EARLIER this year, as part of a celebration of legendary producer Quincy Jones’ 85th birthday, Dutch born singer Caro Emerald took to the O2, London to perform Honey Suckle Rose and jazz standard Misty originally made famous by Sarah Vaughan back in 1964.

“It was such an amazing experience,” she tells Leisure Live. “It took me back to the roots of why I became a singer and sent me back to my studying days. When I returned home after the show in London I felt my blood course through my veins as I found this new inspiration.”

For Caro, those studying days were spent at the Amsterdam Jazz Conservatory, the largest music academy in the Netherlands.

But the jazz production of Quincy Jones or sultry vocals of Sarah Vaughan weren’t her earliest musical inspirations.

For Caro it was the one and only Madonna. “I was five or six years old when I got my first album on cassette and I would listen to it over and over again and practise in front of the mirror and dress up like her.

“I think every other girl did that in school but she really was a big influence on me.”

Little did a five-year-old Caro know that she would go on to top the Dutch charts herself with her debut album Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor.

Not only smashing any record Madonna had set, the album broke the record for most weeks consecutively at number one (27 weeks to be precise) beating the previous record of 26 weeks set by Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

Almost 10 years on, Caro is still as blown away by this fact as she was back then. “I still feel the same,” she laughs. “There was so much happening, I came out of nowhere. I never had made music before and then I was on top of every chart.

“I didn’t really know anything about numbers and statistics, I didn’t really know how to actually recognise my success!”

Talking about breaking Michael Jackson’s record, you can still hear the surprise in her voice.

“This is when I realised how phenomenally big it was. It doesn’t make sense, it still doesn’t for me. It’s Michael Jackson. It shows what a big influence this has had on the Dutch music industry. But Michael Jackson is bigger than anyone on the planet, it doesn’t feel like I beat him.”

It wasn’t just in the Netherlands where Caro made a name for herself. Over in the UK Deleted Scenes went to number four in the UK charts, where it is certified gold, and her second album The Shocking Miss Emerald topped the charts with her signature vintage-pop sound.

Having released a handful of EPs since then, Caro has continued to tour the country, selling out venues that homegrown artists would dream of. “I feel completely blessed to be one of those artists that can continue touring. I have a very loyal audience in the UK and I’m very happy with that.

“I think the way that we make the show is a full package that apparently my UK audience love.”

Can returning fans expect any surprises on this new tour? “Definitely as we are always adding some surprise and some new material and arrangements. I do this with my fantastic (musical) team. We all work together when we talk about visuals and creating the right and final set list. Our musical director and band leader Stephen Large is also a big part of this.

“We really work as a collective. We keep sending each other ideas and talk about these ideas and possibilities which, in the end, creates a beautiful show of the highest quality. What fans can expect is a fresh new look,” she adds.

“We want to give a full experience to each person in the room, both visual and musical. Like you’re inside a movie and you get to dream away about stories that aren’t yours.”

* Caro Emerald is at the BIC on Friday, October 26.