'I nearly fell off the stage with shock!': Mim Grey reveals how performing with Paul McCartney was 'surreal'
01:48 GMT, 22 November 2012
It’s a collaboration that most artists can only dream of, but for Mim Grey performing with Sir Paul McCartney became a reality.
The British singer/songwriter was asked by the Beatles frontman to perform at one of his parties and of course she jumped at the chance.
Speaking to the Mail Online, Grey says the experience was simply 'surreal'.
‘Paul asked me to sing one of his favourite songs so I did,’ she explains.
Musicality: Mim Grey has spoken of her 'surreal' experience performing with Sir Paul McCartney
‘He then got up and joined me on stage and we both played a couple of songs together, me doing backing vocals for Paul and then him doing the same for me which nearly made me fall off the stage with shock.’
However, McCartney isn’t the only legend that Grey has had the pleasure of working with, as she recently supported Tom Jones on tour and says that playing to such big crowds was fantastic.
‘It’s probably the biggest high you can have as a performer, singing your own songs in front of thousands of people,’ she explains.
‘They were all really welcoming and warm which was great. Tom asked to meet me backstage to say hello as he'd heard the set I'd just done and what a lovely man he is. He's still “got it” without a doubt.’
But when it comes to her opinion of shows such as The Voice, of which Jones was a mentor, and the X Factor, Grey is refreshingly honest.
Mim's new album Chasing Tigers
‘I'm with Sting on this subject. It’s all basically televised karaoke,’ she says.
‘I have watched it and of course I get it that it’s a bit of fun but unfortunately it has affected the music industry in a negative way and has created a generation of kids that think you don't need to tread the boards as a gigging musician and develop your skills.’
Grey, herself, has been performing live on the music circuit for years, and is now enjoying the success of her second studio album, Chasing Tigers, and she admits it does differ from her debut, Grey Matters.
‘I wanted to produce Chasing Tigers myself instead of working with a named producer so it’s different in the sense that it feels a little naked and earthy compared to Grey Matters, which I think is a good thing,’ she states.
‘Myself and my writing partner, Cori Josias, probably spent a little longer on the arrangements of songs on Chasing Tigers but the actual lyrical content on both albums are as '”heart on sleeve” as each other,’ she adds.
The dark-haired singer chose to record Chasing Tigers much closer to home in Pinewood, Buckinghamshire, and adds that she wanted the album to have a bit more of an ‘edgier sound’ compared to the smoother production of her first record.
Brought up on all types of music from Neil Young and Joni Mitchell to James Taylor and Earth, Wind and Fire, Grey admits that to this day those artists ‘never fail to inspire’ her when it comes to writing her own material.
Of course it hasn’t been an easy ride for Grey, but she says she hopes it’s both the good and bad times that got her to where she is today.
‘I do know that the bad times are a lot more powerful and emotionally taxing, so when I'm writing I draw from that,’ she explains.
Now Grey is looking forward to getting out there and playing her new music as she describes performing live as the ‘most natural thing in the world’ for her to do.
‘I get the most horrendous butterflies in my stomach before each gig but that’s what pushes me on stage. A good haircut and blow dry always helps, too!’ she laughs.
And although Chasing Tigers has not long been released, Grey already has her mind on her next record.
‘I've got lots of yummy ideas for my third album, probably a good half of it already and an idea of the production this time, too, so I'm very excited,’ she says.
‘I'm going to take a bit more time over recording the next one, instead of getting stressed about running out of studio time.
‘I haven't played any demos of the new songs to the band yet but the butterflies are already stirring away in my tummy.’