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British R&B singer Corinne Bailey Rae coming to Music Farm

Corinne Bailey Rae
Corinne Bailey Rae Alexandra Valenti

Two-time Grammy winner Corinne Bailey Rae is finding herself in a good place.

Eight years ago, Rae – who first made her mark in 2006 with a self-titled LP and big hits like “Just Like a Star” and “Put Your Records On” – found herself a young widow with the death of husband Jason Rae from an apparent overdose. From that time came two years later her heartfelt second album, “The Sea.”

Today, the 37-year-old British R&B singer and songwriter has found joy again, having remarried and released in May her latest album, “The Heart Speaks in Whispers.”

She will play new music from that album Tuesday, Sept. 27 at Music Farm. A local Midlands artist and University of South Carolina graduate, Katera, will open.

Go Columbia spoke to Rae about her latest tour, what inspires her music and what she’s most looking forward to doing in Columbia.

Q: How did you get into songwriting?

A: I’ve always loved writing songs. When I was little I would think of songs and ideas and look out the window and describe things in songs. Or have dreams and write them down and they would turn into songs. I’ve always enjoyed making up tunes and lyrics. I used to play violin when I was young and I used to write pieces for that. I’ve just always enjoyed making up music.

Q: Did you have any idea that “Just Like a Star” and “Put Your Record On” would be such hits in the U.K. and the United States?

A: I had absolutely no idea that the songs would connect in that way and I definitely didn’t have any idea that I would get to come to America and play. This is the birthplace of so much of the music that I adore and admire and has influenced me. ... When we started to get interest here it completely blew my mind. Getting to tour here is just brilliant because it’s such a huge country and once you’re here, you’re here. You don’t have to fly around, you could just be on a tour bus. And all the places are so romantic to me. It’s so amazing to me that out of all these places came this music which I got to hear as someone in the U.K. and now I get to tour here and play to these audiences. I feel very very lucky.

Q: Fast-forwarding to your new album, “The Heart Speaks in Whispers” how would you describe this album’s sound and how is it different from your previous projects?

A: I think this album sounds playful and joyous and experimental and that was a really important part of the process. When we finished the tour of “The Sea” I thought right away I wanted to do something different. The process for me was just believing the music would come. A lot of times I would just sit in silence, waiting for the music to come. I was really happy with the stuff that came through. As I turned it over and looked at it more, the theme of the heart speaking in whispers spoke to me. How our inner voices speak to us all the time and how our own intuition is very strong. It’s ancient. It’s come down through generations. It’s kept us alive as humans. ...

Q: What songs can fans expect to hear on this tour?

A: We’re doing a mixture of songs from all three of the records. On this tour there are a lot of people coming to see us who are 19, 20, 21 ... and it’s the first time they’re getting to see my play. When I toured my first record they were too young to come out to shows. So we’re playing a lot of songs just for them, because they’ve never seen me do those. And those are still well known records amongst people who come out. So a lot of songs from the first record, a few songs from “The Sea” and obviously a lot of songs from the new album. ... hopefully what people will sense when we play is that it’s a spontaneous show. The show they’re seeing won’t be the same tomorrow or the next day and that’s what keeps it really exciting for us.

Q: What are you looking forward to doing while you’re in Columbia?

A: I’m really looking forward to being here. It’s an important center for history. Soul music generates here. I’d quite like to be here and experience it.

If you go

Corinne Bailey Rae

WHEN: 8 p.m. Tuesday Sept. 27

WHERE: Music Farm, 1022 Senate St.

COST: $25-$30

INFO: www.musicfarm.com/event/1280555-corinne-bailey-rae-columbia

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