ASBO Meets: Lady Blackbird

Lady Blackbird is the new jazzy creation and alter-ego from lifelong musician Marley Munroe. Her debut album “Black Acid Soul” was released to critical acclaim and has kicked off an international tour; with shows lined up from The Netherlands to New York.

Photo credit: Tony Duran

She recently put out a short film singing at Capitol Studios and is booked to perform at the Love Supreme Festival on July 1st so I was delighted to be able to share a phone call with her and her good friend/multi-talented musician and collaborator Chris Seefried to ask them a few questions and gain an insider’s look on what they have been up to and what they have in store.

ASBO: Describe yourself. Where are you from? and What do you do?

Lady Blackbird: I was born in a small little town in New Mexico. I’ve always been a singer so you could say music has been a part of my whole journey- I was in the studio recording albums at five with people stacking boxes on top of each other to help me reach the microphone. I can’t remember a time I didn’t sing but now people are starting to pay attention.

Before you became Lady Blackbird you were more involved in other genres of music, what made you change into this version of yourself we see today?

I just have such a love for music in general and I genuinely enjoy singing all of it. Like anybody, we all go through phases and I enjoy each phase; at one point I wanted to rap, I had a period where I sang rock and I also had a 60’s phase. These things don’t go away- they are all part of my journey. I grew up listening to soul music and singing in the church so that has also been a huge influence on me and who I am. This particular project with the jazz started when Chris was playing a demo song we had cut called “Nobody’s Sweetheart”, people responded really well to it so we decided to create an album that had more space for me vocally because that was what they really liked.

Your debut album “Black Acid Soul” came out recently. What was it like to release your first album as Lady Blackbird?

It was amazing; almost like being reborn. It was difficult though because of how it came out in the middle of the pandemic- we had it finished a year prior.

Chris Seefried: By the time we released the first single the album was already done. We waited because of the pandemic and put out singles with remixes behind them to extend their life and give the album a real chance.

Speaking of singles, The remix of “Lost and Looking” by Cosmodelica just came out. I was wondering what you thought of their funky take on your song.

Lady Blackbird: I think it’s incredible. All of the people who have remixed the songs have done such a great job and that’s actually one of my favourites. I couldn’t have been happier that Elton John played it on his radio show “The Rocket Hour”.

I watched the short film you made “Live at Capitol Studios”. What was it like making that and singing there?

That was quite the day. Being there is a place with such rich history and walking down the hallways and seeing the people who have played there was humbling. Seeing the whole thing come together and take shape was definitely a moment. We had a viewing party to watch it afterwards and that also was a fun night.

Chris Seefried:

It was nice to sit down in front of an audience and watch it because until then we had only really seen it on our phones. The PA system allowed everyone to really hear it as well. It’s such a wonderful experience to travel and have people appreciate the music, you couldn’t really ask for more.

So… What’s next for you?

Chris Seefried: We are playing at the Love Supreme Jazz Festival on the 1st of July. We were over here in the UK last year and we’re supposed to play an affiliate gig for the festival and some other shows but unfortunately, we both got COVID. We are just so thankful that things seem to be more doable now and we have historic jazz festivals coming up that we can play at.

Lady Blackbird: We also have an album we’ve been working on that will be released at the right time. As well as plans to slowly put out music to keep people interested.

Is there anything else you would like to say?

Lady Blackbird: Just thank you across the board for all the love and support that has been shown to this album. I do what I do because I love it and the way people have responded is amazing. We can’t wait to play these shows!

Words by: Jules Corsini

Lady Blackbird performs at this year’s Love Supreme Jazz Festival, which takes place in Glynde, East Sussex from July 1st –