With a view to empower women, Miss Renee Simone is a treasure finally ready to shine on her own.
“I trained as an occupational therapist, so I have always had a desire to work with people to help them to break down barriers and be the best that they can be – which is what this album [‘Roar’] has ended up being about. This one is in relation to women, so it's not necessarily youth work but I found myself working in that same field with people of all ages and from all walks of life.”
Over the course of the past 12 months Renee has been inspired by women’s stories from all over the world.
“I had somebody who was talking to me on Facebook. She was from Israel and she was a grandmother, talking to me about her stories of hope and what makes a woman strong. While she was talking to me there was a suicide bomber in her street. It was just so moving to know that she was sitting there, with all these things going on around her, and her concerns were for what was happening on my stage. It was very heart-warming.”
Since stepping out as a solo artist earlier this year, Renee has already been invited to collaborate with some of Australia’s finest.
“Both Angus Stone and Bernard Fanning called me up, and that was the most bizarre experience.
“When Bernard called me up he said 'Hi, it's Bernard Fanning here' — I have a guy who sold me gas, and his name was Michael Jackson — so when Bernard called me I just started laughing and asked him what he was selling, and he said 'No, I was just wondering if you wanted to sing with me'. I nearly died on the spot. “Thankfully he was still into the idea and we went on to record his single 'Tell Me How It Ends'.”
With Angus Stone describing her voice as “tiramisu topped with smooth chocolate topping”, she has come a long way since reaching the ‘Australia’s Got Talent’ semi-finals.
“I just got a call from 'The Voice'. I ended up saying no, but there was a part of me that was really interested in the idea of hanging out with Seal and seeing what that experience would bring.”
Miss Renee Simone plays the Brisbane Jazz Club October 18. ‘Roar’ is released October 14.