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.

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