Cyndi Lauper has defined originality in the music industry for 30 years. She popularized the music video with her concepts and style at the very beginning of the MTV era. From her Blue Angel days and her history-making solo debut album “She’s So Unusual” to the current blues record “Memphis Blues,” this music icon has proven that being unique can not only lead to major success, but also that it is a pre-requisite for true legendary status.
Cyndi’s schedule is currently booked solid touring through Europe and then returning to the states to perform with Dr. John. She is currently being honored at Cleveland’s Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame through Feb 2012 in the “Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion & Power” exhibit. She also starts filming “The Last Beat,” a film by Robert Saitzyk, in Paris later this year.
In between all of this, Cyndi is working on a reality show, an autobiography and writing for Broadway.
We are grateful Cyndi took a moment to chat with us for our Remedy Jam Session series! Let’s begin…
RJO: Cyndi, thank you so much for making the time for Remedy Jam Outburst! Congratulations on all the success for “Memphis Blues.” You are touring non-stop! As a pop legend, how rewarding was it for you to take it back to the roots and work with some of the blues legends?
CYNDI LAUPER: It was amazing and a privilege to work with some amazing blues legends from the great BB King, to the amazing Ann Peebles, to the genius who is Allen Toussaint. It was a dream to work with each of them. The tour has been going great. I have an amazing band and we rock out.
RJO: Why the blues?
CL: I’ve been a fan of the blues since I was a kid and wanted to record this album for the past 8 years. To me the blues is uplifting. The songs I have chosen for “Memphis Blues” are about hope and perseverance.
RJO: We followed your tweets while you were touring Japan during the time of the Tsunami. We give you a lot of credit for truly showing up for your fans there. How was that experience for you?
CL: I was glad to be there with my fans. Japan has always been so welcoming to me. I just felt, how could I leave? I do Reiki so was able to do that at the shows, and we raised money at the shows so it felt good and right to stay and help when things were so tough there. We were in Tokyo and south of Tokyo so we weren’t really in the danger zone.
RJO: We feel you are one of the best in-the-moment, emotional, yet grounded live performers in music history. We love your chemistry with the band. How do you enjoy touring after all these years and what can we expect from the upcoming shows?
RJO: Is it true that you are writing an autobiography? What can you tell us about that at this point and is there a release date?
CL: This is true. It won’t be released until late 2011. It will be my life story, with it’s ups and downs. I have lived an interesting life, have had amazing experiences, met awesome people and I am looking forward to sharing that with my fans.
RJO: You were amazing opposite Alan Cumming in Broadway’s Threepenny Opera. We hear you are currently writing for Broadway. Give us the scoop!
CL: I’m writing songs for a Broadway show of the film adaption of the English film Kinky Boots. Harvey Feirstein is writing the book and Jerry Mitchell is the director so I’m in amazing company of Broadway royalty.
RJO: Through the years, we have noticed countless fans who consistently travel all over to your shows and have fiercely stuck by you since the very beginning. How special is your connection to your fans?
CL: I feel very grateful to my fans. I feel their love and hope they feel mine back. I try to do my best on every record and at every show because I owe my fans that much and more.
RJO: With such an intense schedule, do you have any time away from it all? If so, what would your day look like?
CL: I try to make sure I have time with my family. They are very special to me and I love them very much. One of my favorite things to do on a day that I’m not working is to lie in bed with my son and husband and watch films.
CL: I can’t be to sure when the next album will be released but there certainly will be another one soon. Right now my focus is on Memphis Blues. I will also have a reality show that will air in 2011 at some point.
RJO: You are a lover of all types of music and also love rallying for new musicians as seen on True Colors tour to benefit the Human Rights Campaign and your True Colors Fund. Can you share one of your Remedy Jams with us? Any new artists we should be paying close attention to these days?
CL: I love Pink’s new song “Perfect.” It is really a great song about accepting and loving yourself. I love Pink. She is great… a real talent and has been growing and growing as a songwriter. Regarding new artists, I love Arcade Fire. They are like a modern day skiffle band. I know they arent new new, they’ve been around and paid their dues, but new to great success. I joined them on stage at New Orleans Jazz Festival and it was a blast. They are great musicians. I also love Trombone Shorty and Nicki Minaj a lot.
RJO: Thank you so much Cyndi for spending some time with us. Looking forward to all your amazing projects in the works! Happy Pride Month and have a great birthday next week!
CL: Thank you and looking forward to sharing all the upcoming projects with you all.
The classic video “Time After Time” from Cyndi’s “She’s So Unusual” debut 1983 album.
Cyndi’s album Memphis Blues on sale now on iTunes!
Cyndi made our Remedy Jam Hall Of Fame for THIS performance.
Interview by Rich Overton for Remedy Jam Outburst