Conversation with Shania Twain

An exclusive interview with Shania Twain - Christoph Jaggi spoke to the artist high above Lake Geneva about current projects and new plans.
By Christoph Jaggi
September 24, 2020

On September 10, 2020, the press conference of the Zurich Film Festival (ZFF) took place in Claude Nobs' chalets, "Le Picotin" in Caux / Montreux. After it ended, there was an unexpected opportunity to talk to Shania Twain in private. 

Shania, you are a well-known singer, songwriter and performer, and very successful. Her last album "Now" was released in 2017. Have you written new songs that you plan to record and release in the near future?

I've put together a new album. We are now sitting here in the tiny chalet where I get a lot of inspiration.

Covid is a challenge, however. The entertainment industry has a new era: Before Covid, during Covid, and - hopefully soon - after Covid. The measures caused by Covid have a massive effect on production and appearances. Covid has kept me on earth more lately, I'm grounded. At the moment, productions cannot be done the way they are normally done. Currently, all artists work in very small groups and use technology to collaborate remotely. That's how I have to work myself. So the album is probably coming together more slowly than usual, but I'm working on a new album. Anyway, I hope I can most likely get new music out in the spring of next year. That is my goal.

While Covid is challenging, it simply means that wherever you are, you have to keep going and staying productive. That's what I do, and I hope that doesn't set me back too much. I am really optimistic that my new album will be released this spring.

Two duets with you have been released in the past few months

Yes, and that during Covid. One with Orville Peck , the masked Canadian country singer, and the other with Ronan Keating , the Irish pop singer. "Legends Never Die", a very interesting project with Orville Peck, was recorded during Covid, while "Forever and Ever, Amen" with Ronan Keating was recorded in February just before Covid, but while Covid was being released.

You recently appeared in two different films

Yes. In 2019 "Trading Paint" with John Travolta was released, and in 2020 "I Still Believe" with KJ Apa, Britt Robertson and Gary Sinise, the most famous actor in the film, a wonderful person. And the story the film tells is heartbreaking. "I Still Believe" was released this spring. And so far, I've played in all two of the films I've been invited to. It was a great experience.

Is this something you want to keep pursuing in the future?

In any case. I really enjoy acting, I enjoy taking on the role of another person. I really appreciate the camaraderie between the actors and I also appreciate the production side of film making. I enjoy interacting with the large team that is involved; I am very aware of the lighting and all the elements in the background and the fact that I am invited. I enjoy this experience. It's refreshing to perform on a platform other than a studio or a stage. So it's just a complement to the creative expression, an extension of something I enjoy. 

Do you now also have your own radio show?

Yes, I recently started my own Apple Music radio show, which is very easy to do during the Covid period. Because I'm literally sitting with my computer and a microphone talking about my favorite music, which includes a series about the Montreux Jazz Festival. Isn't that wonderful? The show started in August and is already running so I did that during Covid.

You appeared on Good Morning America last month

As a matter of fact. I made an appearance in "Good Morning America" ??from up here, the "Picotin" in Caux / Montreux. "Good Morning America" ??used video conferencing technology to broadcast and record a live acoustic performance of two of my hits in the US.

What's next?

Covid interrupted my performances in Las Vegas, my residency there. But as soon as it is announced that it is safe to return, I will be back on stage at the Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. I'm still waiting for me, so nothing to worry about. 

My trilogy of consecutive diamond albums - "The Woman in Me", "Come On Over" and "Up!" - will be remastered and published with additional content. The first of the three albums - "The Woman in Me" - can already be pre-ordered, 25 years after its first release. It is a solemn occasion for me to be able to re-release this album in a new form. All three albums are completely remastered and there is also all sorts of new material on them. It's very, very fulfilling to still be very active in my career, working on a reissue of previous hit albums that were first released 25 years ago. Above all, it's beautiful and exciting for the fans. It's a very, very exciting time for me even if Covid makes it difficult, it was a productive time.

I'm doing a television series called Heart of Texas. You remember how I spoke about my favorite film genre "Western" at the ZFF press conference. I will be executive producing, acting and writing the music for this television series. I didn't bring up this TV series at the press conference because that day was about film. But it's a project that I have going on. The shooting engagement has been delayed due to Covid, but we're still working on production. So it's all good.