Alice Mascarenhas and Jonathan Sacramento Interview Vocalist Steve Balsamo
Steve Balsamo is not just a two-dimensional singer, he is a student of the voice who has drafted into his repertoire a range of influenced from different cultures, including Western and even Mongolian throat singing. Steve not only has an incredible voice, but is fascinated with the effect of the voice on mood and emotion, and is constantly on the look out for new techniques and new teachers to learn from.Most famous for his fabulous rendition as Jesus in the 20anniversary production of Andrew Lloyd Weber's Jesus Christ Superstar, Steve's career has already seen him display a range of talents, from rock bands, to musicals, and now his pop record 'All I Am'.
Yet the young man from
What was your experience like in Jesus?Playing Jesus was is hard thing. I did a lot of research, read a lot of books, went to see a lot of plays, watched a lot of films. Probably every culture in the world has some sort of image of the crucifixion scene, so performing that over 400 times and keeping it fresh was not easy. It becomes very tiring, and also takes its toll on the voice- there was no drinking, smoking or partying for a year to keep it fit.
Was it something you'd think of doing again?I may do, I never ruled anything out. I never set out to be a musicals actor or singer, I set out to be a singer and this is one of the things that was part of a pre-destined route in my career.I am currently involved in a project by Eric Wolfson (the writer in the Alan Parsons project) who's written a musical based on Edgar Allan Poe. We've recorded a record which will be released in
How did you get to Notre Dame de Paris from Superstar?I got asked to do that. It was a huge phenomenon in
What direction do you want to take now?I released an album with Sony Records aimed at the pop market, which was great and I had some amazing fun. It was a personal expression of where I was at the time. Now I'm part of a new band comprising four or five different singers who are all fantastic, and four or five writers who are all fantastic. I don't take the lead vocals on some of the songs- there's a lot of harmonising and is really going back to the music I grew up listening to. It's a little rockier than my album, but that's how I started, playing in rock bands in Wales.You grew up in
Why do you think this is? I tell you something,
Do you identify any cultural ties between
What sort of reception have you had from the Gibraltarian people?Very good. It's very exciting. Some of the VIPs are part of my new band and we've written a lot of new songs, so it's been really exciting to have the chance to play some of these songs for the first time. We had a feeling they were good, but we've had the chance to play them for audiences without any pressure because nobody knows us here. It's nice to get a fresh set of ears. When something is new, on a spiritual level it's a good indication of how something is going to carry through ultimately.