Ricki-Lee embraces “imperfection”
RICKI-LEE Coulter's comeback single reinforces the fact she's a singer first and celebrity second.
A stark change of musical direction for the pop star, Not Too Late features an attention-seizing powerhouse vocal performance in the chorus.
The song - released today - was written with the team behind James Arthur's global hit Say You Won't Let Go and has a similar modern/retro soul feel.
"Pivoting musically is scary, but I really have faith in this song," Coulter said. "I watch people's faces when they hear it for the first time and their reactions are different to those for any song I've done before. It's such a special song. It still gets me every time."
Coulter and husband/manager Rich Harrison moved to LA two years ago to work on her fifth album.
However the singer spent months writing "empty" formulaic songs or sticking to the dance and R & B genre of her previous hits Can't Touch It, Do It Like That and Burn It Down.
The key lyric in Not Too Late is "you've gotta lose yourself before you find your way" which became her creative mantra.
In keeping with the song's honest lyrics and raw energy, Coulter has released a stripped back performance video - miles away from her most glossy, styled pop clips.
"I tried to really embrace imperfection and step away from attempting to paint a perfect picture that I thought people wanted. I wanted to write something that was timeless. It's a song that has caught everybody off guard, it's not what anybody expects from me and most of all it makes people feel something."
Coulter said the lyrics were workshopped with Neil Ormandy and Steve Solomon - who wrote the Arthur hit.
"We sat around and talked about our own stories - reflecting on our personal battles of overcoming grief, heartbreak, loss and addiction. We wanted the song to be universal but also really personal. For the three of us, the song is about different things. Essentially, it's about redemption and it never being too late to right our wrongs and start again. A lot happens in life and while we're still alive, we have time to make things right."
The vocals on the finished version - which have reminded listeners of Coulter's talents - are from the original demo.
"I wanted people to hear the pain in these lyrics and feel where this song is coming from. We didn't re-record it - it's the demo vocal I did on the day. I sang the hell out of it and that was it. We thought about re-recording it, but there was something about that vocal that had all that emotion and fury and passion in it."