Now known for her virtuoso piano playing, Haddad doesn’t recall any specific influence on her instrument of choice. “I don't know if there was one person who inspired me to play the piano,” she recalled. “I just always have been drawn to play one. When I was a kid, any time there was music in a commercial or on a TV show, I'd 'play along,' also known as banging on the keys of my little toy piano. When I turned 5, my parents brought in a 'real' upright piano for me to learn on and I started taking lessons.”
Haddad most often performs solo, but for this event she will be joined by drummer Matt Lynott, bassist Patrick McClory, and singer Heather Nation will be adding her beautiful voice to the live backing vocals. Special guests will include Daniel Crawford (Blackout Party), cellist Erdis Maxhelaku and Kelly Duley (Kite Flying Society).
For her second album, she cites production as one of the biggest differences this time out. Co-produced by Ben Moore, the album, has a warm, lush sound with an almost classical feel in parts, offset by quirky rhythms and Haddad’s inspired arrangements.
“I also wanted to add a lot of vocal layers to these songs, more so than in any of my previous recordings. I think the songwriting topics are more diverse as well. Although there are personal songs on this album many of the songs are observations of others. ‘Waiting on the Sun’ is about the inventor Nikola Tesla. ‘Pictures in the Clouds’ is about a child,” she said. Meanwhile, “Spinning Yarn” includes a clip of Haddad’s grandmother singing in her native language, Serbian, and "Jdita" is about the village in Lebanon where her father grew up.
The album also includes a cover of Johnny Cash’s classic “Ring of Fire.” “I've had a lot of positive feedback about my rendition of 'Ring of Fire' over the years, I thought it was time to finally get it properly recorded,” she said.
Though the odds are long in today’s music biz, Haddad is determined. “I'm not sure I've ever thought about not continuing to try to get my music out there,” she said. “I know I'll always be making music. How I share it might change as the years go by, but the drive to create isn't something I can explain or stop. I'm just extremely happy other people have liked what they've heard. It makes me excited to share and to continue on with public performance.”
Future plans include more music videos. “I have visual ideas for every song I write and I really enjoy the experience of making a video from start to finish,” she explained. “We've already finished one for ‘Jdita’ made by the incredible people over at KIND Films. ‘Waiting on the Sun’ and ‘Pictures in the Clouds’ are probably the next songs from the album on the list.” Other projects in the works include two EPs and a children’s book.
Haddad is happy with her life in music. “I think the creative expression and the connection you make with people are my favorite things about being a musician,” she said. “When I'm writing a song, it's the creative process of experimenting with sounds and structures and trying to find interesting ways to express myself. I love disappearing into that world. Being in the studio is probably my very favorite place to be.”
When: 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28.
Where: Humphrey’s Backstage Live, 2241 Shelter Island Drive.