Chris Difford and Corrine Bailey Rae

The British singer-songwriter is the eighth guest in our latest podcast series

This week we welcome Corinne Bailey Rae to I Never Thought It Would Happen. Corinne burst onto the music scene in 2006 with the release of her self-titled debut album which went to number one in the UK charts and broke the top ten in America. Her biggest hit Put Your Records On’ rose to number two in the UK singles charts and was also nominated for a Grammy. 

Podcast host Chris Difford is keen to learn more about Corinne’s early musical inspirations, and is intrigued to find out that Nirvana were an important group for her. Listening to the band made Corinne realise that it didn’t matter if music was not completely polished. Coming from a classical background of playing the violin, the idea that every note did not need to be perfect was a complete gamechanger.

Corinne goes on to tell Chris about the support she had from adults around her when she was starting out as a musician, and relates a heart warming tale about a youth leader at her local church. This man was like a cool, older brother and would encourage her to write music.

One day he found a lovely guitar in the local paper and recommended Corinne she should buy it, but sadly her mum couldn’t afford the instrument. At the next practice however, Corinne turned up and this man had bought the guitar for her. She was really moved by the gesture and over the next two years slowly paid him back.

Chris and Corinne’s conversation comes round to mental health, and Corinne believes there is more empathy in society now than there used to be, not just in the music industry. Topics such as mental health and neurodivergence are more commonly spoke about and that is a big shift. When Corinne was at the start of her career, pop music was about being shiny and flawless but that is no longer the case.

Discussing her touring habits, Corinne reveals that there are structures she implements when on tour to prioritise her mental wellbeing and those around her. She is fortunate to have an amazing tour manager who really thinks about the spaces the band are working in, as well as ensuring the whole group is well, healthy and eating. That makes a massive difference in ensuring everyone feels supported.

This week’s episode also features a contribution from a musician we have supported, singer-songwriter Samantha Lindo. We were able to help Samantha with the release of her debut album Ancestry, which uses stories from Samantha’s family history to explore themes of dual heritage identity, inter-generational healing, climate justice and community.

Help Musicians was also able to offer Samantha business advice sessions and support with her mental health. The latter in particular was of great use, as Samantha had recently become a mother for the first time and was seeking music-centric advice about how to balance being an artist and a parent.

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Series 4 and rest assured there are plenty more exciting episodes to come over the next few weeks. Make sure you listen and subscribe by following the links provided below.

Listen to past episodes and subscribe