RUBY Turner likes to have a laugh but insists that she takes her singing 100 per cent seriously.
“There can’t be any slacking,” she tells the Solihull News. “You have to get on the stage and get on with the job.
“People talk about the glamorous side of music but there’s a lot of hard work, a lot of travelling in between.”
The soul-singer is speaking to us about a summer tour with her long-time collaborator Jools Holland.
“We’re playing a lot of country houses and national parks, there’s a very different vibe,” she explains.
“It reminds me of those old photos from the 60s of events like Woodstock; people sprawled on the grass.
“It’s very different from performing inside where people are boxed in and stewards are telling them to sit down.”
Born in Jamaica, brought up in Birmingham and performing for over 30 years, Ruby’s had a busy career.
“Acting was where I started but then people noticed I had a voice and said I should do something about it.
“Next thing I know I was fronting a rock opera and people were saying this is what you need to do from now on.”
But she kept up the acting, with roles in everything from EastEnders to Richard Curtis rom-com Love Actually.
And recently she narrated a documentary, Reggae Britannia, for BBC4.
The programme inspired Ruby to re-release her song Leaves in the Wind and rekindle interest in the genre.
“I’m not going to change the world, but I thought I could at least have a crack at trying!”
Ruby Turner is at Ragley Hall, with the Jools Holland Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, on July 2. Tickets on 01603 660444.