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Angie Narayan: Respect - The Aretha Franklin Story

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by Gillian Ching (subscribe)
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Event:
Hear the songs and story of the soul queen


The powerful sounds and story of soul queen Aretha Franklin will be told through the voice of Angie Narayan in her show Respect: The Aretha Franklin Story on Friday 16th September 2022 at The Palms at Crown and Saturday 17 September at the Frankston Arts Centre.

The name Aretha Franklin is synonymous with soul, blues, gospel, and jazz music as a singer of immense natural ability and who went on to be one of the greatest voices of all time. With hits like, Natural Women, Save a Little Prayer, Freeway of Love (with George Michael) and more. Of course, her signature song is the title of the show, "Respect".

Upon her passing, former United States President, Barack Obama and his wife, former First Lady Michelle Obama said in a statement, "Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect."

Now, Australia's own Soul Mama, Angie Narayan is carrying forward and honouring the legacy of Aretha in her show Respect: The Aretha Franklin Story. You may recognise Angie from her performance on the 2004 season of Australian Idol. From here, her career has gone from strength to strength. Angie's family heritage is Fijian/Indian with roots in gospel music, and she sees this as being a major influence and driving factor in her career.


Source: https://respect-show.com/gallery-1




I asked Angie about the Show and the influence Aretha has had on her as an artist.

What drew you to telling and sharing Aretha's story of music and her life?

After hearing of Aretha's passing in August of 2018, I received a phone call from producer Monique Cribb who approached me with the concept of potentially writing a show and headlining as 'Aretha'.

I was firstly so humbled and honoured to be asked and honestly didn't know if I could take on such a feat. To say I am a fan of Aretha is an understatement so saying yes was an easy decision. The next year I spent developing, researching and re-learning how to sing her songs which was a journey I was ready to embark on and be challenged to grow. Her music and message is timeless and relevant through the ages. R.E.S.P.E.C.T to the Queen of Soul.


What impact did Aretha's music have on you as you were a developing singer?

As early as the age of 9 I started singing in church and developed a love for gospel music. Aretha also started singing in church as a child and her voice inspired me to dig deeper. No one else approaches songs the way Aretha did. She had nuances in her voice that painted a picture and told a story. Whether it was about God, heartbreak, joy or a secret love Aretha knew how to transport you into her world.

I can recall many fond memories of my sister and I standing in front of the mirror with hair brushes in hand dancing and singing along to her songs. She most definitely shaped me into the singer I am today.

What was something powerful that you learnt about Aretha's life while making the show that you didn't know before taking on the project?

Well I can't give away too much cause you really do need to come and see the show for yourself but Aretha's life was both turbulent and joyous.

I learned she stood for equality, freedom and peace in a world that was and is truly starved of it. She was fierce in every way in fact she paved the way for so many female singers today.

She was the first woman and black woman to be inducted to the 'Rock and Roll' of Fame. There would be no Beyonce' without Aretha Franklin.

You've been called Australia's Soul Mama. Does Aretha and the Show feel like coming home to you?

It most definitely is a homecoming for me. Soul music is my comfort zone and most vulnerable space as a singer and performer. It's in the blood, the soul and the essence of who I am. Soul/gospel music is my grounding both vocally and spiritually. To be dubbed 'Australia's Soul Mama' is very humbling.

If you could have met Aretha, what would you have asked her?

I'd ask Aretha:

What was her greatest achievement personally?

What her biggest life lesson was?

Who were the people in her world who helped shape her?




See Angie and the Respect: Aretha Franklin Story for yourself. The Palms at Crown is located at 8 Whiteman Street Southbank. The Frankston Arts Centre is located at 27-37 Davey St, Frankston The Show starts at 7:30pm with tickets from $84.93 - $95.12.

Secure your seats here.

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Why? Hear Soul Music and Learn About Aretha's Life
When: 7:30pm - 10:00pm
Where: The Palms, Crown, Melbourne and Frankston Arts Centre
Cost: $84.93 - $94.12
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