Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sophie on the radio.

It's good to see that Starlight is getting some airplay. I'm trying so hard not to expect anything out of this. But i sincerely hope it sells a good number of copies on iTunes. I'm not sure if a physical release is planned.

Also, let's not forget the Carl Hanaghan Remix. The song was recently made available for free download on Sophie's official website. All you need to do is register your name and email address, and the download will automatically start. The good thing about the Carl Hanaghan Radio Edit is that it doesn't ruin the structure of the song. I am warming up to it, but it still doesn't beat the amazing-ness of the original. Well done Sophie, well done Richard X, well done Hannah.

I just noticed that some radio stations are still playing Sophie's songs. This made me happy. Sophie stated in a recent interview that she plans to release Off And On as the next single, but i guess that will only happen if this single does well. Or maybe its a mutual single between Calvin and Sophie. Lets hope we get a b-side (because they have done another song together, Calling It Love).... it feels weird that we have ONE b-side but five singles. So un-Sophie-like.

"Make a scene" is available for pre-order on iTunes. Those of you who live in the UK and who haven't pre-ordered the physical yet, there is good news, because just for ₤7.99 you can now download the entire album and all 5 music videos from this era (Heartbreak Make Me A Dancer, Can't Fight This Feeling, Bittersweet, Not Giving Up On Love and Starlight). Hurry, pre-order your copy today.

Pre-order from iTunes - http://itunes.apple.com/gb/preorder/make-a-scene/id440540653
Pre-order from Amazon - http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B004WJBE96/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=essemusiandma-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=19450&creativeASIN=B004WJBE96
Pre-order exclusive signed slipcase from HMV - http://hmv.com/hmvweb/displayProductDetails.do?ctx=4600;0;-1;-1;-1&sku=718255

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sophie & Dan G. Sells in Attitude Mag

thanks to Paul once again, sorry i made you buy this twice

Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Dan Gillespie Sells talk about their own self-effacing approach to pop stardom.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor is reminiscing about the first time she clocked Dan Gillespie Sells, circa 2002. "I know that when I met you, you had that boyfriend with the woodstock t-shirt and a lot of curly hair. The one who danced..."

“His name was Julian." thinks Dan. "What happened to Julian?" Over cups of tea and coffee and walnut cake in an East London tearoom, top pop veterans and good mates Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Dan Gillespie Sells are chewing the cud over his exes, her hubby (his best friend and band-mate Richard Jones) and the many charms of tea itself. "The first cup of tea in the morning cannot be beaten," announces Sophie with her stock-like elegance. "After that, you're just chasing the dragon."

They make for a terrifically British twosome, rattling through the news agenda and discussing the job in hand. That job would be their new albums. Sophie works her glacial dance-queen manoeuvre on the long-in-development, Make a scene, while Dan's band, The Feeling, are back with a third album, Together We Were Made. They're both at interesting junctures. Sophie can claim a loyal following drawn to her sophisto pop and her knack for pulling a summer holiday hit out of the bag. The Feeling have settled into their role as purveyors of a particularly British strand of jaunt pop, fittingly the soundtrack for the BBC's Cricket World Cup Coverage. They share an English reserve about flogging records, a trail that may undermine their chart position but defines their type of pop-stardom.

The two have had a hand in each other's destiny since meeting in 2002. Dan's friend, Richard Jones, was Sophie's bass player, who went on to be in The Feeling and marry into the Ellis-Bextor’s. Sophie and he have two boys together. As a result of all this intermingling Dan and Sophie are a tight unit. Sophie cameos on the track Leave Me Out Of It on The Feeling's new record; Dan has previously written for her and played guitar when Sophie serenaded her husband at their wedding with the song God Only Knows. When they were having their first child, Richard and Sophie told Dan the news first.

A: Let’s start at the beginning of your friendship. So Dan was living with Richard when Sophie was going out with him.

D: Richard was living in my house in North London. We were housemates, Richard and I.

S: You were the first person we told we were having a baby (to Dan). You reacted brilliantly.

D: I nearly fell off my stool.

S: Basically, Richard and I started going out and then within two months we found out we were having a baby. Because he'd been my bass player we tried not to tell anyone that we were dating, and then when we found out we were having a baby we had to go around to everybody saying, "We've been dating for quite a while...for six weeks...but you know, it's all fine." (Laughs)

S: But that's OK

D: Yeah, but it's a bit scary really. The funny thing was that when Sonny came along, all that stuff went out the window. It was just like, 'Wow'.

A: Do you think that's a gay man's defensiveness?

D: I think some gay men do that, and some gay men go the other way

S: You could say it's a 26-year-old-man's defensiveness.

D: That's true

S: Richard was 25 when we had Sonny and it was the first baby he'd really held.

D: With all of us, there was this hormone rush.

S: (to Dan) you’re being very slow to get on with anything. Other friends of ours have had a new baby. We've had two, what are you doing?

D: But the way we all felt about babies suddenly changed. Suddenly it was like "Gosh, it's a real family here" and it's exciting.

A: Dan, would you like to have kids?

D: I would. It's come a long way for me to say I would.

S: I can totally agree with that.

D: I think eventually, yeah. I might not wait quite as long as David and Elton have. But maybe they've paved the way, made it easier for us. It's scary but I was raised in a gay house. There's no reason it can't work and there's no reason, especially now in the modern age, why it can't be accepted by everyone.

S: (archly) I think some of your beautiful objects d'art might have to be put up a couple of shelves...

A: Dan, you've been with your boyfriend Ryan for four years now. Any sign of you getting hitched?

D: It's a strange one for me. Maybe one day. I'm not against the idea but I'm not very excited by it, either. Only I think because my parents weren't... my mum and her partner and my dad wasn't either. I never grew up with marriage as a part of any of the families that I knew.

A: How does your boyfriend feel about it?

D: I'm sure he'd love to...

S: I have the feeling you'll get married when you've been together for about 20 years.

D: He might want something a bit sooner.

S: Yeah, OK, but will he ask you? I picture him wanting you to ask him

D: I think he'd want me to ask him


A: Sophie's very good on Twitter

D: I don't even know how to work it.

S: It's very easy.

A: (to Sophie) Are you doing it all yourself?

S: Yeah. Except for the one that says Sophie HQ. I don't like using it for promotion.

A: That's clever - not trying too hard.

S: It's not really a tactic, that's a bit naff. I'm just not very good at that any more. I'm too British for self-promotion in that way.

D: I'm quite dyslexic and I'm not very good with writing and staying in touch with people. I'm slightly, mildly, verging on... illiterate.

S: That doesn't matter, actually.

A: That's an advantage. All you need is a few LOLs.

S: Exactly. And a smiley face.

A: You both have a certain British reserve about things, especially promotion.

S: I think what's always made British pop starts charming is that we don't celebrate that level of finesse where there's that veneer of everything being perfect. Misfits. We celebrate that more, I think.

D: I never thought I would be able to fit in. With the family I came from, I never thought that I would fit in with the society generally. It still comes as a surprise to me that we have a following, because I couldn't manage at school.

S: That's good; I think that's a benefit. I'm always really grateful that I wasn't one of the popular girls at school

D: School is this weird thing, isn't it? Because there is a different switch when you come out of school and go into the real world and it seems like lots of things flip. Think about the way lesbian and gay kids are treated in schools and you think that actually most of these are in middle-class areas. It seems perfectly acceptable for the worst insult to be gay or the worst kind of bullying to happen to children there.

S: I just never felt defined by school, and towards the end of it I started taking myself further and further out. First, I wasn't in the class picture and then I wasn't in the year picture. I just started having a life outside of it, and that's when I was in a band and I got a boyfriend, and then you just start doing other things. Luckily, I signed my record deal before I sat my A-levels.

D: My self-image was bizarre. I tried so hard to wear the right kind of cool indie clothes when that was the thing; they didn't fit me properly and I seemed to be the wrong shape and my head was all the wrong shape.

S: Your head is not the wrong shape


A: Do you talk about your work when you hang out?

D: Only in a very natural way. We've never planned anything. Sophie sang on 'Leave Me Out Of It' and it needed that feminine touch. It was just lovely.

A: Sophie's already working on a new record. What's the ambition for you both?

S: Nothing ever happens when you force it, anyway, ever. The nice thing about the position we're both in is that we're not trying to prove anything or reinvent. This is what we do and I don't think that either of us have ever felt like we've been part of a fashion movement or spearheading change. I would hope by now that people would trust that my motives are quite pure. If it was purely a vehicle for advertising myself, there are a lot of things I would’ve done quite differently over the years. I probably say "No" to as many things as I say "Yes" to. That, for me, is what keeps me same. It's a nice feeling because you can relax a bit more.

A: But the flip side to that is whether you really want to be a popstar?

S: Sometimes those things burn out quicker. Maybe I'd have burned out quicker if I'd have been, "Here are my children, and this is my house and will you now buy more records?" I actually don't think it makes any difference, anyway.

A: How do you feel about fame?

S: I still get to walk my kids to school and get the Tube, and I don't know if I really want anything to change. That said, if I wasn't ambitious, then I wouldn't always be trying to raise the bar with my music and my performing. And I actually think I'm much better live than I have ever been, really, mainly because I want to be.

D: As long as you're ambitions remain artistic ambitions. The other kind of ambition is odd, as you start questioning what success is.

S: And you feel a bit grubby, too.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

...as requested

Interviews and Performances from the radio tour, for download:

Loose Ends, BBC Radio 4, 21st May 2011
STARLIGHT (Performance)

The Evening Takeover, Juice FM, 19th May 2011

Telephone Interview, Gaydar Radio, 18th May 2011

Evening Show, Real Radio, 18th May

Night Owls, Metro Radio, 16th May 2011
STARLIGHT (Performance)

Evening Show, Wave 105.2 FM, 16th May 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sophie on Lorainne, performance + interview

Sophie was on Lorainne today. There was a little chit chat about the new label, Sophie's personal life and the new single Starlight. Also, there were scenes from the concert, which i assume are going to form a part of the music video for Starlight.

You can download the interview and performance right here:
INTERVIEW - http://www.megaupload.com/?d=TH6JG8M2
PERFORMANCE - http://www.megaupload.com/?d=GNVCJ8SK

(recording and upload thanks to Paul)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Starlight + Make A Scene radio tour

Sophie was interviewed on some Radio Stations and she also performed an acoutic version of Starlight. Beautiful.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor May 2011 Interviews by SOPHIERAZZI

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

TodayOnline interviews Sophie

HOW time flies: It seemed like only yesterday Sophie Ellis-Bextor released her big hit Murder On The Dancefloor. But that song turns 10 years old this year. And Ellis-Bextor would be the first to admit she won't win any productivity awards: In the decade since her solo debut, she's only released four albums. Her latest, Make A Scene, was released in Russia earlier this year where it peaked at No 2. (It will be released to the rest of the world later this year.)

"I'm always so slow with my records!" said Ellis-Bextor, who was in town for the Audi Fashion Festival. "I can't write albums quickly. I don't know how people do it. I spend ages making records."

Why so long? Well, she toured for Trip The Light Fantastic (2007) for "about two years" and then started work on Make A Scene, but then she had her second child, and then toured some more and ended up just releasing singles "here and there".

"So actually in (the UK), I'm on the fourth single from this album now," said the 32-year-old singer.

The album features 14 songs, with work done by The Freemasons, Calvin Harris, Armin van Buuren, Richard X and Cathy Dennis, among others. So yes, it's perfect for the dancefloor. "It's a very dance-y record," said Ellis-Bextor. "It's quite varied but all very dance-based. I'm really happy with it."

You've been churning out dance music since Day One. What's the big deal with dance music?
It feels like dance music is still as big as ever. Everybody can now name a DJ on the charts. That definitely went out of vogue some time ago. I supposed the nice thing is that there's a lot of cross-pollination. You get a lot of people you didn't think would make dance music making dance music - like Nelly Furtado's done a track with Tiesto. There's a lot of people crossing over and experimenting. I think that's quite fun. I enjoy it a lot.

Aren't you bored with it now that you're older?
I love performing songs like Murder On The Dancefloor, and the band is young, enthusiastic boys, so it's infectious.

Have you had any embarrassing things that have happened onstage?
Oh, loads. Silly high heels falling through cracks on stage, mics not working, tracks not starting - sometimes on live TV which is fun… As yet, I've not fallen off the stage, touch wood! (But) doing the gigs is one of my favourite things to do. Particularly when I have my band and we play live. I think part of it is because we always have new material so that keeps it fresh.

So why…
Why do I want to keep doing it? Considering the consequences? Because it's a passion and its part of who I am. I don't really question it, I just do it. There might come a point where I've had enough. But I find it really stimulating and exciting. I'm quite lucky really.

Did you ever think to do anything else other than music?
I'm not really sure there's much else I can do. I'm not very good at very many things really. I can't even play the piano really very well! But if I'm not performing it'd be nice to write songs for other people. I still feel I've got a lot to give yet. I definitely won't be giving it up any time in the near future. It's not a boring job, it's a brilliant job. I'm still a very optimistic person and I think all music finds its rightful place in the world. Not everybody needs to be on the Top 10 charts. There are many ways to be a musician, so just get on with it, really.

Andy Jackson Interviews Sophie Ellis-Bextor

DOWNLOAD THE INTERVIEW - http://www.megaupload.com/?d=OW7T8239
(thanks to Paul for the recording + upload)

Sophie Ellis-Bextor! [applause] Hello. In fact it should be "Welcome back to Wave 105" because you're no stranger to us, I think it's fair to say.

When was I last here - a year ago, do you think?

You seem to pop in and out throughout your long and illustrious career - that's the best way to describe it, isn't it?
Yeah, OK, I'll go along with that!

There's a bit of everything going on. You've got the new single out, you've got the new album which is due to come out on the 6th June according to my dates here...

...and I'm just trying to get a feel of what direction you're trying to go in with this, Sophie.
The first two songs I did for this album were a song called Heartbreak which I did with The Freemasons, and a song called Off and On, which is a Calvin Harris track. Those two set the tone, really. So the album's very synthy, very dancy, a lot of four-in-the-floor; it's kind of a party record.

Is that where you're at at the moment, because you're still doing bits and bobs of DJ-ing; weren't you at Cape Verde the other day?
That's right.

How exciting!
It's been lots of fun, and it's something I do with my husband Richard. I guess it has informed a little bit of the record because when you're in a club and you play something by The Freemasons for example, it just sounds so phenomenal that you think, "Ahh! I want to do something like this". It's really exciting. So yes, it definitely influenced the album being as dancy as it is.

One of the other people you've been working with - a 'blast from the past' if I may put it that way - is Cathy Dennis. Is she co-writing with you on this?
Yes, we did a couple of tracks on this record. She's a lovely woman, hugely talented, and I think she is an example of someone who has had a successful solo career in her own right, and has now written some of the biggest pop records of the last decade. The writers that I tend to really enjoy working with have been artists themselves, so they understand that side of things as well. They write a song for you, and not for anyone else - and she's one of the best.

And the fact that such people have already done it themselves means they won't be wishing it was them instead of you going on - is that fair to say?
Oh she's very generous, very 'in the moment' with you. I think she's one of those people who is a marvel to watch when she's on form, in her zone. There's a song we did called Revolution, and we started work at about 12:30 in the studio. By 4:30 the song was all done! There was myself and a guy called Greg Kurstin also working there, but Cathy was just incredible. She had loads of ideas - yeah, she's lovely.

Talk us through the process of when you're in the studio. Obviously there must be some kind of a framework - but how does it work when you're all in there and you're jelling together. How does it happen in practice?
There are lots of different ways to write a song, but my favourite way is to start off by getting a bit of music up and going. So if I'm working with, say, someone like The Freemasons they'll play me a couple of instrumental things - little ideas - and then maybe shift the chords around if I think it could work better a different way, or if they have some different ideas. Then I'll start noodling around little folk-melody ideas and recording them in. They're really embarrassing and you wouldn't want anyone to hear them [laughs]. They're kind of like this [sings] "da-da-di-da, di-da-de-da". Yes, just like doodles. And then you start picking up the best bits, and try to work out the chorus bit, and putting the lyric to it. There is a bit of a practice to it, but you do have to shut off that little voice in your head which is saying [speaking sotto voce] "You look really silly!". [Laughs]

That's the thing, isn't it. Not only looking silly. There's also the video and things - a whole different aspect.
Yes. And I guess the thing with song-writing is, you can't really pretend you're doing it. You're either coming up with ideas or you're not, and sometimes that can be really intimidating. I've done song-writing trips abroad, and then you're walking into a room with someone you've never met before, and immediately you have to start trying to share with them these little creative ideas, and it can feel very... I don't know, I suppose it's not the British way. Normally we're more reserved, instead of just singing out loud what ever comes into our head!

We were talking about the song-writing process, and it's very similar to how comedians write. I was speaking to Frankie Vaughan* the other day, and he said it was weird when he goes into a room and sits down for the first time to do some writing with other writers.
But that's really hard, because then you've got to be funny. And then you've got to say "I think this is funny". I mean I think I can be funny, but the reactions I get mean that sometimes I'm not! I'm normally the only only who's laughing, and I suspect in my writers' meetings that would happen a lot.

Does that apply to music as well? You think, "Oh this is great, I love this", and you're sort of getting blank looks from the people around you?
It happens sometimes, but generally people are pretty encouraging of each other, you know. I think we're all aware that it can be a bit awkward. Besides I've worked with a lot of these people for many years, so we're well over that by now. And you do get the giggles about some things, and some of it is daft and is funny; but you need to go through that to get the stuff that really works.

It all works fine in the end.
It does.

Not that I'm stalking or anything, but I'm on your twitter as we speak at the moment. Are you actually a fan of dim sum for breakfast? This is one of the things that piques my interest because I love a bit of dim sum.
It was really good. I went to Singapore during the week for a total of 26 hours. It was a pretty hard-core trip because we landed in the morning at Singapore while it was actually midnight here. And then I had to hit the ground running and work until about half-eleven that night. So I'd had no sleep. But one of the perks was we got up really early the next day to get our flight home, and there was loads of dim sum everywhere, and it was delicious!

It's a good job that you are young enough so that you can have that hard-core life style, where you can be on a 26-hour trip, have dim sum for breakfast, then come home and still be fresh and wonderful.
Yes... I do sometimes wonder whether I'm going to pay the price for it at some point. The thing I really sacrifice is sleep. I'm very bad at going, "Right, I'm going to get my head down now". And if I'm at home I want to get up in the morning with the kids, and then I want to have my evenings... so sometimes it means I don't have very much sleep.

That is the next thing I was going to ask. How does it work being a mum, how do you combine the family life and the professional life?
It can be a bit chaotic. Every week is a different shape. I guess one of the amazing thing about kids is they're completely 'in the moment'; they don't think about what happened last week, they don't think about what's happening next week. They're very much about the here and now. I suppose I adopt a very similar mind-frame when I'm travelling or when I'm with them, of trying to get the most out of wherever I am at that time. So when I'm at home I will just play with them, and read stories, and go out for walks, and do the maximum amount we can. Then I can do my trips and feel I've had my family time too. Sometimes it doesn't work so well if I've got too much work, but then I know that if I didn't work I wouldn't be a very good mum because then I'd feel that I needed to be doing my music too.

Are you having more kids - any more planned for the future? It's two you've got at the moment, isn't it?
I have two, yes. I would like more, but not right now. My youngest is only two. I know people do have kids that are only two years apart, but I still feel he's the baby and I want to feel he's the youngest for a little bit longer. At some point I'd like more.

I tried to keep all mine together because my theory is the closer they are together, the more they would be likely to play together, and the less effort there would be in bringing them up. But it doesn't ever work out like that, does it.
Well, I guess you take from what you know, and I'm eight years older than my nearest sibling - that's my little brother, Jack. And he's someone who's in my band (he's my drummer). I see him all the time and I used to look after him when I was little. I don't know if subconsciously that helped me. Sonny and Kit have quite a big age gap; they're nearly five years apart. I'm training Sonny to change nappies and he can entertain kids. He's helpful. Yes, they do play together. I have to know how many children you've got!

I've got five.
You have not!

I've got five, yes.
You've got five babies.... Wow!

They range in ages. I've got seven and eight, and I've also got 20, 22, and 25-year-olds. So Busy-Busy! But there you go!
That's amazing! Five kids! You're putting me to shame. That is encouraging. I quite like the idea of four, you see.

There's always time.
Yes, Yes, I like them.

I'll tell you what, it's fantastic. I absolutely love it. The more the merrier!
Are they a mixture of genders?

I've got three girls, two boys.
You are cool! Clever you! [laughter]

Well all I can say is, Thank you very much for popping in and having a chat with us. Best of luck with the new album, best of luck with the new single.
Thank you.

Sophie performs Starlight on The Hour

She may still be an internationally renowned dance vocalist, but Sophie Ellis-Bextor has other priorities in her life now, with her two sons Sonny and Kit. While speaking to STV’s The Hour, she said that sleep has had to take a back seat while she balances her family life and career, but that the lifestyle still remains “seductive”.

“It’s just meant it’s a bit more chaotic,” she explained to presenters Michelle McManus and Stephen Jardine. “It means that I often sacrifice sleep, so if I have trips away I’ll take the latest possible flight out and the first one back. I try to do it when [the children] don’t really notice, like I’ll often fly through the night.”

Last Christmas she managed this quite literally when she flew to Beirut for just eight hours. Arriving on the 11pm flight and taking off at 7am the following morning, it was dark the entire time she was there.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor rejects sleep for family life

Although Kit is only two years old, seven-year-old Sonny is beginning to realise that his parents’ jobs are very different from the other mums and dads. As well as her own international music career, Sophie’s husband Richard is the bass player for pop-rock band The Feeling.

Sophie said: “[Sonny] knows that his parents are both musicians and I think he’s worked out now that other people’s parents don’t do silly jobs like us. I try not to dwell on it if anyone does ever say anything when we’re out, because I just want him to think of me as his mum.”

Sophie herself is the daughter of Blue Peter presenter Janet Ellis and producer-director Robin Bextor so is used to a life in the limelight, and she admits herself that her sons will likely move into show business.

“It’s quite likely really… We’re lucky enough to do jobs that are our passion, something we adore doing and a lot of it is having fun. Richard’s band mates in The Feeling, he went to school with them, so that’s him and his friends getting up on stage, playing songs they love, loud, running about, it’s quite a seductive lifestyle really. What’s not to like?”

As well as parenthood, Sophie Ellis-Bextor is also spending her days paving the way for the release of her new album Make A Scene. Due out on June 13, this is her fourth studio record as a solo artist and includes collaborations with Calvin Harris and dance band Freemasons.

Watch the interview here - http://entertainment.stv.tv/music/249939-sophie-ellis-bextor-rejects-sleep-for-family-life/

Ahead of the release of her fourth album, Make A Scene, Sophie Ellis-Bextor performed new single Starlight live on The Hour. The song, a follow up to recent single Not Giving Up On Love and last year’s Bittersweet, is due to be released on June 13.

Sophie has been a regular fixture on the UK Singles Chart for ten years now, since her collaboration with Italian DJ Spiller on Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love) snatched the number one spot from former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham.

Her debut album, Read My Lips, then went double platinum and reached number two in the UK Albums Chart, followed two years later by Shoot from the Hip which produced two top ten singles.
Sophie Ellis-Bextor performs Starlight live on The Hour

Her third album, Trip the Light Fantastic, reached number seven in the UK in 2007.

Starlight and album Make A Scene are both released on June 13, 2011.

Starlight (Live, Acoustic) - http://entertainment.stv.tv/music/249895-sophie-ellis-bextor-performs-starlight-live-on-the-hour/

Or download the interview and the performance right here:
Interview (avi file, 92mb) - http://www.megaupload.com/?d=4UFWFAIJ
Starlight (avi file, 71mb) - http://www.megaupload.com/?d=XO2B0AJQ
(thanks to Paul for the uploads)

Sophie performs in Singapore

HerWorld caught up with Sophie in Singapore, before the Audio Fashion Festival.

This British singer-songwriter with her trademark alabaster skin and gorgeous cheekbones is back with her fourth album. Plus, she’s coming to town, all thanks to a private closed-door event by Audi Singapore, where she’s set to get the 400 guests on their feet with her electrifying electro-pop performance for the Audi Red Carpet Night, part of Audi’s Fashion Festival, happening on May 11.

After a long hiatus, Sophie Ellis-Bextor presents her latest album, “Make a Scene”, collaborating with renowned and talented producers like The Freemasons, Calvin Harris, Meteronomy and more.

The talented songstress tells herworld.com about her new album and how motherhood has changed her.

hw.com: “Make A Scene” is album number four now. Can you tell us a little about it and what was your main inspiration for this album?
Sophie: I started DJ-ing with my husband, Richard, a couple of years ago and that was part of the reason my fourth album is so dance-centric. Playing songs produced by people like Calvin Harris and The Freemasons that are really loud just sounded so brilliant. Luckily for me, I was also able to collaborate with them on this record and that really set the tone.

hw.com: You’ve worked with the renowned Freemasons. What was it like working with them?
S: It was a bit of a dream come true. I’d been a fan of theirs for a while. Happily, I can now call them my friends, too. They are lovely talented folk.

hw.com: You’re a mother of two. How has motherhood changed you since?
S:Massively in many ways I’m sure but when it comes to my work the main change is that I am overall more focused. I feel that if work means time away from the children then I want it all to count more. I think I’ve upped my game.

hw.com: Has it influenced any of your music?
S: Well mainly it has made me a happier girl and I think that comes across on this album, and the last.

hw.com: You’ll also be touring the UK this summer with Erasure and Bryan Ferry. How excited are you about this? Can you give us a little teaser of anything special that you’ll be doing on the tour?
S: The tours will be lots of fun. All those shows are outdoors so the crowd is always in kind of a holiday mode. I’ll try to create a little party atmosphere for them.

hw.com: This isn’t your first time in Singapore, what do you remember or like about our city?
S: I remember the lovely, welcoming people and I’m sure I’m not alone in noticing how brilliantly clean the city is. Gorgeous. Plus, the shopping is incredible!

hw.com: Is there anything you’re looking forward to seeing, doing or even eating here?
S: I hope I can get to experience some authentic local cuisine. I do love my food and I know there are some fantastic restaurants in Singapore.

hw.com: You’ll be performing at the Audi Red Carpet Night, which is like a precursor to our very own version of Fashion week. How would you describe your personal style and how has it evolved over the years?
S: I think my style has stayed pretty much in the same vicinity over the years - I’ve never been a particular follower of fashion - but that being said, I hope I make slightly less mistakes now than I used to. I’m sure I get it right sometimes (fingers crossed). I’ve learnt a bit more about what suits me. I love anything slightly retro, feminine or fun dresses with strong silhouettes. I love getting dressed up.

hw.com: Any favourite designers or any particular items you’re currently lusting over?
S: I adore many designers but Dolce & Gabbana and Chanel are some of my all-time favourites. They both have a very clear idea of what their aesthetic is and if money is no object, I’d own more of it!
ORIGINAL ARTICLE - http://www.herworld.com/women-now/people/sophie-ellis-bextor-pre-aff-show

Bex performed 6 songs before the AFF show.

01 - Get Over You
02 - Me And My Imagination
03 - Bittersweet
04 - Murder On The Dancefloor
05 - Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)
06 - Heartbreak (Make Me A Dancer)

This is the second time that Sophie has been to Singapore. The last time she was there was to promote her first album, Read My Lips. You can watch the interview and the performances right here. (thanks to Paul for the video clips, thanks to Renzo for the uploads)

The Interview

Get Over You - Live, pre-AFF, Singapore, 2011

Me And My Imagination - Live, pre-AFF, Singapore, 2011

Bittersweet - Live, pre-AFF, Singapore, 2011

Murder On The Dancefloor - Live, pre-AFF, Singapore, 2011

Groovejet (If This Ain't Love) - Live, pre-AFF, Singapore, 2011

Heartbreak (Make Me A Dancer) - Live, pre-AFF, Singapore, 2011

You can also download the performances right here:
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=MOJVVY1Q (avi files, 320mb)
(thanks to Paul for the links)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Starlight (JRMX Club Mix)

PurplePR uploaded a new mix of Starlight. It's miles better than that other remix...
Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Starlight [JRMX Club Mix] by PurplePR

But nothing beats the original! Nonetheless, well done JRMX. There's a little too much happening in the chorus, but that sounds pretty good on the second listen.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The big interview: Sophie Ellis-Bextor

ORIGINAL ARTICLE - http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/lifestyle/health-and-family/the_big_interview_sophie_ellis_bextor_1_3352300

SINGER, model and mother Sophie Ellis-Bextor appears to have it all. She tells Chris Bond why she’s enjoying life right now.

SOPHIE Ellis-Bextor is up to her eyes at the minute.

As well as being a mother to two young boys, she has to juggle this with a successful music career, international tours, and being “the face” of cosmetics giant Rimmel.

Next month, her latest album – her first since Trip the Light Fantastic four years ago – Make A Scene, comes out along with a new single, Starlight, before she joins 1980s pop heroes Erasure for a UK summer tour that takes in the stunning surroundings of Dalby Forest, in North Yorkshire. The likes of Paul Weller, The Beautiful South and Keane have all performed there in recent years and she is happy to be joining the growing list of stars who have taken their music to this picturesque corner of the county.

“I went there to watch my husband’s band The Feeling a couple of years ago.People took their kids along and it was a great atmosphere because everyone was in holiday mode, so I’m really looking forward to it. I’m up for playing anywhere, so doing a concert in the middle of the beautiful English countryside is fantastic,” she says, taking time out from the studio where she’s been recording a cover version of an Arcade Fire song for a forthcoming charity record.

It’s now more than a decade since she burst on to the music scene with her glamorous blend of pop, disco and dance, during which time she has become a multi-platinum selling artist enjoying a career that has taken her to some far flung corners of the world.

“I’m fortunate in that I’m still doing gigs in all kinds of new places like Beirut, Istanbul and Singapore.” She also has a loyal following in Eastern Europe, of all places, particularly in Russia.

“I made about eight trips to Moscow a couple of years ago but the strangest trip was to Vladivostok. I was literally there less than 24 hours which is only a little bit longer than the time it took to actually get there.”

Back in the late 1990s, Melody Maker voted her number one in their rundown of the “most sexy people in rock”. Flattering, certainly, but it’s the music which counts for Sophie and she says, it is something has been part of her life for as long as she can remember.

“I’ve always loved music ever since I was a kid dancing around in my bedroom. I played in a band when I was a teenager but at the time I never thought about make a living from it,” she says.

The band in question was The Audience and after they split up in 1998, Sophie took a year out from music before returning in 2000 to provide the vocals for Italian DJ Spiller’s dance track Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love).

But what started out as a low-key collaboration quickly became an international smash hit, scooping a host of awards and entering the UK charts at number one – beating former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham’s first solo outing to the top spot for good measure. As breaks go, it was about as big as they come.

“It was the most played song of the last decade in Britain and I still continue to be surprised and delighted by its success because we had no idea it was going to be so popular.”

She followed this up with her debut album which yielded four top 20 singles, including a cover version of Cher’s Take Me Home and Murder on the Dancefloor, which became her biggest solo hit. The single spent 23 weeks in the charts and earned Sophie even more fans across Europe. But despite becoming an overnight sensation, she didn’t fall into the trap that many divas have done in the past and let success go to her head.

“I always took that kind of thing with a pinch of salt. I’ve never been bothered with the whole celebrity thing, I’ve always just focused on getting on with whatever I’m doing.”

The fact that her parents are both in the entertainment business possibly helped. Her father, Robin Bextor, is a TV producer and director, while those of you of a certain vintage will remember her mother, Janet Ellis, from her days as a Blue Peter presenter back in the 1980s. But parents, of course, are a constant source of embarrassment to their children as they grow up, so did it make her cringe seeing her mum on TV every week?

“I was still in single digits when she was doing Blue Peter so I was very little, but I never found it embarrassing. It was really nice to have kids my own age who recognised her from the telly. She’s good at what she does and I’m very proud of her.”

As well as enjoying a successful music career, Sophie has also forged a name for herself in the fashion world, winning a lucrative contract and replacing supermodel Kate Moss as the “face” of cosmetic giant Rimmel in 2008.

“They sponsored my tour years back, so there was already a seed there, plus I genuinely like what they do,” she says. It must have been daunting following such a famous face?

“I can’t deny that the first day on set for the Rimmel ads I was very conscious of the fact Kate Moss is a modern icon. I just focused on the thought that I was adding to it, rather than carrying on from where she left off, because I’m not daft, I know that’s not happening.”

She remains best known for her music and her singing career has coincided with a renaissance among female solo artists that has seen the likes of Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen, Duffy and Adele all taking the charts by storm. But Sophie believes nothing has really changed.

“It’s always been that way. From Debbie Harry to Madonna and Bjork, there’s always been room for strong women to make names for themselves. We’re just lucky to have so many talented singer-songwriters in this country at the moment.”

Her new album, her fifth since her debut Read My Lips reached number two in the charts a decade ago, features collaborations with an eclectic group of artists including The Hoosiers, Cathy Dennis and Groove Armada.

“In the past there’s been a mixture of musical styles, like pop and disco, but with this I was committed to doing a dance-orientated album and I’m really pleased the way it’s turned out,” she says.

As well as being a successful singer in her own right Sophie is also married to Richard Jones, guitarist with pop band The Feeling, and although she scoffs at the idea of starting their own musical dynasty, would she encourage her own children to follow them into what can be a notoriously fickle business?

“Music has always been a big part of my life and I suppose there’s a chance they will follow in our footsteps. I think seeing their mum and dad on stage doing something they love for a living will be appealing. Although having said that one of them is really into science and technology, so who knows?”

From the outside, Sophie appears to live a charmed life, but it hasn’t been without its trials and tribulations. Both her children were born prematurely and spent their first few weeks in an incubator at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, which is why she gave her support earlier this year to a campaign for a new children’s treatment centre at the hospital. Life as a working mother can certainly be tough but it’s what she’s used to.

“It’s definitely chaotic, but when I had the boys the idea of not working didn’t occur to me and I’m lucky to have a job that I can shape around my kids. I take them to school and I can always take them to work if I have to during the holidays – you can’t really do that in an office.”

But does she feel pressure as a high-profile example of the have-it-all woman? “My problem is that I’m not very good at saying ‘no’ and sometimes I feel I’m spreading myself too thin but that’s the worst it gets.

“I’m pretty jammy and I feel very lucky. I’m someone who wants to tick every box and I think every person who does something creative for a living has moments where they wish they could do this, or that, and whenever I do I take a step back and remind myself how fortunate I am, because you have to be careful what you wish for.”

To her fans, Sophie is the epitome of glamour but she says the reality doesn’t always live up to the image. Like every other mother of two young children knows, you rarely, if ever, get to put yourself first.

“I’m not very well put together. I’m messy, I go out without doing my hair and buttons missing on my jacket. I’m seen as this very precise woman and that’s definitely not the case,” she says.

“I wouldn’t say what I do is necessarily glamorous but it is a lot of fun and in years to come I’ll probably look back at this period of my life and say, ‘that was nice.’”

* Sophie Ellis-Bextor supports Erasure at Dalby Forest on June 25. For ticket information call 03000 680 400. Her new album, Make A Scene, is out on June 6.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My Stylish Life: Sophie Ellis-Bextor

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: http://www.mydaily.co.uk/2011/05/07/my-stylish-life-sophie-ellis-bextor/

Sophie Ellis-Bextor will be back on our summer playlists this year, with the release of her fourth album in June. MyDaily caught up with the singer at the launch of Evian's viral ad campaign to talk music, fashion and an unexpected style inspiration.

Your latest album is due to be released soon, what can we expect to hear this time?
It's my fourth record and it's been a long time coming, the last one came out about four years ago, so I'm very excited that people are finally going to hear it! It's a very dancey record, which I've always focused on with my solo work, but in the past I've diversified a little bit so I've done a bit of indie and a bit of pop, but this time it's definitely more dance. I worked with Metronomy, Freemasons and Calvin Harris; it's the most genre specific I've ever been.

What inspires you creatively?
Lyrically, it's the things that happen in my life, particularly with dance music. I think affairs of the heart work well as dance music has that immediacy to it. Sonically, my husband and I have been djing for a little while now and that has really influenced my sound. It's made me want to go down the dance route.

Who is your style icon?
It's a combined answer: I've recently worked out that my style influence comes from Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music and my Sindy doll. I had a Sindy when she had a big head, black eyeliner, red lips, dark hair, white skin with a little blush and a curvy figure. That, mixed with the tailoring of Julie Andrews when she made those dresses out of curtains, is an amalgamation of what I think I look like most of the time.

Do you have any favourite designers?
For a stage performance, I think D&G is great. Their designs have this wonderful silhouette with amazing sparkle and detailing, it's beautiful stuff. The dream of effortless chic is Chanel, but in reality, the high street is brilliant!

Is there a look that you love that can't pull off?
Trousers; trouser suits, jeans and heels. I think they look great on other people but they never suit me. I predominately wear dresses and skirts.

What's your most treasured item in your wardrobe?
I travel a lot so things get left behind, but I've never managed to shed tears over a piece of clothing. I tried once when a coat got taken but coundn't cry about it. I loved it but it was just a coat.

What has been your most extravagant purchase to date?
A dress that I bought seven years ago but I never wore it. It was an £1000 dress, but I never took the tags off, it just sat there. I think I was freaked out by how much it was but I just wanted to know what it felt like to own it.

Which is the most stylish city in the world?
Probably London, I love London. There are definitely places you go to to get inspired, Parisian chic or Italy and there's a real look in California, but London is so diverse and so eclectic.

What's your best piece of fashion advice?
I'd rather take risks and get it wrong than play it safe all the time. Sometimes people aren't bold enough; I don't feel defined by what I wore yesterday, it's just what I wore yesterday.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Official Catch Up Part 2

So, you've got some shows coming up in some exotic places, like Ukraine and Lebanon.
Yeah, I love the fact that even after ten years I'm still going to new countries and singing to new fans. That's pretty cool, I think. I went to Beirut for a show last year, actually and I was literally only in the country for about 8 hours. Hopefully this time I'll be able to stay a little bit longer and have a look around!

Are there more show announcements to come?
Yeah, we've got quite a few TBC dates around the world to add, I think. And I'm really keeping my fingers crossed that we get to play in South America. I seem to have so many fans on Facebook from there, and I'm absolutely desperate to go. I've only managed to be there once before, but I'm always nagging my agent and manager to get me out there again. Hopefully soon.

So, Starlight is the new single, how would you describe it?
Well it's a kind of mid-tempo, '80s electro ballad. I think of it as the kind of song you hear in a club when the play a few slowies and you're maybe snogging someone.

Ah, what they used to call "the erection section".
Hahaha! That's classy! But, yeah, I made it with Richard X and Hannah Robinson. Richard is very, very talented - his production is lush. And I've done loads of stuff with Hannah. I think we've got a very similar approach to top line melodies. We work really well together.

Will there be a video?
Yes, I filmed the last show of the tour I did before Christmas - the one in London. My dad actually filmed it with his crew, so we've been editing that together with some other bits of footage. It's looking good. It should be out within the next week or two.

Did you enjoy the UK tour?
I absolutely loved it. It's something I'd been meaning to do for a long time. And without wanting to blow my own trumpet too much, I think the band, the lighting, the sound and everything was really great. I felt so secure on stage. I'd just like to keep gigging. We're in such a brilliant position as a live band.

You're certainly still working hard.
I don't think I have an alternate setting, really. If anything, the time when I maybe got a bit blase was at the beginning when everything was coming really easily. But now, I adore it and I've got a passion for it and I understand what it all means. For the last five years I've tried to do everything to the best of my ability, rather than coming out thinking, "Oh I wish I'd tried a bit harder".

And you still enjoy it?
Totally. Probably more now than ever.

You've got a duet on the new Feeling album.
Yes, which I sang the other night at their Heaven show. That was a really good night. Roisin Murphy came along and sang her song with Dan. And I really enjoyed doing the song I've done with Dan. I think it's a very classy, atmospheric and, again, slightly sad-sounding song. It's funny because the mood of the song is quite intense, and I have to get myself in a certain frame of mind when I'm singing it.

It also means you're singing a love song to another man while your husband watches.
Yeah! We're just all kind of kinky like that. Hahahahaha! Singing a love song to a gay man while my straight husband looks on. That's the way we roll! Hahaha!

We also hear you've started on album five.
I have made a start, yeah. I've probably written about four or five songs. It's quite a different direction, which has been quite good for my head. There's nothing dancey about it.

Yeah, so I've been working with Ed Harcourt and Bernard Butler. It's all a bit more songwriter-y, stripped back and live sounding. There's not a synth in sight. I think that's why this fourth album is so dancey, because I've always had a bit of an idea that the one after it should be diametrically opposed. So that's where I'm at right now.

That sounds very intriguing.
Mmm. The dream would be to release it with a remix album of the same songs. That would be amazing. But, yeah, everything feels quite exciting at the moment. It's great.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: http://www.sophieellisbextor.net/news?id=333

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Radio Creme Brulee gives starlight High-Rotation airplay

Radio Creme Brulee, an American internet Radio station has given Starlight (Sophie's 5th single from her 4th album Make A Scene) high-rotation airplay. They are actually playing the song 4-5 times a day, thanks to support from Sophie's management. You can listen to their online radio here.

"Radio Creme Brulee" (www.radiocremebrulee.com) - an American internet radio station that features an eclectic blend of current pop/rock music from both sides of the Atlantic alongside guilty pleasures, forgotten tracks, and radio hits from the last 3 decades. The format is like that of a typical American "top 40" station with the older stuff blended in. While their audience is predominantly American, they have a growing number of listeners from the France, Israel, Spain, and Mexico.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Starlight (Carl Hanaghan Remix)

Yes, apparently its official.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Starlight (Carl Hanaghan Remix) by carlhanaghan

I know many people will like it. I'm not very fond of it. It ruined a gorgeous track.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sophie: My day on a plate

6.30am I'm not naturally an early riser but my two-year-old has changed that. One slice of toast with Marmite and one with peanut butter, cup of tea (white, two sugars) and a handful of almonds.

8am Walk my two boys to school, feeding the ducks on the way. Song ideas often come to me while I'm pushing the buggy.

12pm Start late in the studio once my voice is warmed up. I'm working on a fifth album at the moment.

12.30pm A fancy sandwich – chorizo, chicken and avocado – and more almonds.

4pm Dairy Milk bar with a cup of builder's tea. I need the sugar and caffeine while writing.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: THE TELEGRAPH - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/healthyeating/8473612/My-Day-on-a-Plate-Sophie-Ellis-Bextor.html



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