Sting and The Police, George Harrisson, Ringo Star, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Robbie Williams, Eric Clapton, Tina Turner and David Bowie are but a few of the world famous musicians that legendary backing vocalist Tessa Niles has worked with.
On the back of her newly released book “Backtrack: The Voice Behind Music's Greatest Stars”, which gives a star-studded account of her 30 years of work alongside the greatest names in rock and pop, we sat down with Niles to talk about life on stage, in studio and behind the concert curtains.
It was time to backtrack and to really reflect on my life. I was afforded the opportunity by living in Johannesburg, being a mom; playing the supporting role if you like. I just felt that it was a right time.— Tessa Niles
A women’s role in rock and roll shouldn't be reduced
Niles says that it is saddening that some people still carry the hypersexualised perceptions of women in the rock-n-roll industry. She says that there is more to their contributions and that for her it was all about hard work and dedication to the music.
There is a perception of women in rock and roll. I think if you’re part of a team and you’re making the whole movement work, you’ve got to be a professional and be on the money with what you do.— Tessa Niles
Highlighting the importance of supporting artists
Niles says that behind every great artist there is a huge team doing extraordinary work that contributes to their success. She says that supporting artists play a critical role in the industry, and should not be overlooked.
I’ve figured out earlier on that I was a team player and I loved supporting others; being part of the magic. It was extraordinary.— Tessa Niles
Listen to the full conversation on The John Robbie Show: