The Kaje talks stadium success to Il Divo

Il Divo were the creation of Reality Talent Show Guru Simon Cowell. Having noted the popularity of Andrea Bocelli and the second place ranking of G4 on the X Factor, he decided to mastermind a Three Tenors of the noughties. Little did he realise back in 2004 just how powerful the quartet of French pop singer Sébastien Izambard, Spanish baritone Carlos Marín, American tenor David Miller, and Swiss tenor Urs Bühler would become as a combined unit. Having unleashed their sixth studio album “Wicked Game” last year, the quartet are about to embark on the UK section of the immense global tour. With the rain pouring fast and hard in Belfast, The Kaje checked in with Carlos Marín to see how it was all going…

Are you enjoying the tour so far?

Very much. It has been amazing since we started in January in South Africa. It has been a real journey from South Africa to Japan to Australia to China and South East Asia. It has been absolutely amazing. The reaction from the audience has been fantastic everywhere. This show that we are bringing is a 37 piece Orchestra on stage, which makes it feel a little bit more intimate even if we are playing big venues. We are always trying to be closer to the audience.

How do you create a sense of intimacy even when playing larger venues?

The good thing is that we have cameras in front of us capturing every moment which can be projected on to big screens and fill a big venue. We want to try be as close as possible as it shows our passion in our songs. The people’s reaction is amazing every night. We always get a standing ovation, which is really touching because you see each time younger people coming to fill the audience. We have a meet and greet every night before the show to have photos with us. In big venues with 7000 to 12000 people. In Madrid it will be 16000 people. It is just one of the most amazing tours.

Do you prefer smaller venues? Or do you get a kick out of arena shows?

Sometimes it is much more difficult to play for a smaller audience. Of course we are still talking 2000 people when we say a small venue. I don’t know why it just feels like you are ever closer to them. It is a different experience. I don’t know how to explain it. In a big venue it is a much bigger sound, but it is a totally different experience. Which do I prefer? Obviously I prefer both. Once you have the audience there clapping and giving their support, then we are happy about it.

Is there one venue in the world that you really feel a connection with?

I don’t know really. Obviously the Royal Albert Hall is a fantastic venue to perform, but it was also amazing at the o2. Every single country has something special. Every single night something special happens on stage. The people react differently. Every night there is something new. For example it was really funny in Korea, we were singing “La Vida Sin Amor” and I was talking to the audience asking if anybody wanted to dance with me. Suddenly a girl jumped on stage and started to dance with me. At the beginning it was funny, then she was getting closer and closer. The security eventually helped her go off the stage.

The audience means a lot to you. Do you feel that the intimacy of an Il Divo concert relies on the two-way relationship between audience and performer?

It is a really amazing relationship we have with the audience. You see people crying suddenly, so you really get touched every night. Every night there is a new story. We had a letter from one woman who came to a meet and greet, she told us that she was in a coma for a long time and woke up to our music-that is just so touching.  It is just amazing. It is amazing what we can do with our music. We find it unbelievable.

Before Il Divo you were already very succesful. You have recently returned to projects outside of Il Divo, how do you strike a balance between personal ambitions and group ambitions?

Right now we do not have much time to think about our solo careers. Obviously I have done things solo. I am a workaholic, so if we have one month off, I will rest for a week then I will see what I can do in the other weeks. For example last June we had a month off and I prepared my own show. It was a jazzy Frank Sinatra kind of show. It was an amazing experience with 25 other musicians on the stage. Those are things that I love to do, but being on tour our mind and full being is in Il Divo. We all think Il Divo has a long life ahead of us.

Having taken three years to record and make our latest album “Wicked Game”, which I think is our best record, was really good for us. We feel really strong and are having such a great time on this tour. We have always had a really great time, but right now we are having a really great time too.

“Wicked Game” contains perhaps your most diverse material to date, how do you select songs for a record?

It was quite difficult. This album we wanted to not make an obvious Il Divo album. We were trying to choose songs that would not have a typical formula. Take “Wicked Game” for example, Chris Isaak didn’t want us to cover this song because no one had done it before. He just didn’t want us to cover it. But we got lucky. His Mum is a very big fan of Il Divo and is Italian, she suggested that if we sang it in Italian then he should say yes. So we recorded it, sent it over and we had the blessing of both him and his Mum. That is why we called the album “Wicked Game”.

The other songs just took a lot of research. We wanted to give something different to our audience. “Crying” for example was another song that we thought about but did not know how to approach. We listened to Rebekah Del Rio, the American singer, and her haunting voice just touched us. So we approached her and asked her to sing the song as a duet.

What we would do typically is put a list forward and the record company put a list forward,then we go to the studio and record about 40 songs. We then just choose which should be in English, which in Spanish and which in Italian. So it is quite a long process.

There was quite a long break between “The Promise” and “Wicked Game”-are you already planning a follow-up?

We are going to release a new record this year, then we hope to release a new record every year. Obviously I cannot tell you what the new record is going to be as it is a surprise. With each record we will head out on the road. We are live singers, that is what we love.  Recording is an amazing experience but you don’t get the closeness to your audience. That response, that applause is what we all love.

WIN!!!!! If you would like to get your hands on a signed copy of “Wicked Game”, simply tell us who performed “Wicked Game” originally… Answers to by Friday 21st April.

Words: Jeremy Williams

The Kaje talks break-ups to Mark Hole

A few weeks ago we received an email about a singer/songwriter called Mark Hole. We knew nothing of the name, nor did we have high expectations for his oddly titled single ‘Torture Garden’. But within moments of clicking the link contained within the promotional email we had fallen in love with his ode to the break up. Far from angry or resentful, without the need to wax lyrical about his former flame, Hole’s offering was honest, meaningful and moving. It left us wanting more. Thankfully he fulfilled our initial craving with his rendition of “Stupid Love” for The Kaje Sessions and has since taken time out of his schedule to tell us a little more about both himself and the tender ‘Torture Garden’…

Your current single is ‘Torture Garden’ – can you tell us a little about the track…

Yeah sure, ‘Torture Garden’ is a break up song, yet it celebrates love. It doesn’t stem from hate or negativity like many of these songs do. It merely speaks the truth that she is wonderful but isn’t right for me and vice versa. I’m all about the love!

‘Torture Garden’ is a very open response to a break up – is songwriting a form of emotional release for you?

Indeed it is. When the break up happened I was consumed by everything I had done wrong and all that I could have done better. This was my way of putting things right. After I’d finished writing I could sleep again.

Do you feel vulnerable when releasing such an honest track for public consumption?

No and a little bit yes. I do feel something, and from time to time think “God, this is a bit heavy isn’t it?! There was no need for that!” I mean do I really need to do this? I think, yes… These things need to be heard.

For those who have not heard your work before, how would you describe yourself as an artist?

Just think of me as a singer song writer called Mark Hole, who’s a little emotional but likes to entertain more than he likes to cry. Just listen, buy my records and get yourself to a gig. I won’t let you down.

What has been the most memorable description of your work to date?

Playing to 3 and half thousand people at the Royal Albert Hall.

Who would you say have been your main influences?

This is always a strange question to me as the people I sound like I’ve never heard of. It’s only from playing my music that people say I sound similar to Rufus Wainwright, Randy Newman Jeff Buckley, who I am all now addicted to. I did listen to a lot of music with my mum like Queen, Abba and Elton John… I love them all just like I love my mum! Oh and I think Ben Folds Five must have influenced me. But then again everything influences our taste, does it not?

What would you say is your ultimate goal?

My ultimate goal is to live and breathe music to infinity and beyond, but to headline Glastonbury would make my life.

With that in mind-what can we expect next from you?

My new album “Always Follow Your Heart”

More information can be found at

Interview by Jeremy Williams

The Kaje talks science to stand up with Shazia Mirza

Mirza’s career is rooted in comedy but also spans T.V, radio, theatre and film. With Mirza out on the road a the moment, The Kaje  decided to catch up with her and find out exactly how a science teacher turned into a stand up…

You started out as a science teacher, how did you switch to comedy?

I didn’t switch to comedy overnight. I started doing comedy while I was still teaching. I just did open spots every night in dingy clubs and rooms above pubs- while I was still teaching which was really tiring. Sometimes I’d drive to Manchester and back on the same night and then go to school the next day to teach. I nearly fell asleep in a few lessons, Bunsen burners were blazing and kids were escaping through the windows. That’s when I knew it was time to go.

What influences you both in life and in your comedy?

My comedy comes from my life. And there’s always things to talk about. If I run out of things to say I just go home for the weekend and spend some time with my parents.

It says on your website that you could have had the chance to live a life on Bishop’s Avenue etc, can you tell us some more about that?

I really need to update my webpage. What I was saying is that I could have married a rich man at 21, and had a life of shopping, holidays, and mindless sex with a man I don’t love who’d probably cheat on me the minute he sees a stray hair on my upper lip. But instead I chose to follow my dream of being on stage, even though this was the harder and less lucrative option.

Describe your own style?

Autobiographical, sometimes silly sometimes just a pack of lies. But I love to take the piss out of my parents. Revenge- They should have let me have boyfriends as a teenager!

Can you think of some standout moments from your career?

Meeting The Queen, meeting Brian May. Playing the Royal Albert Hall.

Do you do anything before performing?

Sit in silence, I rarely talk to anyone, and I always go through my set.

What are your favourite things to do during the performance?

Banter with the audience. I love to know who’s out there and know about their life.

What’s next for you?

I will be on The Wright stuff on 6th- 10th February Channel 5  9-11am. I will also be on tour later on in the year all tour dates will be on my website soon.

Can you tell us one piece of trivia about yourself?

I can’t stop picking my nose. I do it all the time in every situation. It’s disgusting and embarrassing.

Follow Shazia Mirza …
Twitter: @shaziamirza1

Words: Eleni Kypridemos
Photographs: Martin Twomey

NEWS: Matt Goss announces special guests The Overtones

Matt Goss is set to wow audiences this side of the Atlantic when he brings his smash hit ‘Matt Goss Live’ show to the UK for the very first time fresh from Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

Matt today announces that ‘The Overtones’ will open for him on this very special night at the Royal Albert Hall. Five vintage music loving painters and decorators have landed the job of their dreams by signing a record deal with Warner Music after an extraordinarily lucky ‘break’. They now hope to hang up their paint splattered overalls for a brush with fame.

The Overtones will be lending their smooth vocal harmonies to classic repertoire and nostalgic sounding original songs, ‘The Overtones’ are the freshest ‘man’ band on the block.  They trace their musical heritage all the way back to the vocal harmony groups of the 30’s and 40’s like The Ink Spots, the stars of the doo-wop explosion of the late 50s and 60s including The Drifters, The Platters & Dion and The Belmonts right through to the recent performers like Billy Joel & Michael Buble.

A talent scout from the record company that propelled many of music’s most popular artists to superstardom overheard the decorating team singing during a tea break whilst working off Oxford Street in London’s West End.  Impressed by the performance they were invited to try out in front of executives from the label and were rewarded with a deal.The big break has lead to them recording their debut album entitled ‘Good Ol Fashioned Love’ due for release on November 1st.  The album showcases a series of both original pop songs and classic 50’s and 60’s covers. The first single Gambling Man will also be released on November 1st and was written by the boys themselves.

Dubbed “The Hottest Vegas Act…” by the LA Times, Matt Goss recently exploded back onto the music scene as a solo act, headlining at Caesars Palace with a Robin Antin (Pussycat Doll’s creator) produced show ‘Matt Goss Live’ alongside his worldwide album release, “Gossy” (which spawned the hit ‘Evil’ which reached top chart success in 15 countries worldwide). The show has been such a huge success that fans and critics alike are now unanimous in dubbing Matt the leader of a new Rat Pack of Las Vegas stars (Las Vegas Weekly), picking up where greats such as Sinatra left off, whilst stylishly bringing the great Vegas Legacy into the 21st Century. On returning home to London, Matt had the following to say:

‘Having played over a hundred shows in America last year I can’t wait to come home to London and play such a beautiful venue in the country I love. Having listened to The Overtones, I’m extremely excited about welcoming them to the show and seeing them live.’

The London-born crooner was lead vocalist for the British teen-sensation Bros, burning up the pop charts in Europe and Australia, and selling out Wembley Stadium when he was just 20 to a massive crowd in excess of 70,000 fans. Bros had thirteen Top 5 singles and sold over 16 million albums, headlining two global tours playing in the biggest venues across the planet, which included the Sydney Entertainment Centre,Tokyo’s Buddha Kahn, the Royal Albert Hall and sold-out 15 consecutive nights in London.

Matt relocated to Los Angeles from the UK and has been consistently working as a successful songwriter & performer, co-writing with such artists as Keri Hilson, Akon, and has written the main duet and finale for France’s top selling Broadway musical equivalent, Cleopatré, having sold in excess of 600,000 tickets to date.

Matt will be performing a hit-studded set that will include some of his biggest Bros-era songs as well as some of his critically acclaimed new material and his take on some of the greatest songs ever written. This is bound to be one of the classiest shows you’ll see this year, so dust off your best black tie attire and join Matt Goss as he effortlessly brings all the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas to the Royal Albert Hall this October.

October 2010

Tuesday                       19         Royal Albert Hall, London

Tickets on sale now priced at £45.00 / £42.50 / £37.50 / £35.00 / £27.50 (subject to booking fee) and are available from

NEWS: Russell Watson Announces Spring Tour

Two Classical BRIT Awards. Two Double Platinum, one Platinum and two Gold classified albums. Over seven million records sold worldwide. Now Russell Watson is back for a 21 date UK tour in the Spring of 2011, which will include a show at London’s Royal Albert Hall on May 3rd. Expect to be amazed.

Perhaps the UK’s greatest ever tenor, Russell’s eagerly awaited new album, ‘La Voce’ – recorded in June 2010 with the Roma Sinfonietta; Ennio Morricone’s orchestra of choice – will be released on Russell’s new label Epic Records on November 29th.

Returning with a stronger, more driven and powerful voice, his renditions of Pino Donaggio’s Io Che Non Vivo (Senza Te), Mario Lanza’s Arrivederci Roma and Parla Piu Piano (the theme from The Godfather) are nothing less than astounding.

With Russell accompanied by an accomplished orchestra, this is set to be one of the most exciting tours of 2011.  Tickets go on sale October 1st.

Russell Watson will play:


Sun 27th Salford Lowry (Lyric)
Mon 28th Oxford New Theatre
Wed 30th Sheffield City Hall


Fri 1st Liverpool Philharmonic
Sun 3rd Llandudno Venue Cymru Theatre
Mon 4th Manchester Bridgewater Hall
Thurs 7th Blackpool Opera House
Sat 9th Newcastle City Hall
Mon 11th Glasgow Clyde Auditorium
Wed 13th Nottingham Royal Centre
Thurs 14th Northampton Derngate
Sat 16th Bournemouth Intl Centre
Mon 18th Brighton Dome
Wed 20th Plymouth Pavilions
Tues 26th Bristol Colston Hall
Thurs 28th Cardiff St David’s Hall
Sat 30th Birmingham Symphony Hall


Sun 1st Birmingham Symphony Hall
Tues 3rd London Royal Albert Hall
Thurs 5th Leicester DM Hall
Sat 7th Ipswich Regent

Ticket prices:

Regional – £60/£40/£25
London – £75/£65/£47.50/£35/£25

Buy tickets from / 0844 811 0051

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