“I was doing my own thing”

Don Wilcock interviewed Shemekia Copeland for Nippertown, before her performance at the 39th annual Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, on Saturday June, 25, 2016, right before her European tour.

He asked her questions about her father, Johnny Copeland:

Shemekia has Johnny’s genes. She first joined her dad on stage at age six. “I was nervous all along,” she admits today. “I didn’t even want to sing in front of my family. It was like, oh, my God, you know? And that’s just insecurity. God, I love being an adult. I say it all the time. I’m so grateful for growing up because when you are comfortable with who you are, and you are comfortable with yourself and you are comfortable with what you are saying and what you are putting out in the universe, it just makes getting up on the stage that much more easy. You get to a certain age where you just – know what? I’m gonna say this anyhow, (laughs) and then you decide how you feel about it, but I’m gonna tell you how I feel. It’s a wonderful feeling.”

He also asked her about her influences, where her albums come from, including the songs written by her manager John Hahn in her latest Outskirts of Love album, before going back to her dad:

Shemekia always does just one of her daddy’s songs on each album. On Outskirts of Town it’s “Devil’s Hand.” “I don’t wanna do a whole record of Johnny Copeland songs. Later on in my career, maybe, but right now I’m still trying to figure out who Shemekia Copeland is, so I don’t want to do that just yet. Once I establish my own identity, which with the last three records I feel I’m doing more so than ever, then maybe I’ll do other things ’cause people always say, ‘Well, why don’t you do a tribute record to Koko Taylor?’ In my mind I’m thinking I knew Koko Taylor very well, and that would piss her off. If she was alive she would be gracious that I did it, but she would also be pissed off because the reason she loved me so much was because I was doing my own thing.”

Read the full interview in NippertownLOGO nippertown