Friday, January 28, 2011

Sophie interviewed by Gaydar Radio

(thanks to Paul)
Sophie was interviewed by Phil Marriott on Gaydar Radio, 27 January 2011.

Are you a "morning person"?
No I'm not. Left to my own devices I'd go to sleep quite late - probably about 1 or 2, and sleep in. But I don't really have much choice in it often.

Yes, because we know you have been doing a lot of club dates and you have been DJ-ing too. But you were touring last month as well.
Yes I was. For the first time in ages - and I loved it! It was brilliant and I plan to do lots more of it this year.

This collaboration. We've got to talk about this because it is amazing. Everyone's talking about the album which is coming out in March, I believe?
Well, the single is coming out in March, and the album will follow in the spring.

Brilliant! Because people are saying, and I told everyone here and on FaceBook - "When is the album coming out?" - that's the big question on everyone's lips. Is that starting to annoy you now?
No. I just wish I could give a really specific answer. But the album is all mastered and it will be coming out. I think it's looking like May. So that's why I say "spring" because it's kind of all-encompassing for that time of year.

Not so specific like you're naming a date exactly, or a week.
No. That's what I've done in the past, and I end up getting myself rather unpopular.

Tell us about the collaboration, because this is fascinating. We love it, we stuck it straight on the A-list. Armin van Buuren is the guy behind it that you've got your vocals on there. We know it's not the first collaboration you've done with dance producers because you've worked with Spiller, Junior Caldera, Freemasons.... Why Armin?
When I was writing the last record I worked with these lovely girls called The Nervo Sisters. Very enthusiastic, talented Australian songwriters. They wrote When Love Takes Over with David Guetta.

Ah, that's Mim and Liv, isn't it.
Yes, Mim and Liv. They know everybody in the dance scene. They were talking a lot about Armin. I must confess I didn't know that much about him, and I was intrigued by what they were saying. They had these tracks, and they said, " We'll play them to you". I just loved one of them - it had something inherent that just appealed to me. I've always been a person who doesn't mind what genre something comes from; if it resonates with me then it's worthwhile doing it. I was quite intrigued by doing a Trance track, because I've done a lot of House, Electo and Disco. Trance has always been this other genre of dance I've never really explored. I'm not sure if it's a typical example of Trance in a lot of ways because I actually think Not Giving Up On Love has a lot of pop sensibilities. But that being said, when I've been singing at some of Armin's concerts we do a remix of it which is definitely a lot more like the authentic Trance sound. It's really different for me, and it's massive - he's massive! In fact the number one DJ in the world, four times in a row now.

Yes, he's big business. Voted Number One DJ four years in a row in DJ Mag. It's quite an emotional track. I think in a lot of ways it is very trancy because it tugs on the old heart-strings, doesn't it!
Yes, It's got that thing that I always love in any music. A bit of wistfulness. I'm a big fan of that. A bit of melancholy, please.

Me too. I'm a soppy old queen
[both laugh] I love that! A little tug, as you say.

How does he compare to working with producers like The Freemasons, whom you've worked with in the past? Is he different in many ways?
Well, with track we did, I would say not so much, because he also does the thing that I believe makes The Freemasons so celebrated. They're really good at letting the melody do what it's supposed to do. I think when you produce a vocal track as a DJ, it should not be about your ego; it should be about letting the song do what it's supposed to do. I think Armin's very good at that, and that's probably one of the reasons why he's so popular. And The Freemasons have definitely got that sensibility.

I've got to tell you that months and months ago, when it [Not Giving Up On Love] was big around the world, because it's been big in Europe already last year, everyone was asking us to play it - and we didn't have it!
Oh really??

It wasn't out in the UK, or wasn't even being promo'd in the UK. And it was one of the most requested songs.
Oh well, that's exciting! That's encouraging.

They love it here at Gaydar. The Gayers love it. But they love you, don't they.
Well, as I have said before, if it wasn't for my gay audience I probably would not have a career. The've been so brilliant and hugely loyal. I 'm a very happy girl, especially when I perform at gay clubs, it's just brilliant. And I'm a sure a lot of straight women would agree with me that it's actually a very comfortable environment to be in. I'd pick a gay club over a straight club any time.

Now we know you're in demand, Sophie, because we had a message from Garry of Hoxton Whores. He said he wants you sing for them, he wants your vocal - and I will quote, "Let me get my hands on her vocal!".
How can I say no! [laughs]

He added a bit. He said he lost your phone number eight years ago, that's why he couldn't call you.
Eight years ago!

Yes, sounds like an excuse, doesn't it.
Love it!

Are you going to set off for that though?
Yes, sure. Why not! I always think when you write with people or work with people, the worst that can happen is you'll do a song that nothing happens to. But you might just do something that changes the course of what you're up to. How exciting is that!

Now you're the face of the cosmetic brand Rimmel. Luciano in London wants to know what the lipstick was in the advert, because she was thinking it's a hot look.
Oh, thank you very much. I'm trying to remember the name of it. I know that my favourite of the Moisture Renew lipsticks is Coral Queen

Coral Queen! We can identify with that.
But I think that one was more of a berry kind of tone, but I can't remember what it's called now. I generally wear more pinks and corals and oranges.

I was out with Sarah, the singer from Dubstar. She is a massive fan of yours and she wants to know how you get your eye-liner so even on your eyes.
Well that is really nice coming from her because she always has phenomenal eye make-up.

Yeah, the eyelashes as well.
That was the real signature look. I remember that very well. Well I'm sure I do what a lot of people do - I put it on and just keep on taking off the bits that have gone wrong. I get through a lot of those little cotton buds - I get through a ton of those.

But you always look great when you're out. Are there ever any nights when you're maybe a bit knackered and you think, "God! I'm not looking my best". Because you do look great when you go out.
Well, yes there's tons of times when I haven't really gone to town. It depends on what I'm doing. If I'm going to a proper event where I know I'll be seen I'll probably spend an extra ten minutes. I think by-and-large I like to be quite quick, and I'm normally ready before Richard, my husband.

There's a lot of women breathing a sigh of relief now - "Oh, she is human...."
Oh God, yeah, absolutely! I've got two little boys. I mean, come on!

What's your take on the current female artists like Ke$ha, Lady GaGa, and Rihanna too? Are you quite competitive with these artists?
No. I don't think competition is a very good bed-fellow for being creative. It's quite negative, and there's loads of room. There are as many female artist around as the've ever been. And at every point in my career there's been a healthy amount of women around - you know, really brilliant women. And long may it continue! I think it's great. I'm always a music fan before I'm an artist. I like seeing people who are good, and I'd rather the bar be raised higher and there be good people around than have a kind of barren landscape where it's like tumbleweed, because I don't think anyone benefits from that.

Ah, what a lovely attitude to have!
It is sincere. I really mean it. I like other women, and a lot of my favourite artists are female.

And you're inspired by them probably?
Yes! I went to see Lady GaGa in concert not that long ago and it was brilliant! She really gives it her all. And I also went to see Beyonce not long ago as well, and she was fantastic. It's well worth seeing her, she puts everything into it.

Sophie, I can't believe it's ten years since Groovejet.
Yeah. It will be eleven this year.

My goodness! Where has that time gone! Does it shock you that it's been eleven years? It seems like yesterday to me.
I suppose I'm surprised and heartened that other people have noticed. Because I could see on the horizon that the ten-year anniversary was coming up, and I didn't know if anyone else would be that interested really. I'm quite glad people have noticed I've been around for a while.

I've got a great question from Nick, who does a guest mix for us here - a DJ. If you were going to murder someone on the dance floor, who would it be and how would you do it?
Ah, that is a good question! One of the really good things about doing that video was writing a list, me and the director (also called Sophie), of how we were going to get rid of people. Chloroform, someone's going to slip on butter, you're going to make that person think the've been having an affair... You know, we were coming up with really stupid ways of getting rid of people.

It's quite comedic - a Carry-On style of death!
Exactly. And I suppose when that song came out there was a lot of the more "shiny" pop, with very smiley-looking people. And I enjoyed presenting myself as someone you did not necessarily have to like.

You liked the dark edge.
Yeah! Definitely.

I think people get that, they kind of identify with it. Because it's a bit too predictable, having everything nice and smiley.
Well, I just thought it would look really cheesy, you know.

Tell us about what's going to be happening this year, because you did the tour in December. Are you going to be playing again?
Yes, definitely. That was quite a small tour. I didn't do hundreds of dates, and it was in relatively small venues, just to get back out there and to get the show really strong. The response was fantastic, and I feel quite embarrassed by how long I'd left it since my last solo tour. I was still gigging, but I was doing a lot of support tours and one-off dates and that kind of thing. The plan is to do as much as I can this year.

But do you know what, I think it's good to keep people hanging on a bit...
Umm, maybe. But it wasn't really intentional.

But you've been having babies, and being a mum.
Well there is that, but I have always been doing lots of shows. I think sometimes with pop and dance you're not necessarily expected to do the live thing that much - you know, it doesn't have to be one of your strong suits. But I have always felt [that I want to perform live]. You know, I've got a fantastic band. A lot of the songs may have started off obviously very produced with a lot of synth stuff in there, but live they can really pack a punch. A good example is Not Giving Up On Love, which as you say, is very emotional when done live. So I think it's worth going that extra mile and making the live show really important. But it hasn't always been something that other people have felt is that crucial. I think now is the time for it, and people are going to live shows more than ever.

The album sounds very "us", it sounds very Gaydar Radio. It's kind of like an endorsed product for us already because its kind of up-beat, positive and dancey. Is that true?
Yes, that's all true. All three adjectives.

Sounds like our kind of album.
I certainly am very happy with it, and it was the most fun to make out of all of them.

Well when the album comes out you've got to come and see us again. We would really love that. And we'd love to come and party with you as well because we've heard about your nights out! [laughter]
OK, I'll get my eye-liner ready.

Fabulous! Listen, good luck with the Armin van Buuren track, we love it. And we're going to continue to love it. It's out in March.
Thank you for your support. It means a lot to us.

Oh bless you Sophie, thank you so much for joining us.

2 comments:

Poetry of the Day said...

this is a really awesome post!

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