Welcome to the brand new PP Arnold store. Here you can find an array of products such as prints, apparel, song downloads and more!Like most things in my life, connecting with Chaz and creating this music was unexpected and magical.
I first met Chaz when I first returned to England in the early 80’s. I had a musician boyfriend who took me to this lovely little studio in Ladbroke that belonged to Chaz. As well as being very cute and hot to trot, he was a real creative musician and had his hands firmly on the pulse of what was going on musically in the early 80’s, without sacrificing true musicianship for the technical changes that were taking place. I was impressed with his musicality and he also liked my voice so we hit it off musically straight away.
Some things are just destined to be and in 1994 after getting my career and my life back on track starring in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Starlight Express”, I bumped into Chaz by chance walking down Holland Park Rd. and he invited me to have tea at his lovely flat in Holland Park and we caught up with each other’s life and professional progress.
For Chaz it was both a sad and exciting time. He had recently lost both his Mom and Dad, within two weeks of each other and he had decided to move to L.A. and pursue a solo career after signing with A&M Records on the back of a major hit with a song that he had written with Quincy Jones, called “Ai No Corrido”.
I was enjoying success as “Belle” the sleeping car in “Starlight” and had just bought my first stable home for many years. Chaz was in the process of changing his life and putting some of his things in storage. He had a beautiful round marble table that I admired that had belonged to his mother and he wasn’t sure about what to do with it as he had no idea how long he would be living in L.A. for. I loved the table and suggested that I would store it for him as it would fit perfectly in my new dining room, so it would be helping the both of us. So in a matter of days, the table was delivered to my home in Dollis Hill, Chaz flew off to find his fortune in Hollywood and it would be 10 years before we literally crossed paths again.
1994 saw me starring in another West End Musical, “Once On This Island”, playing Erzuli, the Goddess of Love. Unlike “Starlight Express”, the musical only ran for six months. It was a short time after the recession of 1992 and West End musicals weren’t doing great business and “Island” as popular as it was with it’s all black cast, and Caribbean theme was shut down two weeks before it was nominated for the Olivier Award for best musical, Best director, “David Toguri and best supporting actress, the wonderful Sharon Dee Clarke. We had great reviews and great promotion and the entire cast, which also included, Suzanne Packer, Clive Rowe and Lorna Browne and Shezwae Powell, I was gutted because our show actually won all three awards and the producers didn’t even give us a celebration party. To drown my sorrows I took up an invitation to visit friends in Salobrena, Spain. I’d only been to Spain once while filming the video for the “Comic Strip” movie “Supergrass” in Majorca when it had rained. Normally I wouldn’t visit people who I barely knew but they were friends of my friend Ricci P. Washington and I decide to get away and enjoy myself before deciding what to do next as I was now unemployed again.
Salobrena was a beautiful little pueblo by the sea on the Costa del Sol and I really enjoyed my stay there. It was Easter time, the Spanish Semana Santa and I was really inspired by the people and the beauty of the Semana Santa religious processions. I love the Spanish, they know how to worship and party at the same time and it was nice to get away from London and the worries of unemployment. I wrote a song about Salobrena, never realizing that it would have such an affect on my future.
While there we visited a lovely little pueblo in the mountains above Nerja called, “Frigliana and it was there that I saw this beautiful wooden necklace and earring set that I fell in love with but didn’t dare think of buying as I didn’t have money to buy jewellery at the time. After returning to Salobrena, I couldn’t stop thinking about the necklace so I decided to ask my friends to take me back to the shop on the way to Malaga Airport, as I had decided not to deny myself the necklace that played on my mind so much and this is where the magic comes in.
While reaching in my bag for my money to pay for the necklace my friends surprised me and said that they wanted to buy the necklace for me as a gift. I was so moved by their statement that I immediately threw my arms around Swari to give her a big hug and lo and behold who did I see standing there but Chaz with his new partner Elaine and their young son, Louie. I couldn’t believe it!!!
Both Chaz and I realized that our auspicious meeting again in the Spanish mountains was not a coincidence. I told him about the song that I had written and he told me that he loved Spain and had a history of many beautiful family holidays in their family holiday home in Capistrano, which is located on the coast next to Nerja. We exchanged numbers and made arrangements to meet up and finally get down to the serious business of making some music together. These songs are a result of the promise that we made to each other in the Spanish mountain pueblo of Frigliani.
We met every day for weeks at Chaz´s home grown studio in Highgate along with Dylan Penhale who engineered all the sessions. We both believed in the old school way of creating and recording with real instruments and we wanted to work in a very organic, natural, inspired way. With the help of all the amazing musicians and singers who popped in from time to time to contribute their talents, we were able to complete this package. I’m really pleased to finally be able to release these recordings for the world to hear this work at last.