Rufus Wainwright (48) is a singer-songwriter and musician known for his captivating performances. He is the son of musicians Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle. Born in New York, she was raised in Montreal and now lives in LA with her husband, Jorn. Their daughter Viva also lives in LA, with her biological mother, Lorca Cohen, Leonard’s daughter.
I was incredibly precocious, but thankful at the same time. I always got a lot of attention but instead I put on a show, so it was transactional.
Any thoughts on that backwards?
I think it was annoying to have siblings and cousins who weren’t as outgoing as me. Now that I’m a father and I have a young child, it’s fun to watch kids who want to do something in life. So I think it was the right way.
What is it about playing the Greek gods…
I would make my cousins and sister – I was the eldest – and force them to play Greek gods. I was always Zeus. As I tried to organize their lives, they turned around. I usually ended up alone. The farther I go from my childhood, the more I realize how wonderful it was.
by which method?
My mother, the late great Kate McGarrigal, and her sister Anna made a lot of music around the house and they got the kids involved a lot. His mother didn’t have the opportunity to perform, she had to work all her life, so it was all about making her dream happy in a way, her unfulfilled dream of the stage. So we sang and listened to music all the time. It was quite special.
Tell me about going to see a stage play Annie,
video of the day
when i saw the music Annie On Broadway in the 1980s, I was seven years old. I told my mother that I loved it and would love to work in its production, not knowing that these are all girls, usually little girls. He told me that there were productions that used young boys before they hit puberty and that sometimes those productions would go to Broadway – which was a lie. so i learned all the songs then Annie And that’s how I was able to perform for the public. So he tricked us a lot and it was easy to trick me.
You finally want to ‘be’ to Annie…
Annie Became part of my latest show, my latest offering, don’t follow the rules, So after 45 years finally the dream has come true.
Best advice you give?
What comes out of the heart goes to the heart.
Best advice given?
sleep on it
Three words that describe you?
Honest, stupid and tough.
who is your idol?
Giuseppe Verdi’s music got better as he got older. I admired the one-on-one climb of his talent. I’ve always tried to map the evolution of my music in the same way. I also liked the fact that he retired from music for about 20 years and then came back. He did it on his own terms.
Tell us about meeting Björk.
I recently went to Iceland and got a chance to hang out with Björk. It was an incredible experience. I have admired him for a long time because as an artist he has really lived life on his own terms.
How has marriage changed you?
In depth. It’s about finding love’s various cracks and, after many years, time builds its own cathedral. My husband and I have been together for almost 17 years, so it has become a beautiful joy.
What surprises you the most about parenthood?
Having a baby means I am able to focus on something other than myself. I can turn my hopes and fears and love to another creature. It’s a tough change for an artist, but once you’ve done it, not being the center of attention is such a relief.
what drives you
It amazes me that I have a job where I make people happy. I am so grateful that the audience has absorbed my music and I am so grateful to get out of the house and forget the world for a second.
‘Rufus Wainwright, Solo’ performs at the National Concert Hall on Wednesday, July 6. nch.ie