Fiona Ross makes love gone wrong sound exquisitely right in the intimate live video for her new single I Followed My Heart — premiering exclusively on Tinnitist.
In the latest gem from the award-winning jazz artist’s album Fierce and Non-Compliant, Ross strips her own lovelorn lament down to the bare essentials of voice and bass, and delivers the torchy throwback in the unlikeliest of settings: An empty church.
“I love singing in churches because the acoustics give my voice freedom,” Ross explains. “I actually don’t really like singing in a studio environment. And I wanted to do a video that was just fun and just about enjoying singing with no fancy makeup artists and settings — just me doing my thing I guess. I spent a few months basically wandering into churches across London, bursting into song and then leaving. Ha! I selected this one as it was beautiful and the acoustics worked well with my voice. When I wrote this song, I wanted to create something that was definitely kind of old-school jazz, you know? On the album it has the full band and sounds fab, but doing the video with just my bassist Derek Daley was so wonderful.”
Her devotion to the track is no surprise. “I love singing this song! Of all the songs on the album, I enjoy this one the most and in fact have many emotions connected to. It was the last song I recorded on the album and I had two special guests: Kim Cypher on saxophone, and the multi award-winning Adam Cooper, who I went to school with, joins me on vocals. I wanted to do some live sessions but keep it quite intimate and real.”
Intimate and real are practically Ross’s middle names. Based in London and resonating throughout the international scene, Ross is known for her illustrative songwriting and unique fingerprint of sound that blends a Latin Jazz with vintage club styles, plus a touch of neo-soul for good measure. Fierce and Non-Compliant is not merely a sonic sojourn into her songwriting journal, but also her notes as an esteemed jazz journalist. “I’ve interviewed some incredible people,” she shares, including Maxine Gordon, Steve Gadd, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Terri Lynne Carrington, and Kyle Eastwood, to name a few. “I’d wanted to include some people on the album that have really inspired me as a person and as an artist. I was truly blown away they said yes.”
Since the age of two, there has rarely been a day for the award-winning vocalist, pianist, composer, producer, educator, and journalist that hasn’t centred around music. Highlights include fibbing her age at 14 years old to elbow her way onto jazz club stages throughout London on weekends, and attending England’s prestigious Arts Educational School. As head of British Academy of New Music for nearly a decade, Ross is credited for having a hand in training the likes of Ed Sheeran, Rita Ora, and Jess Glynne.
Ross has previously released Black, White and a Little Bit of Grey, Just Me (and sometimes someone else), and A Twist of Blue. But Fierce and Non-Compliant has been the contemporary virtuoso’s most challenging artistry yet, she says. This album “has been a huge challenge on many levels. I have reached into places I have just not been before … It has been emotional!”
Watch I Followed My Heart above, listen to Fierce and Non-Compliant below, and connect with Fiona Ross via her website, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.