'Absolutely extraordinary': Saskatoon woman featured on Rod Stewart's new album
A Saskatoon woman, living in the U.K., can be heard on six tracks on Rod Stewart’s new album.
Melissa Veszi-Gawanas remembers getting a call last year from her choir director asking how fast she could get ready to sing with Stewart.
“I got changed faster than I’ve ever gotten changed in my life,” Veszi-Gawanas said, laughing.
Veszi-Gawanas, who goes by her stage name HunnyB, followed an address to what she thought was a recording studio — but when she arrived, she learned the studio was actually in Stewart’s home.
Stewart has a soccer pitch in his garden and a locker room he’s turned into a recording studio, according to Veszi-Gawanas.
“That was really something special because all of a sudden, all the pretentiousness goes away … he was so chilled, so welcoming and it was just like being in somebody’s living room making music,” the singer said.
“It was just absolutely extraordinary and unreal.”
She and the other members of the choir learned the songs on-the-spot, at Stewart’s house.
“We would run it three or four times and then we’d record it, and that was it,” Veszi-Gawanas told CTV News.
The highlight for Veszi-Gawanas was ad-libbing with Stewart on the track, “Some Kind of Wonderful.”
“I was just kind of improvising bits and pieces as it was going and (Stewart) was like, ‘I love that,’” Veszi-Gawanas said.
Veszi-Gawanas called the experience with Stewart “totally monumental.”
Harlano Weekes, the director of CK Gospel Choir, thanks the COVID-19 pandemic for the recording opportunity with Stewart.
Weekes said because of travel restrictions, Stewart’s album was recorded in the U.K. instead of Los Angeles.
“The producer was looking for a gospel choir. They would have normally used an L.A. gospel choir, but fortunately they came to the U.K.,” Weekes said.
“It was a bit of a last minute thing.”
Weekes said he’s hoping the choir can go on tour with Stewart.
“It’s fun. We’re very, very blessed to do what we do and very lucky to work with such great singers,” Weekes said.
Stewart’s album, The Tears of Hercules, was released on Nov. 12.