Annie Sits with Bill King to discuss the new album, and a little life
Bill King, one of Toronto’s most accomplished broadcasters and a jazz-man of many hats, sat with Annie to discuss the recent release of Durban Girl.
Here’s a segment of their interview below.
Bill: It’s Thursday morning and welcome to the Bill King Show, right here at CIUT 89.5 on the campus of the University of Toronto. Great day to be here… The temperature dropped maybe 6 degrees? I feel good. Like I knew I would, if the temperature dropped 6 degrees.
The South African native was born to a large musical family of 7 children and has been composing music since she was 8 years old, and singing professionally since she was 10. She’s had a broad career, she’s critically praised by the BBC and the CBC, and she’s got a brand-new album out called “Durban Girl”. Welcome in Annie Bonsignore.
Annie: Hi Bill! Thank you for having me!
Bill: You’re supposed to say thank you for getting my name right!
Annie: Oh, and that, for sure.
Bill: Great to have you here. Now you and I were together a few weeks ago and I told you when I heard the recording I said ‘oh man, this is like Celine Dion meets so-and-so’.
Annie: You said Joni Mitchell
Bill: It was kind of a combi… What a great voice!
Annie: Oh, thank you
Bill: And you brought this all the way to Toronto from South Africa
Annie: Yes I did. You know I have my parents to thank for that.
Bill: How was life was growing up in Durban?
Annie:You know it was, I guess…excuse the pun…harmonious in some ways with regards to music. Um, but you know, like you said I’m from a big family, and music was always surrounding me in my household. My mom is a music teacher, my father’s a musician, and my two sisters and I would often just sit around the piano and sing in three part harmony from a very young age, and my mom had us singing and playing the piano in festivals and competitions from around the age of 6. Music was definitely huge.
Bill: You just stayed busy, huh
Annie:Yeah. I guess I was a pretty sweet child.
Bill: How big of a city is Durban?
Annie:I think there are about 3 million.
Bill: And were you in the center of Durban?
Annie:We lived in Durban North, right on the coast.
Bill: What is the terrain and weather like?
Annie:Oh, it’s like…the coldest it would get would be around 10 degrees in Durban, which is pretty warm, but they are occasionally getting snow these days.
Bill: And you came for what reason?
Annie: I moved here, like I said 15 years ago for a boy, um, and it didn’t work out, but that was a long time ago. Uh, and I decided to stay when it didn’t work out. And I’ve built a life for myself here, and the people are amazing. And I also became a citizen about 8 years ago.
Bill: Good for you. And it is a great place isn’t it? There used to be a time when everybody just dumped on this city. Hogtown, the ‘Big Smoke’, and I’m watching something here transpire…I’m watching something happen…and its when people like you come here, and folks come from North Africa, they come from the Carribean, and something happens when they get here, and the children come, and they bring the music, foods, thoughts, culture…. We were out last night, and we were talking with a woman whose with Hot Docs, and she also works with TIFF, and we were looking at eachother and saying ‘wow, what an amazing place to be right now, tonight, in this city’. And I mean it’s great for you. You’re going to have a child, and that’s a great thing!
Annie: Yes, I’m going to have a child, and you know, and I could worry about all of these things, being a mom, and whether she’s going to be musical…
Bill: Wait until you’re on the other side of that.
Annie: No no no, I’m just kidding. But there’s good things happening in Canada and in Toronto, and I’m very happy to be here.
Bill: So let’s listen to a track!