Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On | Exclusive Q+A with Andrew De Silva

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“I was introduced to Marvin’s music as a kid in the 80’s. My parents would often play his album Midnight Love. Marvin’s music had a way to move the soul and also spread a deep message – he was a true artist” – (Andrew De Silva).

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He is one of the greatest masters of soul music, the flavour behind those seductive Motown grooves and the brilliance of classic, timeless music. With a voice that makes your heart skip a beat and a gentleness about it that still oozes a great amount of power, it’s no wonder he’s crowned the Prince of Soul and the Prince of Motown. He is Marvin Gaye; and his influence and music style is absolutely incredible, even 50+ years on.

With a simple lushness to his songs that layered his music better than any Pro Tools could do these days, Marvin’s rhythm and emotionally haunting skills were – and still are – insanely contagious.  There’s millions upon millions that found relief in his music, a spiritual abundance that resonated with almost every heart, soul, body and mind worldwide.

Since the release of his first album in 1961 The Soulful Moods of Marvin Gaye under Tamla Records (owned by Motown), Marvin has accumulated 25 studio albums, 4 live albums, 1 soundtrack album, 24 compilation albums and 83 singles.

Next month in September, we’re about to relive a little bit of Marvin’s magic through a two-hour narrative concert to celebrate the life and music of this breathtaking musician. Perth music lovers, get ready – you’re in for a treat!

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Let’s Get It On with Marvin Gaye

Featuring an all-star cast of award winning musicians, including Andrew De Silva, the sensational Lady of Soul Vika Bull and the Funk City Band, Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On is the brainchild of Australian promoters Room 8 (makers of At Last – The Etta James Story). Already boasting a huge success internationally, Let’s Get It On features Marvin’s classic hits and a comprehensive insight into his life and music journey that made him the Motown legend we know today.

Playing a string of shows at the Regal Theatre in Subiaco from September 1st to September 6th, Let’s Get It On explores Marvin’s rise to stardom, political activism, soulful romances and the troubled relationship with his father that tragically ended his life, through his very own brilliant songs. Marvin’s music was the soundtrack to love and politics in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s – now music lovers can re-live his compelling story and masterwork pieces including Sexual Healing, I Heard It Through the Grapevine, What’s Going On, Let’s Get It On, Dancing in the Street, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, It Takes Two and so much more.

What’s Going On With Andrew De Silva

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Taking the lead role in the show, ARIA award winning singer Andrew De Silva is arguably the best person for the job. Channeling his own Marvin inspiration into the performance, Andrew has had a diverse journey in the music scene including Australia’s Got Talent and his 90’s RnB boy band CDB.

Joining him in the life and music of Marvin Gaye is the Lady of Soul herself, Vika Bull, who had the starring role in At Last – The Etta James story and agrees that Marvin’s story is a very important one to tell. The talents of these two beauties combined, along with some of Australia’s finest musicians who make up the Funk City Band, Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On is going to be emotionally mind blowing, insightful and bittersweet beautiful.

Q+A with Andrew De Silva

1. What can we expect from the string of shows next month at the Regal Theatre in Subiaco? 

The show is incredible! We take the audience on a journey through the highs and lows of Marvin’s life whilst performing some of his greatest songs from ‘What’s Going On’ to ‘Sexual Healing’. It’s almost like watching a live documentary as we narrate and sing the hits throughout his long career. The band are also amazing. It’s such a joy to hear the songs with a full band and superb arrangement. 

2. You’re renowned as one of Australia’s best performers with a solid involvement in the industry, how does it make you feel to be apart of Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On?

It’s quite humbling to be honest. I just love what I do and I am so grateful to have done it for this long. 

3. Marvin Gaye is certainly a legendary musician that’s got it all. What was his influence on you like growing up? What’s is it about him and his music that’s shaped and inspired you?

I was introduced to Marvin’s music as a kid in the 80’s. My parents would often play his album ‘Midnight Love’. Marvin’s music had a way to move the soul and also spread a deep message. He was a true artist. I also love to sing in falsetto, which he is the master of. 

4. You sing over 20 songs throughout the concert, what’s the one track that really hits home for you and why?

I sing Marvin’s song ‘Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home)’. We do a very stripped back version with our pianist. It’s always intense and always a very emotional moment on stage. It’s such a beautiful song. ‘Let’s Get It On’ is also a great moment!

5. You’ve been working with the brilliant Vika Bull on duets for the concert – that must be a fantastically fun opportunity! What’s it been like collaborating and performing together?

It’s a joy to sing with Vika. She’s such a soulful singer and a true professional. We’re also really happy that our voices blend so well together!!

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6. What have been the highest and lowest points of Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On concert for you?

I’m on a real high for most of the show! It’s just so much fun… I actually lose myself in the songs and the story. I think the lowest point for me will be when the season is finished!

7. Taking on Marvin Gaye’s music is pretty huge – were you nervous when first asked to play the part?

I was actually more nervous about all the narration involved as i’ve never done anything like that before. It’s a 52 page script!

8. What qualities of Marvin Gaye do you feel you’ve taken on yourself after being involved with this tour? 

I think after performing these songs night after night my approach to singing and my vocal technique has improved. Marvin had a way of singing with ease and his phrasing was impeccable. 

His life has also reminded me how lucky I am to have a father that supports me as Marvin never had that with his own dad, which led to many problems in his personal life. 

9. What do you do to ‘get into character’ before a show?

I like to listen to and watch some of his documentaries and live performances to get in the zone. As soon as I put on that suit for Act one, I’m ready to go!

10. You’ve opened up for Mariah Carey in the past, what other musicians would you like to support or collaborate with?

I’d like to collaborate with some artists that are paving the way with a new sound in R&B – Miguel or Frank Ocean. I’m also a big fan of contemporary Gospel music and would love to work with Israel Houghton. 

11. Marvin Gaye’s legacy on music definitely can’t be denied, what artists today do you think he’s had a big impact on?

Many R&B artists such as Robin Thick, Pharrell Williams and Justin Timberlake have all taken a little of Marvin’s groove and smoothness and brought it to today’s audiences. 

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12. What sets this concert apart from other musicals? Besides the fact it’s Marvin Gaye, of course!

The main point of difference is that it’s a cross between a musical and a live concert. These shows are really becoming popular and it’s more than just hearing a bunch of songs. The audience gets an idea of what was happening around the artists’ life at the time and how the particular song came to be. 

13. Any other Motown superstars that have inspired who you are as an artist today?

Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder would have to be my other heroes. 

14. You were also a member of CDB – an ARIA award winning Australian RnB group, how did this experience set you up for Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On concert?

It’s really set me up for performing at concerts and on big stages. Every gig CDB did was treated as a show, it was a great training period for me. 

15. What’s next in store for you musically?

I have an album that I’m just finishing so I’m looking forward to getting out there and doing shows with my band. I also have a number 1 song in Sri Lanka at the moment, so that might be a good excuse to get over there for that!

Secure Yourself a Ticket Today

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Marvin Gaye Let’s Get It On will run from Tuesday September 1st until Sunday September 6th  at the Regal Theatre in Subiaco, Perth. Tickets available from www.ticketek.com.au (or call 13 28 49).

 

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