary of Purple Rain at his Paisley Park estate in Minneapolis, Minn., was incredible. Becoming his friend was even more surreal. I also fondly remember performing at Madison Square Garden with Hall & Oates and at the Royal Albert Hall in London with Gregory Porter. Amazing!
Which songs are you most excited to share with audiences during your two shows at Segerstrom Center for the Arts? That’s a hard one, as I’m so excited about all of the songs on my new album, The Women Who Raised Me. But ‘Angel Eyes,’ a duet I did with Norah Jones, is up there, as is my cover of Sade’s ‘Pearls.’ That song rips my heart out.
What are you currently listening to? I’m such an old soul, so I tend to listen to a lot of older music. You might catch me listening to Diana Krall or Aretha Franklin, or enjoying newer music from someone great like Daniel Caesar. I also love ‘Shallow’ by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper! I should do a jazz version.
What excites you most about your upcoming show? I played in Anaheim a few years back with Ne-Yo, and I had a great time, as Southern California is so beautiful. I want everyone to know that I’m keeping jazz alive and well. I can’t wait to share my special blend of jazz and soul!