“Eminem has been one of my favourite songwriters for many years. We listen to a lot of him in our house. I’ve been mostly influenced in my life by writers who bravely put fearless emotion into lyrics and no one does that better than Eminem. I don’t really care too much about what genre music fits into, just that the sound comes from a real, authentic place from inside the artist."
Kasey Chambers has released a country cover of Eminem's Lose Yourself. The celebrated Australian country artist has been performing her inspired take on the Eminem classic on banjo at live shows throughout 2022 and the positive response it receives nightly from fans encouraged her to officially release it to the world.
Cover versions of classic songs can be dangerous. Covering an icon of modern hip-hop, as a country artist, arguably doubly so. Chambers has managed to put a unique stamp on Lose Yourself transforming it in a way that feels authentic and connected to her truth.
Watch the performance, recorded live at the Civic Theatre in Newcastle on Chambers' recent Behind the Barricades tour below.
Mentioning Kasey Chambers and Eminem in the same sentence will make most music fans raise an eyebrow. Chambers explains: “Eminem has been one of my favourite songwriters for many years. We listen to a lot of him in our house. I’ve been mostly influenced in my life by writers who bravely put fearless emotion into lyrics and no one does that better than Eminem. I don’t really care too much about what genre music fits into, just that the sound comes from a real, authentic place from inside the artist. Eminem makes me feel things when I hear him. Not always the most comfortable things but I’m not sure that music is always meant to make us feel comfortable.”
Many of Eminem’s hits are about himself and his experiences which can be difficult for another artist to authentically cover. Lose Yourself was written in character on the set of 8 Mile, and whilst loosely based on himself, albeit opening the song up to different interpretations. Chambers connected with this.“I’ve had it in the back of my mind for years that I knew there was a version inside me somewhere of ‘Lose Yourself’ on a banjo that I wanted to play live but it was really just for the self-indulgent reason that I love the song so much,” said Kasey.“It took covid lockdown to give me enough time to learn the lyrics properly and write a melody to it.”
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Since debuting the song live at the inaugural Wildflower Festival in the Yarra Valley in March this year, Chambers has now performed Lose Yourself at each festival show and the 17-date Behind The Barricades tour with Busby Marou. The release of ‘Lose Yourself’ was recorded at the final show of the tour at a sold-out Civic Theatre in Newcastle.
Reflecting on the audience's reaction to her take on Lose Yourself chambers shares “I had no idea that audiences would respond to it as they have. Something else takes over my body when I play it and I get completely lost in it." “I can honestly say it’s the most I’ve ever connected to a performance of a cover song in my life.”
The video for Lose Yourself was made possible by Chambers fans. Noting so many cameras in the air, Chambers asked fans to send through any footage they had filmed. The result is a perfect time capsule of how a great song, performed authentically from the heart can bring a room of strangers to connect in such a powerful shared emotion.
The cover can also be streamed/downloaded here.