TODAY.AZ / Arts & Entertainment

Michael Bolton: I’m curious to learn more about music traditions in Azerbaijan

01 April 2014 [11:10] - TODAY.AZ
On 19th of April, Michael Bolton for the first time, will hold a concert program in Baku, at the Heydar Aliyev Center.

Bolton (born Michael Bolotin), 60, is an American singer-songwriter. As a singer, he has performed with other artists such as: Lucia Aliberti, Patti LaBelle, José Carreras, Tony Cetinski, Ray Charles, Céline Dion, Plácido Domingo, Renée Fleming, Wynonna Judd, BB King, The Lonely Island, Luciano Pavarotti, Percy Sledge, and Zucchero.

Bolton has also written songs for Bob Dylan, Lady GaGa, Diane Warren, Phil Ramone, Barbra Streisand, Jay Z and the "Kiss" band. A Grammy award winner, Bolton sold over 53 million records worldwide.

Prior to his concert in Baku, Bolton spoke to Trend Agency on a number of topics.

Michael, every performer has his own style. Why does your repertoire is filled with love rock-ballads? What does love mean to you personally?

My repertoire is very diverse, from ballads to blues rock, arias, standards and r&b songs. As far as love, I've always been a hopeless romantic.

Regarding your upcoming concert in Baku's Heydar Aliyev Center, what do you think of it? How do you plan to surprise the fans?

I'm really looking forward to performing in Baku for the first time, and from what I understand, the Heydar Aliyev Center is a spectacular venue, an apex of creative and cultural life.

Naturally, you must be reading about a country that you're about to visit, especially for the first time. What do you currently know about Azerbaijan? Is there anything you've read or heard before, but would like to experience yourself?

I have traveled to just about every corner of the world and seen beautiful architecture and so much natural beauty, but the single most important thing is always the same - and that is the connection and warmth we feel from the people. Being a performing artist means it will always be about the people who live where the road takes us and the people who come to enjoy what we love most, the music. I understand that the landscape in Azerbaijan is quite magnificent, from the Caspian Sea's shoreline to the various mountain ranges. I'm curious to learn more about the music traditions there.

As far as I know, you're a vegetarian. How did you become one? How difficult it is for you to maintain such kind of lifestyle?

I have been a vegetarian for more than 30 years and it's been quite an easy lifestyle to maintain, even while traveling. I made the decision simply because it was healthier for me personally, but I like my friends to cook or order whatever makes them feel healthy and happy.

Your ancestors are from Russia. Considering that, how difficult was it for you to reach fame in the United States? How can you define differences between the audiences in the U.S., and Russia? Are there any?

My 18 year climb to success had little to do with my father's Russian heritage. If anything, he and my grandparents instilled in me traits like persistence and a strong work ethic. Of course there are differences in audiences all around the world. The power and it is the beauty of music that brings us together. I have numerous friends in the music business who are of Russian heritage, some of the most successful songwriters in the world. Diane Warren and Barry Mann just to name a few, have grandparents from Russia.

Many are hungry for success, yet not all achieve it. You're a singer and a composer. What's your formula for successful career? Does it even exist?


A successful career of longevity always requires a very strong work discipline and, I believe, the divine gift of timing and talent.

You've worked with many world-known celebrities. Any interesting of funny memories you could share?

There are so many! I really enjoyed writing about them in my recent autobiography, The Soul of it All. Among those people I have worked with are Bob Dylan and Lady Gaga, Luciano Pavarotti and the U.S. President Clinton, there are so many who have impacted and inspired my life.

As I understand, your career takes the most of your time. But is there anything else you're doing, any kind of business you're involved in?

My career is a full time business which includes not only touring globally but writing and recording, promoting new projects, developing film, television and literary properties, creating new strategic partners, and expanding my philanthropic initiatives.

You're the founder of "The Michael Bolton Charities", and you also participate in projects of other charity organizations. What does charity mean to you?

Before I achieved any success in the music industry, my young family and I really struggled financially, and verged on homelessness. So when I achieved success, I started by supporting local shelters. I discovered that the women and children were most often being sheltered not from homelessness, but from domestic violence at home. I then focused my initiatives on helping women and children at risk of abuse. Celebrity has allowed me to wield influence in the media and in legislation. Making a difference in the quality of a person's life is a reward that truly touches your soul.

Considering your schedule, how do you communicate with your children and grandsons? Anyone of them following your steps?


My daughters and I are always communicating through email and text while I travel. They are great about sending pictures and videos of the little ones. When I'm home in Connecticut, or on the West Coast, I get to visit my family and I'm aware that it's precious time, and whenever they can, they will come out to the shows.

/Trend/

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