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The Desert AIDS Project is holding its 5th annual Mid-Summer Dance Party, “Do Ask, Do Tell” on July 13. This important fundraising event, taking place at the Commune inside the ACE Hotel & Swim Club starting at 8 pm, will feature a live performance from the one and only Kristine W.
With 16 No. 1 Billboard dance hits, Kristine W has spent more time at the top of the dance chart than both Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. That number will most certainly increase once her new album gets released later this year.
In a recent telephone conversation, Kristine W spoke with The BottomLine to talk about her upcoming Palm Springs performance, her new album, and the passing of her idol, Donna Summer.
TBL: The last time we spoke, you were promoting your first Jazz album, Straight Up, With A Twist, which was very well received. Congratulations on your success!
Kristine W: Thank you! It has been really fun. It was such a surprise that people loved it so much. I mean, I kind of knew they would, but they loved it even more than I expected, so that was great. I spent four years making this double Jazz album with 30 tracks and I thought, ‘What am I going to do if people don’t like it?’ I had major anxiety before it came out, but it has been amazing how people have really taken to it.
That album must have opened up an entirely new audience for you.
Yeah, I just did a show in Salt Lake City and they had an after-party. It was kind of like a massive backyard party with people drinking champagne and talking, and they had the Jazz album playing. I don’t think they even knew I was coming. It was just so cool to walk into that party and hear the Electro Lounge version of “Window To Your World.” That is what I dreamed for the album to be a part of. I always wanted to be in that mix with this album. And now that has happened.
And that was the point of doing the album, correct?
Yes. The latest hit was, “On The Radio,” which was kind of freaky because that song was really big at smooth jazz radio just as Donna Summer had passed. You know, she was my idol; she was my everything. As a kid, she was just iconic to me. I saw her on television, and heard “Last Dance,” and, I don’t know. Something just clicked for me and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh. I am going to do that. I am going to rock this!’
I remember you telling me in a previous interview that Donna Summer was your childhood idol.
Yeah, she gave me something to aspire to. I was always goofing around, writing these crazy songs as a kid, [then I saw Donna Summer and she] pushed me to believe in myself because she was doing [what I wanted to do]. She was doing that gospel-lee well, you know; they didn’t call it House back then.
So, how did her death affect you?
It was the weirdest thing. We were almost done with [the new album] when she died, and we immediately put the brakes on it. We stopped everything. We had time to include a tribute song, and dedicate the album to her. We HAD to redo everything now. This was huge.
What changes were made?
We would have finished the album a lot sooner, but we want to do it now as a tribute to Donna Summer. We are including a montage, a letter about her, and then we [decided to add a cover of] one of her obscure B-side songs. I partnered with Simon Langford, out of London, and we started writing arrangements [for that song.] It was originally a ballad, but we [plan to rework the arrangement in the style of Donna’s classic dance songs]. You know how her arrangements for “Dim All The Lights” and “On The Radio” started slow and then picked up in time? We want make it into an arrangement like that. It will start slow and then it will kick into a dance anthem. It is going to be quite a production, let me just tell you.
Wow, I can’t wait to hear it.
Yeah, the song is called “Sometimes Like Butterflies,” and I first heard it like, 10 years ago when one of my fans [brought it to my attention]. I didn’t think about it again until I was recording “Some Lovin’” with a producer who had worked with her. He played the hook for me and I thought, ‘That is such a beautiful ballad.’ It is a very sad kind of song, if you listen to it in its ballad form. But I couldn’t see doing “Bad Girls” or “Hot Stuff.” This song is something with kind of a message that maybe she wrote for us.
It sounds like this song will make a powerful tribute.
Yeah, she wrote it so, I don’t know, it just seems super special. We are pretty excited. We just had to do something really great for her. It seemed that when Whitney [Houston] passed, they were banging the drums, [with lots of television specials and tributes]. Then someone like Donna Summer, who is just to me the goddess of dance. In my opinion, shit should have stopped and they should have had brought half-mast to the flag at the White House. That is the way I feel about her.
I completely agree!
We just had to do something great for her. I just could not master this album [without paying tribute]. That would have tortured me. It is a great album, but this tribute is going to make it even greater because she was great. She was a class act. I am excited for people to hear what we’ve done for her.
I can’t wait to hear it. Let’s talk about some of the other tracks on the new album.
The album is called New and Number Ones because we redid 4 of my number-ones. Bimbo Jones did “Feel What You Want,” Soul Seekers from the U.K. did “Lovin’ You,” “One More Try” was done by JRMX, “Land of the Living” was done by Subgrouper in Amsterdam. There are 9 brand-new songs, besides the Donna Summer remake. Every song on the album is a dance song. There are no ballads. I don’t know why, but this time it just worked out that way. The first single is “Everything That I Got.” Bimbo Jones and I wrote it together. The remixers are Bimbo Jones, Stonebridge, and Twisted Dee.
When can we expect the album to be released?
I believe they will go on presale on August 1st, and then I think we are shooting for a release date of September 7th. We are having a big album release party I think on September 7th at Krave in Las Vegas.
You are making an appearance here in Palm Springs soon. Can we expect to hear some of your new material?
Yes. I am bringing two of my dancers from Las Vegas. You’ll get to see the props and the costumes from the New and Number Ones Tour. We will open with the new single and we will probably do four songs from the new album. We are pretty confident about what we created.
See and hear Kristine’s new music for yourself at the Mid-Summer Dance Party at the ACE Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs. This event takes place from 8 pm to midnight on July 13, 2012. For ticket information please visit the Desert AIDS Project website at Desertaidsproject.org. Be sure to check for updates on Kristine W by visiting her official website at Kristinew.com
View the albums HERE.
This article was originally published HERE.