Arts Q&A: Kaz Hawkins on Van Morrison, Galdys Knight and her new radio show

Jenny Lee puts performers and artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week, Belfast-born blues singer-songwriter Kaz Hawkins

Belfast soul singer Kaz Hawkins, who presents her new show Got The Blues on BBC Radio Ulster on Sunday evenings

1. When did you think about music as a career and what were your first steps into it?

I had sung in cover bands for 20 years out of necessity as a parent. My songwriting career has only really taken off in the last few years so to have my own show, Kaz Hawkins Got the Blues, on BBC Radio Ulster, is still somewhat surreal. Those years on the local scene prepared me for what is happening now so I’m pretty grounded.

2. Best gigs you’ve been to?

Steve Earle was amazing, Neil Young when he finally made it to Belfast was great, but nothing beats the musicianship of Van Morrison for me.

3. Fantasy wedding/birthday party band?

Has to be The Eagles with Free/Bad Company, Etta James, Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight, with some good ole Johnny Cash to kick the party off.

4. The record you’d take to a desert island?

The Greatest Hits by Gladys Knight

5. And the book?

Etta James's biography, to remind me of why I had faith in music.

6. Top three films?

Sister Act, Gone with the Wind and anything from Marvel.

7. Worst film you’ve seen?

I don’t really have time to watch much film.

8. Favourite authors?

I tend to read more biographies and music-orientated books.

9. Sport you most enjoy and top team?

I'm not a fan of sports at all, but I am on a health kick at the minute so I am intending to take up some sport.

10. Ideal holiday destination?

It has got to be New Orleans. It wins hands down on the ideal holiday destination front.

11. Pet hate?

Men not holding the doors open for women. Chivalry is rare.

12. What’s your favourite:

Dinner? Roast dinner with some champ on the side.

Dessert? Apple crumble and custard is just dreamy.

Drink? A good American whiskey and ginger ale.

13. Who is your best friend and how do you know each other?

My best friend is my music video director Stephen Mullan. We met after a gig years ago.

14. Is there a God?

I believe there is something spiritual that keeps me going. I feel the presence of my lost ones around me all the time.

:: Kaz Hawkins presents Got The Blues on BBC Radio Ulster, Sunday evenings at 6.30pm. She will be singing at the Danny Boy Jazz and Blues Festival in Limavady on June 7 and 8. See


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