Cyndi Lauper bringing signature style in a fresh way to Vina Robles
By Beth Brennan
–Yes, Cyndi Lauper is as sweet and genuine as you would expect her to be. I had the opportunity to interview her for the Paso Robles Daily News, and just hearing her signature voice on the phone was amazing. I already bought third row tickets to her show on Sept. 27 here at Vina Robles during the advance ticket sales. Needless to say I am excited to see her and have been a fan since her early days.
Her new album is called “Detour.” It is a collection of covers of country songs that she grew up listening to. She will be performing classic hits as well as these new country covers at her show at Vina Robles.
Lauper has reinvented herself time and again with so many styles of music, “I am a big fan of music; I love it, I study it,” she said. “I listen to all different kinds, they are all connected.” When asked if there was one style of music in particular that she could relate to more than others, Lauper said that she had a special affinity for country music. “Country is connected to blues and they have all created my style of singing.”
Detour is the eleventh studio album by the recording artist, whose career has spanned over 30 years. Lauper grew up in a neighborhood of Queens and, as a child, listened to such artists as The Beatles, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland and Billie Holiday. At age 12, she began writing songs and playing an acoustic guitar given to her by her sister.
Her debut solo album She’s So Unusual was the first debut female album to chart four top-five hits on the Billboard Hot 100—”Girls Just Want to Have Fun”, “Time After Time”, “She Bop”, and “All Through the Night.” Her success continued with the soundtrack for the motion picture The Goonies and her second record True Colors. In 2013, Lauper won the Tony Award for Best Original Score for composing the Broadway musical Kinky Boots, making her the first woman to win the category by herself.
Lauper has also been an LGBT rights supporter throughout her career. She names her sister Ellen, who is gay, as one of her role models. Her song “Above the Clouds” celebrates the memory of Matthew Shepard, a young man beaten to death in Wyoming because he was gay. As a member of the Matthew Shepard Foundation Board, Lauper devoted a concert tour in 2005 to promoting the foundation’s message. She also co-founded the True Colors World Tour for Human Rights throughout the United States and Canada in 2007, and has donated funds to various other human rights campaigns.
Lauper has witnessed a great deal of change within the last three decades, and I was curious to see how she felt about social media. “I used to think that tweeting was a way to give your fans a way to understand what your day was like,” she said. “Then people were waiting for me outside of everyplace I left. When I am off work I don’t go on Twitter. During tours it is a nice way to welcome a city or say how great an audience was. You celebrate (fans) as much as they celebrate you. But It’s not a diary of an artist anymore. They take your tweets and put them on the news. I still can’t get Snapchat right. Even when POTUS sent me one, I couldn’t open it!”
Although posting may be rare, the public profile for Lauper on social media is Cyndi, herself. “My personal twitter is just me. I don’t let anybody do that for me.”
All in all, Lauper said that she wishes people would cut back on the use of technology and social media, and enjoy her concerts for the experience they are. “If you are constantly on your phone you are going to miss everything that is really happening in the moment,” she said. “Once the doors close you are mine. I own you, I want you to experience the show. How would you feel if I was on my phone?” She seemed very passionate on this issue, and I understand how it could be annoying and distracting to her as an artist. She wants us to experience the moment. “Its a fun show!” She said.
I am and glad that she is coming to Paso Robles, and I know that I, for one, look forward to putting my phone away and just enjoying the music.