Heather Small will be showcasing her unique vocal talents during
a short solo tour in June 2003 when she will be performing at Manchester's
Bridgewater Hall as well as York, Cambridge, London and Southport.
The shows will be a preview of new material along with an eclectic
mix of jazz and soul standards such as 'The Way you Wear your Hat'
and 'Private Number' and more than a few surprises too. Although
yet to be confirmed, Heather's 5 piece band will undoubtedly include
saxophonist Snake Davis, who has played on M People's 'Movin' on
Born and raised on a West London council estate,
Heather battled with shyness and a profound desire to sing from
an early age. Captivated by gospel music's inspirational elements
and influenced by '70s reggae and soul, she joined her first group,
the blues and soul-tinged band 'Hot House' while still in her teens.
Although their potential was never fully realised, Heather had a
fortuitous meeting with Mike Pickering; a DJ at Manchester's famed
Hacienda nightclub. After hearing Heather's unique voice, he persuaded
her to collaborate with a group he'd just formed called M People.
Although Heather's statuesque vocals have become
synonymous with the sound of M People, they took on a new identity
on 'Proud', her first solo album released in May 2000. The album
produced two singles, 'Proud' and 'Hold On', as well as the duet
with Tom Jones, 'You Need Love Like I Do'. 'Proud', the single,
was co-written by Heather & Peter Vettese and produced by Peter
Vettese (who has also worked with the Bee Gees amongst others).
Heather's distinctive voice confirms
what a jewel she is in the UK's crown of contemporary singers. In
the decade she was with M People, the dance/soul/pop group sold
in excess of 5 millions records. As fabulous singing live as she
is on record, it is on stage where she feels totally 'empowered'.
She says, "Everyone has an ego… and I get so much pleasure
singing in front of a large group of people. I don't sing to be
famous or rich, I sing because it's what I love to do. I want people
to understand and enjoy my singing."
Heather Small is quick to assure that M People
have not split up. She said "We played and created collectively,
but I came to realise there were certain experiences I went through
as a women - growing from a shy teenager, becoming a mother - that
didn't include the band. I thought, maybe I could find a way of
expressing this myself".
Since 'Proud' Heather has been spending
time bringing up her son as well as performing guest spots with
the Snake Davis Band. She also appeared on the Manchester saxophonist's
brilliant 'Snakebites' CD in 2001. A duet with Michael McDonald
in Mexico in January 2003 for a private show was one of the high
points of her career. She also appears on the 'Gaia' Album Project
to Benefit Global Education where she sings along with 350 artists.
Her most recent one-off concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in December
2002 was a sell-out success, and testament to her loyal fan base.
With a new look and a new raft of
songs, Heather Small was eager to get back on stage and perform.
She returned to Manchester playing The Bridgewater Hall, giving
Pride Of Manchester an exclusive interview before hand (click
here to read it). A new solo album is highly anticipated later
in the year.
official Heather Small website]