,4”, 4%; £4;
Oh. and did I forget to mention the forthcom- ing promotional tour of America which hits New York. Chicago and San Francisco and includes an appearance on American national television — Quincy Jones‘s Vibe TV‘show'.’
He‘s a busy boy. our Finley.
‘Yeah man. it‘s exciting all the time.‘ he divulges between mouthfuls of fish and chips in Edinburgh‘s City Cafe. ‘I haven‘t had this feeling fora long time. Tell you what I imagine it feels like — like ifJimmy White ever won the world championship after getting to the final seven times. That‘s how it feels. Yeah. I‘m serious man. Serious.‘
If sheer quantity of media attention is anything to go by. Quaye certainly appears to be on his way to pop stardom. But how did it come to this‘.’ How did this former scaffolder. futon maker. fish smoker. car sprayer and alleged one-time Hibs ballboy with a flat near Stockbridge. come to be on the verge of such major success'.’
Quaye got his first break singing on 'Finley‘s Rainbow‘. a track by Mancunian acid house pioneer A Guy Called Gerald. At the time. Quaye was living and studying for a BTEC in music and sound engineering in Manchester. The resulting collaboration led Gerald to later say of Quaye: ‘l-le‘s talented. very talented. that‘s why I decided to give him a break. l-le‘s serious: he‘s got personality. charisma. charm. Watch this space.‘
Polydor was the first major label to
recognise Quaye‘s potential but alter a brief
and unproductive period. he was dropped. ‘We didn‘t really get on and we were different
kinds of people.‘ recalls Quaye. ‘It was really difficult to work together. so at the end of the day I got dropped. which was probably better for me.‘
Sony Music stepped in and snapped Quaye up. They blessed their new protege with ‘priority artist status‘. which is basically their way of saying: ‘Hey Finley. we love you and everyone else is going to love you too. We‘ve got pots of cash and we‘re going to spend every last penny of it on making you a star.‘
The Ultra .S'Iimularimz EP. his debut release for Sony. was a bluesy but primarily reggae- based four—tracker which showcased Quaye‘s trademark high-pitched spoken and sung vocal delivery. More intriguing than essential. it nevertheless signalled Quaye‘s arrival as a bona fide talent.
By the time the follow up Stun/(iv Shining EP was released. the Sony hype machine was in ftill swing. Then finally. through a combination of good music. astute marketing. good timing and plenty of Radio One airplay. Quaye entered the charts at Number sixteen. His life hasn‘t been the same since — he already finds himself in Edinburgh one minute. London the next. and hotels. planes and buses in between.
‘In the last three months. I‘ve spent four days in my llat.‘ he moans. ‘That kills me man. I‘ve been living with my girlfriend in London. She cooks good for me. makes me a carrot. ginger and orange puree in the morning if I‘m a good boy. She‘s on it man. She gets tip at seven in the morning and comes back from the laundrette with all my clothes washed. Serious. That‘s why I haven‘t left. (laughs). She don‘t want me to leave. (laughs even more). I've
been trying to persuade her to move up here. but she likes to be in London.‘
So. despite his new-found status as fledgeling pop star. Quaye still sees Edinburgh as home. (Look closely at the video for recent single ‘Iiven After All‘. shot on a London council estate. and you‘ll notice that the bench Quaye sits on has ‘llibees‘ carved into it.)
"Totally ‘— and I‘m gettin‘ her back ‘ere too.‘ says Quaye. ‘l‘m bringing ma woman back to the cave. Someone asked me recently where do I wanna play most. I thought about lidinburgh Castle . . . y‘know. in the gardens. Maybe I will one day. It certainly wouldn‘t be Wembley or anything. What do I wanna play Wembley for? I‘m not from England. I‘d rather play at Easter Road or Arthur‘s Seat or
’My girlfriend gets up at seven in the morning and comes back from the laundrette with all my clothes washed. Serious. That's why I haven't left' Finley Quaye
something. ()r Loch l.omond. that would be hot wouldn‘t it‘.’ Hey. I gotta go and have a chat with someone about that. man . . .‘
Before he does that however. there‘s the debut album i'Wui'erit'k A Strike to think about. ‘lt‘s fantastic.‘ he enthuses. ‘l‘m really happy. I‘ve got what I wanted. l‘ve dedicated it to who I wanted to dedicate it to and thanked who l wanna thank and said all I wanna say with my music. It‘s great. I‘ve started on the next one already.‘
Finley Quaye's new single 'Even After All' is out now. His debut album Maverick A Strike is out on Mon 22 Sep. He plays Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, 15 Oct and The Garage. Glasgow, 16 Oct.
Finley Quaue: ‘What do I wanna play Wembley for? I'm not from England. I’d rather play at Easter Road'
12—25 Sept 1997 THE ll8T17