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Culture, Music

Candi Staton

What Makes Me


American singer-songwriter and household name Candi Staton is one of the most enduring artists in music, cruising from genre to genre and creating some undeniable classics over the course of her celebrated career.

Perhaps known best for iconic tracks such as ‘Young Hearts Run Free’ and ‘You Got the Love’ we knew already that sometimes Candi feels like throwing her hands up in the air, but we got in touch to find out a little more about what makes her feel emotional. After making two very different complaints about our local climates (Candi’s was the US pollen, mine the UK hailstorm), we found out what makes Candi Staton…


Talking to my babies, my grand babies, and my great grand babies. Talking walks, sitting on the porch watching the cars go by, playing with the dogs, good friends calling, looking on Instagram or TikTok and laughing at some of the things people are doing. I’m always keeping busy around my house cleaning, repairing, or gardening – that makes me happy.


Guns are everywhere and I hate to see the shootings people go through and all the police brutality. Our sons and daughters are being put in their graves because they didn't get their driver’s licence out fast enough – that makes me sad. If we've got food on the table, we’re in our right minds and we can walk and talk and play, why don’t we just do that and leave everybody else alone? 


I trust in God which takes away my fear because one of the scriptures in the bible says, ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand’. So, I’m not fearful, I’m hopeful and careful and I try to use wisdom in every situation I’m confronted with.


I reflect on other people, I like to see what other people are doing and I know if they can do it, I can do it too. We're not in this world alone and we feed off one another. Whether we like it or not, we're family. From the UK to over in Australia. Everybody was born with the same blood, came from the same source – I don’t care how we look. We're human and that makes us family. 


I know who I am, and I know where I’m going. I choose peace over drama, and I choose distance over disrespect and that’s why I’m so confident. 


I look around the world today and there’s so much division. Nobody can help what colour they are, what family they came from or their origin and it’s the dumbest thing to me that people make such a big deal out of it. I sit back sometimes and chuckle about how dumb it is.


That’s a gift from God. I’ve been singing since I could talk almost and didn’t think much of it – I didn’t have a clue that it would blossom into what it is today. It was something that God gave me and that’s why I don’t get prideful because it was a gift, I have nothing to do with it.

Candi Staton is at this year’s KITE Festival on Saturday 10 June, for the full line-up, visit


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