Music is in Fugate’s blood. Corinna’s father was a musician, Michael Fugate, who played trumpet with Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Boz Scaggs, and Woody Herman among others. He could also play guitar and bass. He performed with the Buddy Miles Band at Jimi Hendrix’s funeral. By the time Corinna was born, Michael was a computer programmer specialist and a building control engineer and had left the music industry in the hopes of providing his wife, Virginia, and daughter, Corinna, a more stable life.
In Corinna’s first album, Chasing the Ghost, she tells her life story. When Corinna was just 12 years old, her father was killed tragically in a work accident. “My world was shattered,” she recalls. “One moment changed my life forever.”
The death of her father forced Corinna to grow up fast. It also left her obsessed with death. Suddenly, she was different from her teenage friends. “I felt desolate and misunderstood,’’ she says. “I had trouble relating with the kids who used to be my friends.’’
The night before Corinna’s father died, he was at Church, listening to Corinna sing. It was a Sunday night, and Corinna had a special song to sing that evening. The next day, Corinna’s father was dead, and Corinna felt angry, and betrayed by God. Dissillusioned, and shaken, she began to question everything she ever believed in, all at the tender age of twelve.
Isolation soon followed. As Fugate struggled to stay connected to the world, and she soon found herself falling into a downward spiral. Fugate turned to alcohol in an attempt to numb the pain she felt as a result of her father’s death. At age fifteen she was a full fledged alcoholic. Life had become a nightmare.
Fugate’s life changed one Christmas morning when Corinna was seventeen. Her mother gave her a blue guitar. Corinna taught herself to play, and had written her first song within two days. Sober now, at age seventeen, Fugate used her music is a way to heal, and to connect with the world again.
“Songwriting opened up a whole new world for me. It gave me a sense of solace, it was a way for me to relate to the world again.’’
When asked about how she writes her songs, Corinna says, “Even though my father passed away when I was 12, I can still feel him with me. I believe that he helps me write my songs. I believe that the soul survives death. I believe that the soul is immortal. And when I write, he’s here with me. It’s not the body that keeps you alive. It’s the spirit burning inside. So, I truly believe that there is no death.”
When Fugate began performing live, she suffered from stage fright. As a way of coping, she turned to the dark practice of self mutilation. Fugate was a “cutter.” Before her shows, Fugate would go into the bathroom, lock the door, and cut herself. Then, she would cover the wound with gauze, and go perform her show as scheduled. While she sang onstage, noone had any idea what she was hiding. Fugate wore long sleeves in the summer to hide the marks. Fugate would later go on to write “Cold”, a song describing her own experience as a “cutter.”
At age twenty, she made a close friend, a love of her life, who understood her, and she loved him with all her heart.
He talked her out of suicide, and helped her overcome self injury. Heencouraged her music, and Fugate would sing to him for hours and hours at night, and she was finally happy. Complete.
Then tragedy happened yet again. Fugate’s love, her soulmate and friend died unexpectedly and suddenly, at the age of 27. Devastated, gave the eulogy, and sang a song she wrote at his funeral entitled “Swing Low”. Fugate described the experience as “Singing my love to sleep…one last time.”
Shaken and broken by this experience, Fugate secluded herself, for two years, and began writing what would later become her album, Undertow. The piano became her lifeline. Most of the songs Fugate wrote in this period were inspired by her love, who crossed over to the other side at age 27 two autumns ago. He was an incredible pianist, drummer, and a sparkling poet. Fugate believes He is always with her, holding her hand and helping her compose new songs.
“I feel him with me when I am playing the piano”, Fugate explains,”Before He passed away I could not play the piano at all. Then afew months after his death I sat down at a dusty old keyboard I had for years but had given up on playing. When I started placing my fingers on the keys, I was stunned to hear such music coming through me.” “My mom heard me playing the keyboard and came from the next room and came in and asked me to please turn the radio down…I told her, The radio is not on, it’s me playing the keyboard”.
“Since that day I could play…really, out of nowhere,”.
” I feel him helping me through my days, and filling up my heart with music at night. I know I am not alone. I think that is the greatest thing he has taught me, and I hope to help others see they are not alone, either. Our loved ones who pass away are not lost to us…we are never alone. We are their heaven.’’
Fugate describes him as so very beautiful, and his spirit shone through his brown eyes like the sky at midnight. The night he died, my heart was broken forever.”
Comparisons of Corinna Fugate’s music to Tori Amos and Fiona Apple are unavoidable and justified, but Corinna stands on her own as an original, groundbreaking composer. “These songs that I write are already entities that exist on their own. I am just the translator. My songs come from a very real place inside me. The songs are real. They are entities unto themselves. The songs are alive. They have birth certificates. It is the songs themselves who keep me company. I am extremely lonely and passionate. If I didn’t feel things so intensely, I wouldn’t be able to write.”
In April of 2008, Corinna Fugate disappeared and deleted her Myspace page and her Youtube page. Fugate took the time to rest and spent the summer in England composing on songs for her new album, and soaking up rich English history, with a deep interest in Queen Anne Boleyn . When Fugate returned to the United States, she posted a video blog about her time away from the internet and music industry, and shared her experiences over the summer which was spent at Hever Castle , the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, whom Fugate stated she had felt a deep connection with. Fugate posted a video at on January 2009 stating she was back, and alive and well and ready to resume work on her new album.
In 2009 Corinna Fugate legally changed her name to Rose Mercury explaining why in a video blog she released on YouTube in January of 2009. Mercury stated that she had experienced a rebirth over the summer, and changing her name to Rose Mercury was a part of her rebirth as a spirit and as an artist. Mercury also stated in her video blog that she felt warmth in her veins for the first time,warmth like mercury, and no longer felt “cold inside”; a reference to the first single she released from her independent album, Undertow, entitled Cold.In January of 2009 Rose Mercury also relaunched her MySpace music page, and released a new music video on January 21st, 2009 for her haunting, and stirring new single which features heavy guitar merging with harpsichord, Heart Like A Grave, in the video Mercury appeared nude in a bathtub filled with apples garnishing much attention and notice from the online community. The Music video was well received and won Mercury a great deal of admiration from the Youtube community. Mercury is currently at work at her new album, Petals.
Edited by curson on 16 Mar 2009, 08:22
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