TUPELO – Before you ask, yes, Champian Fulton is Champian Fulton’s real name.
“My father picked it out in the hopes he’d have a son, a ‘champ,’” the jazz artist said in a phone interview with the Daily Journal. “So when I arrived, they decided it’s a good name for a girl, but they changed the ‘o’ to an ‘a’ to make it feminine.”
Fulton, a New York-based jazz singer and pianist, will be joined on stage by her father and two other musicians when she performs in Tupelo next week. It’s Fulton’s second time to perform in Tupelo, and the show is a part of a big tour for her, as she’s touring the States and just arrived home from Europe.
“We had such a good time (in Tupelo), we thought we’d come back,” she said.
Fulton’s love for jazz came from her jazz trumpeter father, Stephen Fulton, so she was raised on the genre.
She’s recorded several albums, including her most recent, “Champian Sings and Swings.”
She plans to perform some of the tracks off that album in Tupelo – but that’s as much as she’s planned.
“Usually I like to wing it. I never make a list of things we’re gonna play,” she said. “Right before we go on stage, I’m always like, ‘What do you guys wanna start with?’”
“Champian Sings and Swings” will be available at the show, and she’s already thinking about her next recording.
“Right now I’m going through and picking out some songs that I hear on the radio and on records and thinking, ‘That would be nice,’ or ‘Maybe I could come up with a cool arrangement for that.’” It’s still really early, and I don’t have any set ideas or concepts,” she said.
Before she gets started on that, she’s got a tour of the U.S. to get her sound out to the masses. Fulton is excited about the tour.
“We’re driving in the U.S., so it’ll be a lot of time on the road – and a lot of Cracker Barrels,” she said. “That’s my favorite place to go when we’re driving.”
• On stage
Who: Champian Fulton
When: 7 p.m. April 10 and 11
Where: Vanelli’s, Tupelo
Info: (662) 844-4410
Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal