Observations: A distant cousin in the White House for angelic Daisy
Friday 04 September 2009
Daisy Chute is pale skinned with rosy cheeks, and is a member of all-girl classical pop crossover group All Angels, who boast the fastest-selling classical debut in UK chart history. With half a million sales of their two albums, and some more life experience – the now-university-students were still doing their A-levels when they signed a five-album deal with Decca in 2006 – they decided to do something a bit different.
Inspired by the American presidential campaign last year, they decided their new album would consist entirely of American songs. They set about researching the songs best epitomising America and its heritage that would go on to form Fly Away. Harmony-fuelled renditions of spirituals ("Deep River"), sit alongside musical hits (Stephen Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns") and Appalachian folk.
For Chute, whose mother is from Illinois, the history had a personal resonance. Chute already knew she was related to three American presidents, including George Washington. But an article which stated that Obama was related to former American presidents led the 20 year-old King's College music to trace her family tree. And she discovered that she was related to President Obama. Chute found that she and the president share the same grandparents from between ten and 12 generations ago, making them very distant cousins.
It's a distant connection, but a connection nonetheless. "It's very convenient that the discovery happened to be around the time that we were recording the new album", Chute says. "It's pretty great to be related to such an iconic figure who represents such a big change in our society."
"It was funny" she laughs. "My mother put up a picture of me and Obama and she thought there was a genuine similarity in our facial structures." Chute is planning on sending a CD to the president along with a letter explaining their familial connection. Watch this space for a family reunion...
'Fly Away' is released on 28 September
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