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Annie Haslam of Renaissance – Interview

by Debra C. Argen
Annie Haslam - handpainted guitar by Annie Haslam
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Annie Haslam - Rainforest Painted GuitarAnnie Haslam whose fabulously distinctive voice is the signature of the symphonic rock band, Renaissance, took time to speak with Luxury Experience days before the band’s upcoming tour starts on October 26, 2017 at The Ridgefield Playhouse in Ridgefield, Connecticut. Speaking at length about the band’s upcoming tour, her life, and her art, Annie Haslam is the personification of a renaissance woman, which is defined as having many talents or areas of knowledge.


Annie Haslam

Speaking with Annie I learned that she took a circuitous route to a music career and actually began in fashion working for a tailor on Saville Row, the pinnacle of the British fashion scene, where she had the opportunity to learn from the best and was privy to hearing The Beatles perform their famous concert on the rooftop of the Apple building! She loved her job there, learned a lot, and then along came the recession, and after 9 months of working there, she was out of a job.

Undaunted, from Saville Row, she went to another fashion house where they had her create designs for them for 2 weeks, secretly copied the designs, and then told her that unfortunately, there was no job for her at their company. Disillusioned after her experience in the world of fashion, when her parents asked her to join them on a holiday to visit her brother Keith in Canada, she jumped at the opportunity.

While in Toronto, Canada, there was a talent contest at The Brunswick Tavern, which Annie entered and sang Those Were The Days with the words written on a large piece of cardboard. The audience loved her and she won the contest! Coming from a musical family, her father was an amateur singer and comedian, and brother Michael Haslam was a professional singer managed by Brian Epstein, the apple did not fall far from the musical talent tree with Annie, an extremely gifted singer who took voice lessons from the opera singer Sybil Knight.


Renaaissance Band Live Performance

When she returned to the UK after holiday, she started singing with a band, however after 9 months of singing songs that were opposite of what her voice was, one of the members of the band told her that her talent was being wasted, and showed her an advertisement that read: girl singer wanted for an internationally known group. She called the number listed in the advertisement the next day, and the band turned out to be Renaissance. On New Year’s Eve 1970 she went off to audition wearing a long tapestry coat, her hair parted in the middle, and looking very naïve and innocent. She had bought their album and knew every song on it, so when they asked her sing, Island, she was prepared. Apparently, they loved her because they called the next day to tell her that they wanted her as their new lead singer and within three weeks of joining the band, they were touring in Germany. Four years later they were playing Carnegie Hall in New York City. She is still amazed looking back at how the band took off.

Whether performing with the band Renaissance, or as a solo performer beginning in 1988, she always wants people to leave a concert with more than just the music, she wants people to take that incredible energy from the band and the audience with them. When she first started performing as a solo performer, where she was the captain of the ship, she wanted to have fun, to share laughs with the audience and the wonderful endorphins that come from laughter, something which she still loves to do.

She is someone who despite whatever curves life may throw at her, Annie just keeps rolling on and when breast cancer hit in 1993, like everything else in her life, she fought through it, is a cancer survivor, and her experience was the inspiration for the song, Blessing in Disguise.


Annie Haslam painting - Megan's World
Megan’s World by Annie Haslam

Living in historic and cultural Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Annie returned to her love of art, started painting and has not stopped since, painting with as much passion as her continued passion for music. Described as Intuitive Abstract Impressionism, her paintings have evolved into stunningly vibrant original paintings, commissioned paintings, commissioned pet portraits, signed giclée prints, painted songs, miniature paintings, and custom painted musical instruments including guitars, violins, drum heads, and more. It seems as if she has found a wellspring of energy where creativity flows in many ways.


Annie Haslam painting - This Magical Planet - Watermarked
This Magical Planet – Watermarked by Annie Haslam

In addition to gallery art shows, Annie Haslam’s art is available for purchase on her website at: https://anniehaslam.com/product-category/annie-haslam-original-art/, and her miniature paintings are available for purchase at her concerts.

Starting her career in fashion, it is only fitting that Annie has returned to that art form as well, where her paintings are printed onto silk and other fabrics that are designed into her stage clothing. As Luxury Experience will be going to see Renaissance in concert, I cannot wait to see the new stage outfit that she designed and will be wearing.


Annie Haslam wearing Annie Haslam Painting printed onto silk
Annie Haslam

Annie is excited about Renaissance’s upcoming 2017 tour that begins on October 26, 2017 at The Ridgefield Playhouse in Ridgefield, Connecticut where they will be performing with a chamber orchestra.

At their performance on October 27, 2017 at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, Pennsylvania, they will also be performing with a chamber orchestra that will be filmed for their upcoming DVD. This will be the first time that Renaissance will be performing and recording with live orchestral musicians since the 1970s. Annie’s paintings will also be a focal point of the Keswick Theatre performance as they will be projected onto a large screen behind the band, deftly combining her love of music and her passion for art.

Other tour dates include: October 28, 2017, The Town Hall with chamber orchestra in New York City, New York, October 29, The Egg with chamber orchestra in Albany, New York, November 2, 2017, Rams Head On Stage, Annapolis, Maryland, and November 3, 2017, The Oaks Theater in Oakmont, Pennsylvania.


Annie Haslam - handpainted Leonardo de Vinci Fender Guitar

Annie Haslam with handpainted
Leonardo de Vinci Fender guitar
by Annie Haslam


Renaissance Tour Tickets and Information: www.RenaissanceTouring.com


Annie Haslam fully defines what it is to be a renaissance woman, a dynamic, giving person who loves to laugh and is ever evolving like her art, and the music of her band, Renaissance.

For information on Annie Haslam, please visit her website: www.AnnieHaslam.com

For information on the band Renaissance and upcoming tour dates, please visit the website: www.renaissancetouring.com

Follow Annie Haslam on Facebook: www.facebook.com/AnnieHaslamArt

Follow Renaissance on Facebook: www.facebook.com/RenaissanceTouring/

Follow Luxury Experience on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/LuxuryExperience to see photos and videos.

Follow Luxury Experience on Twitter at www.twitter.com/LuxuryPair

© October 2017. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com. All rights reserved.

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