„Don´t you put me in a box and try to tell me what I`m not.“
Lyrics by Ada Morghe &
When you are an actress, a scriptwriter, a children’s author and a jazz singer, not to mention a mother, a friend, a lover and plenty else besides, how do you describe yourself? As Ada Morghe, Alexandra Helmig has the answer. Don’t put her in a box.
This is the inspiration of Ada Morghe’s current journey - a jazzy, soulful, deeply personal and suitably titled second album, out on the 14th of August which was launched with the single “Oh my love” – a track Ada picked as one of her personal favorites inspired by a love letter she wrote.
“The song began when a German magazine asked four writers to do essays about the elements and mine was on the air,” Ada recalls. “At first, I approached it scientifically and it was really boring. Then I decided to write a love letter to the air which I called ‘Oh My Love’ and suddenly it worked. When we recorded it, I started reading the words to this love letter and the musicians played without any planning, and within the first 40 seconds we all knew it was special”.
Elsewhere, ‘Box’ stretches from the tight, upbeat funk of ‘Wake Up’ to the melancholic elegance of ‘Rainy Day’, or the jazz seduction of ‘Sugar Lips’, a perfect vehicle for the warmth and smokiness of her voice, and the romantic Parisian spirit of ‘Water Lilies’, which echoes Edith Piaf and Juliette Gréco. Another highlight, ‘Don’t You Put Me In A Box’, was co-written with a kindred spirit in the shape of Andrew Roachford (‘Cuddly Toy’). Ending with the beautiful ‘Demons’, an orchestral epic with shades of Scott Walker and a message of self-acceptance, ‘Box’ marks a true coming of age.
Alexandra’s career in music began in earnest three years ago, after she wrote and starred in a play, then a film, called ‘Mother Bee’. A pun in its German title, Frau Mutter Tier, refers to an overprotective mother. Having been encouraged to also write songs for the film, those compositions fell into the hands of former Prince collaborator Hans-Martin Buff and just six week later, Alexandra found herself recording at Abbey Road. That ultimately put Alexandra in the relatively unusual position of releasing her debut album ‘Pictures’ in her 40s, which has gained over a 1 million streams across DSPs.
For someone who cannot be put in a box, how does Alexandra feel about being labelled as a jazz singer of verve, passion and elegance?
“Music makes sense to me because everything is in there,” she replies. “There is the writer, the musician, the performer. And this album is about where I am now.” As Box demonstrates so gracefully, Alexandra, as Ada Morghe, is in a very good place indeed
Luke Smith, Luca Boscagin and Josh McKenzie on their collaboration with Ada Morghe:
“Ada´s songs have something that has been missing from music for a long time. Her music is refreshing and timeless.“
„Working with Ada has been an awesome experience. The songs are really great and original and she made me and the rest of the wonderful team feel amazing. I would do it every day.“
„Recently I had the pleasure of recording with Ada, an incredible singer-songwriter. Ada made this experience one to remember, because she allowed me to be myself which made my dynamics as a drummer creative, relaxed and free flowing, it was the most loving family orientated environment which made the music come together in it´s own special way.“