Sunny Ozell, ‘I Saw the Light’ [Exclusive Premiere]
Ozell tells The Boot that it was important to her to re-create "I Saw the Light" because of the song's "inherent joy." She believes that the song speaks loudly still today because of "... the basic theme of redemption ... Who doesn't identify with that in some way?"
"If I was religious in any way, this is the sort of 'observance' I'd get into," Ozell adds.
Ozell's version of the classic tune will draw in sinners and saints alike: It's raucous and exuberant, and it'll lift the spirits of anyone who listens to it.
"We often play it live," Ozell says, "and people just adore it."
"I Saw the Light" will be included on Ozell's upcoming album, Take It With Me, which is due in the U.S. out on April 1 (following its 2015 release in the U.K). In addition to original material, the record is full of her interpretations of other lesser-known songs, and Ozell is optimistic that listeners will discover some rarities from the collective American songbook. She describes the project -- which was recorded live in four days -- as "reverent, honest and sincere."
With her music, Ozell blends influences from the blues, jazz, classic country, gospel and roots genres. By the age of four, the singer was studying the rigorous Suzuki method of classical violin, perfecting her ear training, and at 10 years old, she joined the Reno Opera Company.
"My understanding of my instrument is quite thorough at this point," Ozell explains. "I know the shape of it, the scope of it, so I can approach my work with confidence and lean into the expression that much more."
Listen to Sunny Ozell, "I Saw the Light":
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