The jazz singer: Gregory loved performing at the Royal Albert Hall in London


A word with... Gregory Porter

Californian jazz singer Gregory Porter enjoyed huge success with his 2013 album, Liquid Spirit, which won him a Grammy. The man with the distinctive headwear talks to The Club about life on the road, and his love of a good steak

Which destination has really blown you away?
South Africa. I was amazed by the extraordinary beauty of Table Mountain, and the beautiful coastline. I also love the contrast between the deep, rich history and the modern, forward-thinking side. 

What kind of flyer are you?
I’m low maintenance – I don’t like to cause too much trouble. If there’s somebody sitting next to me on the plane who I have to cross over to get to the bathroom, I’ll sometimes just wait it out. My philosophy is: we’re all in the same boat (or plane) so let’s just get there the easiest way we can.

What do you always travel with?
I tend to have two or three phones and two voice recorders, because I like to write while I travel. I spent around 300 days on the road last year, so have got comfortable writing on planes, in trains, taxis and vans. Travel provides endless inspiration for my songs, as it makes me think about where I’ve been, where I’m going, the people I’ve left behind and the distance I’ve travelled. I feel like I’m more emotional, vulnerable and open musically when travelling.

Which places are on your bucket list?
Borneo. I want to go to a place less travelled by man – somewhere natural, with clear waters, mountain peaks and rainforests. I’d love to be able to run around in an environment like that for at least a couple of weeks. 

Who’d be your ideal travel partner?
Sammy Davis Jr would have had amazing stories to tell. I’d ask him how he became so accomplished – with dancing, singing and the ability to play all those instruments. I’d love to pick his brain about music.


What place do you keep returning to?
Porto in Portugal (above) is beautiful, with extraordinary food and amazing wine. For a country right next to Spain, it feels a bit quieter and more relaxed.

Do you have a favourite restaurant?
I love a medium-grilled, rib-eye steak with potatoes, and I’m never disappointed at the Peter Luger Steakhouse in Brooklyn

Where was your most memorable performance?
My last gig at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Sometimes you get in the zone and nothing can go wrong. It was one of those nights. I was able to just enjoy the audience and the experience of performing. 

Interview by Tamara Hinson

This article has been tagged Opinion, Travel Tips