17 March 2016
An Interview with Amy Rosato, singer, Cottontail Trio
With the first concert of our Morning Music Series coming up, we thought we'd introduce you to our performing artists!
Here we chat with Amy Rosato of the vocal harmony group Cottontail Trio, who will be performing in Cottontail Trio & The Supper Club on Tuesday, 19 April.
When did you start making music and performing together?
In 2011, Jessie and I were in a band called Stratosfunk (1960s soul and Motown music, lots of harmonies) and we were asked if we could perform an Andrews Sisters feature show for a special event. We were already big lovers of swing music and swing dancing, so we asked our fellow swing-dancing friend Alissa whether she'd join us in creating the show! I think we completely underestimated the amount of work it would take, but the process of dissecting the amazing intricate harmonies from old recordings and then learning them and putting them back together again was so challenging and satisfying, not to mention having to come up with our choreography and then train our bodies and brains to be able to deliver it all effortlessly! Those performers back in the day were unbelievably hard-working and talented.
Which artists do you draw inspiration from?
The artists we love to cover from the Golden Era are of course The Andrews Sisters (from whom we also get most of our hair, makeup and costume inspiration too!), The Boswell Sisters (fun fact: The Andrews Sisters actually started out as a Boswell Sisters tribute act and that's how they were 'discovered'), The Mills Brothers and the other harmony groups from the time. The incredibly blended sound of their voices inspires us to work hard and get to that point where we sound like one person. We also love to watch old Youtube video clips of these artists and other performers like Sammy Davis Jnr and the rest of the Rat Pack - amazing entertainers!
What draws you to the music of the 1920s and 30s?
Swing music is what we like to think of as the first 'pop' music. It was incredibly infectious at the time when radios were becoming the main way to deliver mass-media to the population and these recording artists were being broadcast into people's homes all over the world. There's something about swing music that is always joyful or hopeful, even when it's a sad ballad, and the toe-tapping upbeat numbers make it difficult to sit still.
How do you keep your performances fresh?
Working with our six-piece band The Supper Club (there are nine of us in total!) means there is a lot of energy both on and off stage that keeps our performance fresh. There is so much repetition in the learning of this intricate music, but even after a few years of performing these songs, we still find something new to work on every time we come to a rehearsal. More recently, Jessie, Alissa and I have also been working on the stories we tell in between songs, and audience interaction in our show - we love to connect with our audience and even get them joining in on a couple of dance moves!
If there’s one musician you could perform with, who would it be, and why?
I think we'd love to be able to sing a 'duet' (if you can call it that, with four singers total) with Bing Crosby. What a crooner.
What are you looking forward to most about performing at Perth Concert Hall’s Morning Music Series?
It is an honour to be able to perform on the Perth Concert Hall main stage, where so many artists we respect, admire and are just plain obsessed with have performed before us. We also enjoy meeting the audience members after the show, and hearing how their experience of our show re-connected them with good memories. That's really rewarding.
Where else can we expect to the Cottontail Trio & The Supper Club in the future?
We recently performed a run of shows call The Golden Era Of Swing at Fringe World festival in February this year. They were very successful and a huge amount of fun, so we'll be looking into returning in 2017. We also perform a number of public outdoor concerts in the summer months.
Catch Cottontail Trio & The Supper Club performing at Perth Concert Hall at 11am on Tuesday 19 April.
Click here to view all events under the Morning Music Series!