The rock goddess Deborah Conway answers Ten Questions.
Still alive and brilliant.
I doubt I am the first writer to describe Deborah Conway using the chorus words from her famous 1993 song. I saw Deborah perform a couple years ago in Sydney and I was transported back to my teenage years when I first heard the distinct voice that is Deborah Conway. “It’s been a long time since anyone meant what they said,” meant a lot to a 17 year old girl/woman and still does. She emanated ‘coolness’ – strength, femininity, guts. And I’m happy to report, she still does.
Deborah and her partner Willy Zygier’s latest album, released in February this year, is Stories of Ghosts. It has been described as ‘a career-high release,” by The Age and the Canberra Times says, “the latest offering from the Conway-Zygier team is simply outstanding.”
Deborah: “The songs on this album are a carefully honed collection reflecting on a long history of composing and
living together, infused with memories and the influences of our heroes; like our Friday night family dinners, full of
ferocious debate, sometimes hilarious, sometimes political, sometimes we agree! For me this is what Jews do best,
they challenge, they argue, they explore the extensions of an issue, the critical, the polemical and no debate is ever
really settled, just rested. It is part of the culture that I love, that has shaped us, that we celebrate and acknowledge
in every song we write, whether overt or otherwise.”
“Listen to this with open ears and mind,” says the Courier Mail. “If Bob Dylan or Leonard Cohen delivered an album with songs as good as these, the critical response would be rapturous. Conway and Zygier deserve no less.”
I am delighted to have Deborah answer this month’s Ten Questions. The duo are on tour right now so Deborah kindly emailed her ‘short and sweet’ responses. See tour dates here.
What is the essence of being a woman?
Sugar and spice and everything nice and our ability to multitask.
What do you feel unites women?
All of us are daughters.
How do you stay strong, assertive and feminine?
I go to the gym, I work hard at getting what I want, I wear frocks.
What and who inspires you?
How do you live your life so it has meaning?
I tell the truth; I try to only say ‘yes’ to what I want to do and I try very hard not to do things I don’t want to do (not always possible but it’s a good aspiration); I form my opinions on the basis of reading widely; I respect my neighbour – not love, respect; I love my children and spend as much time with my family as possible; I take my dog to the dog beach – it keeps me connected to pure joy on a regular basis.
What contribution would you like to make to benefit humankind?
To write a song that could save a life.
How do you stay calm under pressure?
I don’t – but I really admire people who do – my husband.
How do you move from dream into action into completion?
Head down, keep working.
Three words to describe how you maintain a life balance.
Get enough sleep.
If you could ask any woman one question, what would you ask?
Will you buy my record 😉