Fly away with Caro Emerald

Charlotte Harding finds out how Dutch singer Caro Emerald singer is hoping her latest tour will take her audience on a worldwide exotic journey.

Caro Picture: Koen Hauser
Caro Picture: Koen Hauser

Dutch singer Caro Emerald is probably best known for her vintage style outfits and jazz style of singing, but for her latest tour she is doing something a bit different.

“I want to take people on a journey to somewhere new and exotic both visually and musically,” she explains.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

“We started rehearsals back in January whereas usually we leave it until quite late. So I’m glad we have had this time so I can move things about and have more of a say on the direction I want it to go in.”

Entitled the Emerald Island Tour the feeling of foreign getaways is also reflected in the new sound the singer is experimenting with for her third album.

“The guys I work with are complete music nerds and they introduced me to the exotica genre,” reveals Caro.

“It is a very obscure genre, which came about in the 1950s when people were inspired by exotic islands like Fiji or Hawaii but they had never been there so it was complete fiction.

“We are recreating the genre with jungle sounds and mating calls to produce something really different with a mix of the pop and jazz people know me for.”

For the UK tour Caro will be undertaking her most number of dates yet.

“It is the biggest tour I have done and I’m really surprised,” she begins.

“Other than the Dutch, my English fans are the most loyal.

“I haven’t had an album out since 2013 and they still love coming to my shows and listening to my music.

“They are incredibly loyal and each tour the shows get bigger and bigger with larger venues.

“Even in Holland it hasn’t progressed in the same way. I still go on tour but not the size or number of dates I do in the UK.”

Playing 24 dates on this tour Caro will be up and down the UK from Carlisle to Glasgow, Brighton to the London Royal Albert Hall.

“I am really excited to get out on the road,” she enthuses.

“I can’t wait to come over to the UK again, especially that dreamy Royal Albert Hall.

“I have played there once before and I got so nervous I cried on stage and couldn’t sing.

“I know I will be just as nervous this time but I am looking forward to it.”

Using her stage name Caro Emerald, her real name is Caroline van der Leeuw, she admits she has been singing for as long as she can remember.

“I actually started by taking part in miming competitions which were really popular,” she reveals.

“You would mime along to a song, but then I started doing school shows and competitions and I was eventually spotted and people kept telling me I should do jazz and I began on this journey I am now.”

Growing up Amsterdam, Caro says she was surrounded by all different genres with her parents listening to classical and her sister ‘golden oldies’.

“I think most of the time I was unconsciously listening to the music,” she recalls.

“I could sing along to all these different songs but I would not be able to tell you the artist or what the song was called.

“When I was a teenager I went a bit alternative and would listen to ‘cool’ bands like Nirvana, but for me it is always about the sound.”

She goes on to add that while she appreciates the voice and technique of Mariah Carey she doesn’t particularly like her songs.

Her second album ‘The Shocking Miss Emerald’ came out in 2013, and it seems that while the singer is busy working on her third she is not feeling the pressure to release just about anything.

“There are some songs but it isn’t quite finished,” she says.

“I can’t say when it will be out, it will be done when it is done. I just want to get it right and I have been playing about with different sounds, but I will be testing some songs on the tour so fans will get a chance to hear what I have been working on.”

With a big tour already planned and work under way for the third album 2017 is certainly going to be an interesting year for the singer.

Caro plays the Brighton Centre on April 14.

For more information on Caro and tickets visit

This first featured in the March edition of etc Magazine, out now.