Corinne Bailey Rae has opened up about self-doubt and failure in a recent interview, letting us all know it’s normal for our confidence to fluctuate.

Corinne Bailey Rae
Corinne Bailey Rae

The Like a Star singer spoke about the relationship with herself for Red magazine’s September issue when she gave readers an insight into how she manages feelings of failure.

She said: “I love being in the studio so much, sometimes I have to prize myself out. [But] failure is a constant partner for me. I feel dissatisfaction with everything I do. For every record I put out, there are three records I didn’t put out because they weren’t right [for whatever reason].

“Self-doubt and failure are just part of my life and I have to overcome them to do anything.”

Since the release of Corinne’s debut single Like a Star in November 2005, the soft-spoken musician has become known for spilling her emotions in music with raw vulnerability.

Her second studio album, The Sea, was nearly half finished when Corinne’s first husband, jazz musician Jason Rae, died following an accidental overdose.

After a much-needed break from music, the project was released in January 2010, almost two years after Jason’s death. Grief and the heavy contemplations that accompany it were inescapable for Corinne so she channelled it into the music, singing about both her husband and grandfather, who died in a tragic boating accident before she was born.

Speaking to Red about Jason, she said: “I remember thinking, ‘I’ve had a really good run. I’m 29 and I’ve got to have this deep romance. That’s more than a lot of people have, so I’m really lucky.’ But at the same time, I thought, ‘How am I supposed to survive the stretching decades? How am I going to survive with this actual physical pain?’ At first, all you can see is the destruction, but then your life grows. New things grow.”

One of the latest new projects to blossom from the singer-songwriter is New To Me an original track she wrote for Tracee Ellis Ross’s character Grace Davis in the film, The High Note.


Of course, Corinne previewed the musical before its official release on 29 May and wrote on Instagram that she was “thrilled to have written a song for this goddess Tracee Ellis Ross…so excited to hear her sing it”.

She’s always working on new music and has to “prize herself out” of the studio, she admitted. A fourth studio album is in the works too which is exciting news for fans who last had an album from Corinne in 2016.

Though the musician is known for her smooth and soulful vocals, readers learned that rock music was as influential to Corinne’s journey into music as the American soul, funk and R&B which echoed around her Leeds home growing up. Then she secured a job at a jazz club.

“Oh, you actually can be a musician and earn a living?”

She said: “That was the first time I met people who had music as their life. I thought, ‘Oh, you actually can be a musician and earn a living? You don’t have to [have another job] and do it on the weekends.’”

Music also led Corinne to her now husband of seven years, longtime friend and producer Steve Brown, when she never believed she’d find love again. They now have two daughters together.

Corinne Bailey Rae’s self-titled first album, cover

“It’s so funny when you know someone already – you know their ex-girlfriend and the one before that, and you know their failings and flaws. It was very gradual falling in love with him, like the volume being turned up…It’s so heady and overwhelming.”

… “having children encourages you to focus on the everyday. I’m really grateful to have that focus right now.”

The pair delicately balance parenthood and touring, leaning on family for support. Covid-19 lockdown measures meant postponing a tour the couple had scheduled this summer.

She added: “With all things in life, you have these grand worries, but I think having children encourages you to focus on the everyday. I’m really grateful to have that focus right now.”

Red’s September issue is out now.

Written by Vicky Gayle  – Follow her: @vi_gayle

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.