Knowing me, knowing you: Judy Collins and Katherine Depaul

A relationship under the microscope

JUDY COLLINS, 72, is a Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter. She has released more than 40 recordings and lives in New York with her second husband, the designer Louis Nelson

 

We met in about 1993 when I was looking for someone to be my assistant. She was in art school and came along and said: "Yeah I just want to work part-time," and was quite casual about the whole thing.

Then, once she started, she found out that there were many, many levels to it – the writing, recording, performing and touring – and I think she realised working with me would be her degree in arts. I was able to expose her to everything I've learnt over the last 50 plus years. She took right to it like a duck to water and we've been working together ever since.

She deals with the agencies and the travel and concerts; she really runs the ship. We've certainly been through difficulties – that's true of when you have a long relationship with anybody, but she's been flexible, eager to learn; she's contributed great ideas. I think it's a matter of chemistry. We can be social when the time comes; we sometimes travel together if we have something big going on. It's been a relationship I've worked hard on. I've spent enough time on the shrink's couch to know that I have to always trust my instincts. I'm so grateful that I have so many people I've worked with on my team for so many years: lawyers, accountants, producers. It creates a sort of family. I've been living with the same man for 33 years. I like long term relationships – they're so rewarding.

Of course, at my age, long term relationships kind of come with the territory.

 

KATHERINE DEPAUL, 38, started working for Judy Collins while still at university. She is President ofWildflower Records, Collins’ record label and lives in New York

My whole working life has been with Judy. I wasn’t really aware of her when I first met her, I was very young, but I quickly put together who she was. Even though there’s more than 30 years between us we have always gotten on well. I think that’s why it’s lasted so long and we’ve been able to work on all these amazing projects together. Because I don’t have the old school music background of some of the larger labels, I was able to think outside of the box, which probably worked as an advantage.

The label started off to be just a Judy Collins project to release her albums, but we’ve gone on to sign other artists too. There’s definitely been a learning curve to it. To me she’s a mentor; she has amazing knowledge and experience in the music industry, she’s been through it all and is incredibly resilient. To have that access to someone like that on a day to day basis is very inspiring. I’m still surprised with all the stories she comes up with after all these years. Whether it’s something about Bob Dylan or when we went to the Sydney Opera House and she told me that the last time she was there they were building it.

She’s 72 and she has more energy than my friends who are in their thirties, which is incredible. As a woman, it’s so exciting to know that one can be thriving and really have a huge career at that age. Judy Collins’ new album Bohemian is out now on Wildflower Records. judycollins.com

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
tech
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
life
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Voices
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

    £26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

    Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

    £24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

    Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

    £22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

    Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

    £16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
    Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

    Confessions of a former PR man

    The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

    Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

    Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
    London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

    The mother of all goodbyes

    Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
    Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

    Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

    The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
    Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions