Backing singers Gina Foster and Tessa Niles have finally shed some light on what it’s actually like to be women in the rock and roll industry.
The pair have had a vibrant career singing with the likes of David Bowie, Sting, Stevie Wonder and Tina Turner.
Now they have come together to put on their own show Unsung Singers, where they will reveal backstage gossip and tour secrets while performing a selection of song that have inspired them throughout their careers.
Talking to Metro.co.uk the vocalists have confessed how they felt being female in the music industry, and the boundaries they had to make.
Tessa, 56, said: ‘I think as a woman in rock and roll you have to be careful that you adhere to some boundaries because it can be very tough.
‘I always preferred to stick to these boundaries because I think that made doing the job a little bit easier.
‘You’re bound by the music and that’s what connects you.’
She then went on to reveal that during her time touring with the stars, everything imaginable was on offer to them, we’re guessing sex, drugs and rock and roll? and said she found it easier to distance herself from all of that – despite attended a number of after show parties.
She said: ‘ All of that is available, everything you think about to do with rock and roll is there. And you can do all of it or none of it at all – it’s completely up to you.’
Gina added: ‘I think you’d get burnt out very quickly if you got too involved in that. I left that to the rock stars.’
The pair of them enjoyed the glamorous lifestyle of private jets and five star hotels, but both decided to pack everything in once they started a family.
Gina said: ‘I had to stop I found it too much. You never stop and when you travel with your child there’s never any time off and I just had to stop.
‘Your kids are pining and you’re pining and you’re on a plane to Japan like “I cant just go home if something is wrong.”’
Tessa added: ‘I’ve found myself in hotel rooms at 2 o’ clock at night on the phone to home with my kids crying. So I also did the same. I was like “no it’s time to take a break at least, if not stop completely.”‘
She continued: ‘It’s very tough and you have to make those decision. Some people make it work and I have so much admiration for those who do, it’s brilliant.’
Since stepping out of the lime light, they have taken on their own venture, and are now telling stories about their time supporting an incredible calibre of artists.
Tessa said: ‘I think the public don’t understand the role of backing singers. They see shadowy figures in the background and are not quite sure what they do.
‘So we decided to make a show to raise awareness and tell the story and history of British background singers.’
Gina added: ‘No one else is going to do it for us so we’re going to do it ourselves.’
Their Unsung Singers tour starts starts on 9 February at Pizza Express in Holburn and you can buy tickets on their website.
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