First of all, thanks guys for keeping the blog going even in my absence. And thank you for the wishes. My exams are still going on. The first two were fine. I have 5 more. I'm so sorry to leave you guys without Sophie updates. But there's been a whole load of news. I promise to post them all here when i get some free time. Sophie is in the top 30 on iTunes right now. I hope everyone is still downloading the EP or the single. "Sophia Loren" seems to be a CD exclusive. So if you haven't got your copy yet, go get it now....
Here's a little something i found on ilikemusic. I'll post again on Sunday. Cheers. Miss you all!! (keep posting updates under the comments for this post please....)
Sophie Ellis-Bextor's collaboration with DJ Spiller marked the beginning of her career. Groovejet (If This Ain't Love) topped the UK singles chart and launched Sophie head first into the world of pop. Over the subsequent decade three hugely successful albums and a plethora of top-ten singles followed. Now she's back with her new album Straight To The Heart, ready to do it all again...
I Like Music chatted with Sophie about the style of her new opus, collaborating with the finest musicians that pop has to offer, supporting Take That, and what the future has in store.
"I Like Music because… it's provided the soundtrack to all of my happiest memories." SOPHIE ELLIS-BEXTOR
ILM: What can we expect from album number four?
Sophie Ellis-Bextor: With this record, the first two songs written were with Calvin Harris and then with Freemasons. That kind of set the scene really, because they're both very dancey, electro, synthy tracks. I thought "right, I want an album to match that." So this album's kind of a more specific genre than the other ones. Very positive, upbeat and electro.
ILM: You collaborated with a lot of people on the record, how did you ensure the album remained cohesive and worked as a whole?
Sophie Ellis-Bextor: I guess I don't really know. I'm not very good at that kind of thing; working out how to make it all cohesive. It just came together. It's difficult to be objective about your own writing style I suppose. Hopefully there's just some sort of motif, and my approach was quite consistent. With every album I've worked with a lot of different people. I guess I'm a creature of habit in terms of how I start stuff, and also my production habits in terms of the things I want to emphasise. So I probably can't really help myself. I think it kind of happens by default. It's like your wardrobe: you'll have your own style with the clothes that you wear even though they're all different tops, trousers, skirts and dresses. It's a similar thing with writing an album, probably!
ILM: What do you think the key ingredients are for a successful pop career?
Sophie Ellis-Bextor: It just dawned on me recently that it's actually quite an achievement to be around for ten years! I think for me, the thing that's really helped is taking time to make the records and knowing to go away for a little bit. Don't give people enough time to get well and truly sick of you! It's the same for me. I don't get enough time to get sick of what I'm doing. I'm always really genuinely enthusiastic to start writing another album. It's always a good moment.
ILM: What stand out as the highlights over the last ten years?
Sophie Ellis-Bextor: The people I've been working with. I think to myself "this is really exciting" about the fact that I still get to work with people that I think are arguably some of the most relevant pop writers and producers around. That's pretty cool! When Groovejet went to number 1, even though that was a really long time ago now, that was really special as well. I'll carry that with me. Then, when I first travelled around with my first record. I would get off the plane in somewhere like Mexico City or New Zealand, and people there were playing my music and were there to meet me! That was phenomenal. Even now it's really touching to have a teenager writing a letter to me from, I don't know, Russia or something. They're listening to a song that I wrote at home. It's pretty incredible.
ILM: What was it like to support Take That?
Sophie Ellis-Bextor: They were really good at introducing me to the best way to put on those massive arena shows. They were very good hosts. They'd come and watch my soundcheck, and there were some really good parties and meals. It was also really good for me as a performer. I was pitching up at these arenas filled with 15,000 women waiting for four men to come out! I had to try and keep them excited but also win them over! It was pretty invaluable for me and definitely made me a better performer
ILM: What would be your advice to any aspiring pop musicians?
Sophie Ellis-Bextor: My main bit of advice would be not to fixate on getting yourself a record deal and concentrate on developing yourself as your own person. Some people can't think of anything except for getting the deal, but actually when you get the record deal that's normally the start of a whole new set of problems. Other people start having opinions on what you should be up to and how you should be doing it. So I think that bit when you're just your own person, trying things out and experimenting and having fun is really valuable to have. The record deal will take care of itself.
ILM: What have you been listening to recently?
Sophie Ellis-Bextor: I've been listening to a lot of new stuff recently, some really good albums have been out this year. The Goldfrapp album, Gorillaz album, Vampire Weekend and Phoenix. Those are my top four albums of the last four months or so.
ILM: Apart from the new album and single, what are your future plans?
Sophie Ellis-Bextor: At the moment I haven't planned any further than about August 2010! I have another single out in July, so next month is the video and generally getting the wheels in motion for that. Then I'll just see where it takes me really. I'm the sort of person who quite likes those big question marks. I know some people get freaked out, but I'm used to not having plans so I can cope with that!