Saturday, May 8, 2010

That MEGA Sophie Ellis-Bextor post (part two)


Sophie Ellis-Bextor hopes to work with songwriters Xenomania again after having such a good experience when they collaborated on her 'Trip the Light Fantastic' LP.
Sophie Ellis-Bextor wants to work with Girls Aloud's hitmakers Xenomania.
The 31-year-old pop beauty teamed up with the songwriters on her previous album 'Trip the Light Fantastic' and is keen to collaborate with them again.
She told BANG Showbiz: "I think Brian Higgins and Miranda Cooper from Xenomania are two of the best pop writers around, they're great."
"I had a lot of fun doing that. I really liked the song we created, 'If You Go'. I've performed it a few times and hopefully if I do my next tour I can wheel it out. Because it sounds so good live with all the drums."
Discussing the possibility of a new tour, Sophie - who cancelled her own string of concerts to support Take That in 2007 - is keen to get back on the road.
She told BANG Showbiz: "We're talking about doing an autumn tour and hopefully we'll get that on sale soon. It would be good to get it up and running."
"It's been too long. I haven't done a solo tour in ages. I've done lots of support tours and I have done the odd one-off solo show, but nothing flat out. It's pretty shameful really."

It is a slightly startling 10 years since Sophie Ellis-Bextor hit number one with the shimmering Groovejet (If This Ain't Love).
Since then, she's popped up at regular intervals with her peculiar brand of frosty-but-feisty floor-fillers.
We last saw her supporting George Michael and Take That in 2007-8, after which she took a break to have a second child, Kit, with her husband Richard Jones from pop group The Feeling.
Now she's back with a new album, Straight To The Heart, inspired by her recent reinvention as a club DJ.
Friendly and funny, the star opened up to the BBC News website about stalkers, stealing boxer shorts and why people think she's posh.

Your new album sees you going back to your dance roots. What lay behind that decision?
I've been DJing a little bit, so you get used to the fact that music sounds brilliant when it's loud. And then I worked with a lot of DJs - the Freemasons and Calvin Harris and Armin van Buuren - who really do that sound so authentically. I think that all fed into the album's creation.

When you're DJing, is there a particular record you keep handy in case of a dancefloor crisis?
There are certainly some tracks where you put them on and think: 'If you're not dancing to this, then nothing's going to work.' Things like Wanna Be Starting Something, or Young Hearts Run Free.

One of mine used to be Groovejet…
Well, I don't play that one but I'll take your word for it!

Have you ever been in a club where the DJ recognises you and puts on one of your songs?
Yes, it happened to me at a funfair! It can be a bit embarrassing, but I've learnt that you just have to ignore it. Getting up to dance to your own stuff looks pretty pretentious. And leaving the dancefloor when it comes on is just awkward.

Why is the album called Straight To The Heart?
Because that is what pop music does. It's supposed to be something that, in three minutes, gets you right there. All my favourite pop records do that. It's not really cerebral, you just can't help yourself.

The record is very fun and open. It seems a lot of female artists who have children write songs that are celebratory of life…
I suppose it removes a layer. I feel definitely more positive and much more secure. It's a better world with them in it.
But then, I also wrote a song about this stalker I've had on texts.

What happened? Did someone got hold of your number?
I've had the same number for about eight or nine years, so it was kind of my own fault, but I get these messages which I never reply to.
The song's called Dial My Number and it's saying 'just because you've got my number, doesn't mean anything's gonna happen'.

Do you worry that acknowledging this guy in a song will give him the validation you'd denied them by not replying to his texts?
Ah, but they still don't know they've got me - because I might be talking about someone else who's got my number!

The song Off And On has the lyric, 'the time away has done me good'. You're singing about a relationship, but it could also apply to your career. Did you intend to take three years off?
I think sometimes it's good to know when to push off!
When I was 21 and doing my first album, people would ask how I was going to stay the distance, and I would say: 'Well, I'm 21 now, so I can actually fit in two comebacks before I'm 30." And I was right!

Isn't it harder to pick back up where you left off each time?
I don't know. You get more interest because people say: 'Oh, you're back. Tell us what you've been up to.' Certainly for me, it's worked well - and it meant I could have babies.
But I quite like that the public has a very short attention span. If I haven't been on telly for a little bit, I can sense it. People don't take as much notice of you, it's really quite palpable.

When you go back on the telly, what happens?
I often get people saying: 'Has anyone ever told you you look like that Sophie Ellis-Bextor?'
And I usually say: 'Yeah, all the time and it's really annoying!'

The public seems to genuinely like you, though. What's the secret?
I don't think anyone doubts my motives, really. I do what I do and it's not very complicated. Of course, you might hate the music that I make, but I don't think people feel threatened by me just getting on with what I'm up to.

What's the biggest misconception people have about you?
Maybe that I'm going to be really serious, or just that I'm really posh. I don't really mind that one, actually. I think that's quite funny.

Don't they assume you're loaded with money, though? It'll always be your round at the pub.
That happens anyway when you're a pop star! Since Groovejet came out people have said: 'Oh, you must be a millionaire!'
I've had a number one record, guys. That doesn't make you a millionaire. Not any more. Not even 10 years ago when it came out.

One of your new songs, Revolution, starts with the lyric "bang bang, it's a hold-up". Have you ever stolen anything?
When Sonny, my eldest, was about two or three, he put some Spider-Man boxer shorts for a 12-year-old boy into his buggy. Then when we left the shop the alarm beeped and I was mortified!
It's not even like it was obviously for him or me. They didn't fit either of us! But luckily they just let me put them back.

If you became a career criminal what sort of shop would you rob?
A food shop! I'm not actually targeting this shop - but do you know the Fromagerie? It's just off Marylebone High Street and it's got loads of amazing cheese and wine.

So you'd steal cheese?!
Yes! Maybe Le Vacherin - the one you put in the oven. That one's good. But all different sorts of cheeses and breads. I love food!

You toured with Take That a couple of years ago. What did you make of Gary Barlow lending his support to David Cameron for the election?
Oh my God, I didn't see that! I don't really want to get into politics and pop. All I can say is, it wouldn't have been me standing next to David Cameron.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor has been quiet since the release of her Top 15 hit Heartbreak (Make Me A Dancer) with The Freemasons last year. Her new album Straight To The Heart, which was supposed to be her first Greatest Hits, is due for release in the coming months.
Thankfully Sophie Ellis-Bextor decided a new album was better than a Greatest Hits at this stage in her career and. So you might think that this will be another poppy, happy, feel-good ordeal but truly it isn’t and we really think that after listening to a few tracks and especially the infectious new single Bittersweet (out this week), Sophie Ellis-Bextor is back to her best. EF caught-up with the pop princess and had a chat about the album, single and life in general.

How are you today?

Not too bad thank you.

Your new single Bittersweet is out today. Can you tell us a bit about it?
Bittersweet is a song written by Freemasons and it’s about when you are intoxicated by a new lover that you know might do you harm but it’s too late. A painful pleasure or a pleasurable pain.

You worked with a lot of big dance producers on your new album. How was the experience?
It’s been great! It just kind of happened it wasn’t planed or anything. I think the first three tracks I did with a leftfield dance act called Metronomy then Calvin Harris and Freemasons. So after that I was quite set in a dance area. So it made sense to keep going in that direction and I am glad I did cuz I love the album.

Wasn’t this album supposed to be your Greatest Hits?
Yeah essentially. I started recording songs like Heartbreak and after a while I thought ‘this is a little premature I’m not ready for a Greatest Hits I need to write another album’. So I just decided to keep on that route really.

So is the album going to be mainly dance music?
Yes it’s a very dancy album, with a lot of keyboards and lots of bass.

Is it going to be feel-good like your other albums?
Yeah exactly. Quite positive and quite celebratory.

You’ve been off the music scene for a bit. What have you been up to?
Well I had an album three years ago and toured that album. I had another baby, a little boy last year. I feel like I have been doing a lot, I have been really busy doing gigs. I released a song with Freemasons last year called Heartbreak but this album took about two years to make. I am not really quick with making records (laughs).

Is it cuz you are a perfectionist in the studio?
Well I think it’s more because I am really enthusiastic and I like to keep going until I’m really convinced I am done. So I do a lot of collaborations and work with people around Europe and went to America for a bit. Fill each week with a few writing tricks and keep it interesting and before you know it months have gone by.

Are there a lot of songs that didn’t make it onto the album then?
Yes but the really good ones I’ll put on the album as bonus tracks. It’s not that those songs weren’t as good as the others. When you start painting a picture of what you want to do some songs might not feel quite the right frame work.

So if the Volcano keeps quiet are going to be gigging soon?
Yes I might do a solo tour in autumn and I have a few gigs to promote the new single. I also have a single out with a French DJ called Can’t Fight This Feeling. So I’m keeping busy!

You are quite successful overseas as well. Are there any places you really enjoy going back?
Well there are always fun places to travel back to like Paris where I just been working, such a lovely city. I love Paris! I actually really enjoy going to Russia as I go there quite regularly. You are on a plane for a few hours and you feel like you are in a place that is completely different. I always like to go to Italy because I love Italian culture. Mexico was brilliant…and South America in general.

Is the audience the same or does it change depending on where you are?
Generally people react the same way to the songs. I find this response quite reassuring. You know music is this unifying force really. If we are talking about types of crowds they are quite similar too.

Do you have any favourite tracks on the album (Straight To The Heart)?
At the moment because its new I like all of them, because they are all like shiny new objects. I suppose I like Revolution because its quite chaotic and a bit different for me. There’s a song called Starlight, which I did with producer Richard X and its really pretty voice full pop, which always makes me happy. There’s a song called Dial My Number, which is really eighties sounding and electro. I like that too.

That’s really in the moment….
Yeah I’m really enjoying the charts at the moment.

What have you been listening to then?
I just got the new Gorillaz album and that’s excellent and I’ve been listening to Phoenix’s album and Goldfrapp’s. I’m also enjoying Vampire Weekend. I think those are my favourite albums at the moment.

Are you planning on doing any festivals this year?
I don’t know yet but I am definitely talking about it. My new album Straight To The Heart is out in August so it would work nicely. I hope so.

Thank you for your time!
Thank you….

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