Updated: Jan 22, 2022
Hi, Lorelei, tell me about your music foundation? How did it all begin?
My name is Lorelei McBroom. Lorelei is the name of a legendary Mermaid in German folklore. She was a siren who sat on the rocks of the Rhein river using her enchanting voice to mesmerize sailors, causing them to crash their ships on the jagged rock cliffs surrounding the winding river. My mother told me she had an epiphany and picked that name for. I started playing classical piano at aged 4, and by 6 I was playing recitals. By age 8 I’d begun singing and playing folk guitar, performing with a small troop at various school events. "I sang on a dance version of the classic “I Know I’m Losing You” for an Indie label in the early ’80s and had a deal on Capitol by the end of the 80s, co-producing myself with Nile Rodgers. Nile had given me some early breaks as a backing vocalist for Teddy Pendergrass (“Somewhere I belong,”, cut one of my songs (“Dancing On The Jagged Edge”) on Sister Sledge and paired me to write and sing with Phillip Bailey. My album wasn’t released however because everyone from the President and A&R staff on down got fired, so I had no allies in the R&B department to fight for me. I later found out the Pop department wanted to push my album, but the General Manager won’t allow it because I was Black. Lucky for me I had done several important shows with Pink Floyd. I had turned down the full Momentary Lapse of Reason tour, but after I lost my deal, they called again. I got to tour with my sister Durga (first in 1987 and then again in 1989. We filmed a live TV broadcast called “Pink Floyd Live in Venice.” I was broadcast throughout Europe and was seen by 350,000 people. I followed that touring with Johnny Kemp and then The Rolling Stones.
What was the most memorable moment in your career?
Performing in Russia (Moscow) was the highlight of my performing memories. The people were starved for Western music, and we were one of the first bands to play there. There’s a famous photo of us after singing their hit “Money.” The crowd threw money, soldiers and policemen tossed us their hates, and we were deeply moved!
What was your most challenging moment? Singing “Gimme Shelter” with Mick Jagger on the Urban Jungle/Steel Wheels tour. The incomparable Lisa Fisher had left to tour with Luther Vandross. I got the tour after auditioning with over 200 girls. After switching back and forth for the first few shows between the other backing singer (Sofia Jones) and I, they picked me to do it. But I was so worried about my singing being great, I wasn’t moving for the people in the rafters. I learned from that tour how to be animated and a bit larger than life thanks to that experience. We made an IMAX film called “Rolling Stones at the Max” but Gimme Shelter didn’t make it. It forced me to work harder and by end of the tour at Wembley, (with a little help from Keith Richards to get the monitor sound I needed) I got a great review in Rolling Stone.
Who are your influences? Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, Etta James, Chaka Khan, Joni Mitchell and Steely Dan. Pink Floyd, YES, and Led Zepplin were favorites in high school, but I also loved jazz and the Beatles.
If you could do a duet and or have someone work with someone in the industry, dead or alive, who would it be? Seal, Prince, David Bowie, Dirty Loops.
What is the last song you listened to by another artist and who is your present favorite?
My favorite new music hasn’t been released yet. It’s a band called Space Potatoes. They are a British band that formed during the Pandemic as a spoof, kind of like a 90’s Spinal Tap. They’ve made a great pop album coming soon. They have a great single called “2020 Rendezvous.” I love Dirty Loops and a Swedish band that blends pop and jazz fusion.
What was your most embarrassing moment while performing live or in an interview?
I was singing with a new band and couldn’t read my lyrics and totally forgot the entire lyrics of the song I had to do. I just swallowed the mic, and most people didn’t know. I even got complimented, but it was recorded to help us get more gigs so I couldn’t fake that! I got another gig soon after that.
How has Covid 19 affected your career?
It’s put the 8 months a year of touring I’ve been doing for the last 10 years on hold. Financially it’s been devastating, but creatively it’s been amazing. My sister and I finished an album we’d started 7 years prior, and I’m really proud of it. I also learned how to do video editing and that’ been fun and timely so I have been able to make videos to help us promote. I hope to get back on tour before the end of the year!
Tell us about your current and future projects?
I look forward to the future ideas we have coming up to promote our album. It’s called Black Floyd and we covered Pink Floyd classics and did 6 originals. I have been concentrating on my jewelry business now that I’m at home and that’ going well. I want to expand on a few other production projects too and keep making videos for us and others.
What are your either weird habits or traditions you do while preparing yourself artistically?
I really don’t have any. I do put a focus on health products to maintain my stamina. But all kinds of things inspire my creativity. I love films!
What advice would you like to give those seeking to be in the entertainment industry?
Breaking in and staying in the business is like playing the lottery. There’s a lot of competition so you have to have thick skin to face all the rejection that is a part of the business. It’s important to under it’s a business. It’s important to be seen and heard to build a following. It’s especially difficult now because of Covid, but I’ve seen bands like Dirty Loop build a following doing amazing covers of very popular songs. By the time they got a deal, they had fans all over the world from their YouTube following. Be creative and think outside the box. Today you have to sell merchandise, tour, and come up with a way to get people to interact with you. Social Media makes that much easier so stick with it.
“Great Gig in the Sky” Lorelei and Durga McBroom