(SXSW 2012 flavoured!) Quickfire Questions #28: Gemma Ray

By on Friday, 30th March 2012 at 11:00 am

I unfortunately missed singer/songwriter Gemma Ray at SXSW. But the Sparks-loving songstress kindly answered our Quickfire Questions, revealing how a Santana song makes her turn on the waterworks and how a Van Morrison song was a revelation. Keep reading…

1. What song is your earliest musical memory?
The theme tune to Button Moon. [This song was written and performed by former Fifth Doctor Peter Davison and his then wife Sandra Dickinson. – Ed.]

2. What was your favourite song as a child?
Bangles – ‘Walking Like An Egyptian’

3. What song makes you laugh?
Sounds of Wonder – ‘Tafo’

4. What song makes you cry?
Santana – ‘Samba Pa Ti’. The key change in the bridge seems to directly stimulate my tear ducts without fail.

5. What song reminds you of the first time you fell in love? (It’s up to you if you want this to be sweet, naughty, etc.)
Van Morrison – ‘Sweet Thing’. I simultaneously fell for both a man and the musicians playing on this recording when I first heard this album. It captured a magical, hopelessly romantic and fantastical moment of time for me when my surroundings weren’t.

6. What song makes you think of being upset / angry? (Example: maybe you heard it when you were angry with someone and it’s still with you, and/or something that calms you down when you’re upset, etc.)
Any song by one of those generic indie/rock boybands with guitar hoisted up to their chins, digital synths, silly haircuts – churning out songs with no melody, chorus or class before they inevitably resign themselves to being estate agents or bankers once their gap year is up and trust funds run out.

7. Which song (any song written in the last century) do you wish you’d written yourself?
I don’t wish to have written anyone else’s song, though many leave me inspired to try and write one half as good. Leonard Cohen has certainly knocked many of those out in his time.

8. Who is your favourite writer? (This can be a songwriter or ANY kind of writer.)

I don’t have one particular favourite but I am currently enjoying Kurt Vonnegut and I love the melodic and lyrically timeless brilliance of the Gershwin brothers.

9. If you hadn’t become a singer/musician/songwriter/etc., what job do you think you’d be doing right now?
I would like to have been a nurse or an archaeologist.

10. If God said you were allowed to bring only one album with you to Heaven, which would it be and why? (Sorry, but double albums do not count!)
(Who? Where????!) – Maybe some Sister Rosetta Tharpe. It may be considered just about Godly enough to sneak me through the gates, and may also get me into Rosetta’s good books so I can have occasional blast on her SG. [I’ve been told this is in reference to Tharpe’s guitar – Ed.]

Special thanks to Ellie for sorting this QQ out for us.

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