Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Digital Spy caught up with Sophie

Don't you just love it when you read a good interview? Thank you DigitalSpy for this.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/music/interviews/a324829/sophie-ellis-bextor-interview-im-a-sucker-for-sad-pop.html

The last time we spoke to Sophie Ellis-Bextor, she was on the cusp of releasing her fourth studio album Make A Scene. Fast-forward more than a year and, well, she's finally got around to putting out the record. Before we all accuse her of being a lady of too much leisure, the last 12 months have seen her part ways with her record label and set up her own, as well as putting out a pair of successful chart hits across Europe. Intrigued, we phoned Mademoiselle E-B herself to find out how it's all going.

Your new album was delayed for almost a year. How does it feel to finally get it out?
"It feels really good thanks! I'm actually very happy with what we've achieved behind the scenes with establishing the new label and getting such a fantastic team around me. I know to the outside world it seems like this record has taken forever, but from leaving Universal to bringing out the album independently has actually been quite a quick process."

Things seemed to go quiet last year after the release of 'Bittersweet'. What happened?
"Peter Lorraine, who was the head of the sub-label I was on called Fascination, decided to leave and go into management instead. He's a lovely guy, and we're still close, but he was the reason I was with that label, so instead of negotiating a new deal with Universal I thought I'd go it alone."

Did you have to buy the album back from the label?
"No they just gave me the album, which was great, because we'd already made a music video and shot the artwork for it. They were really good about it - the whole thing was very smooth and easy."

Did you ever worry that your music career was over?
"I was excited more than anything else! I'd been talking about the idea of releasing independently with my manager a few years before anyway. I could have signed a deal with a different label, but I was keen to try doing it by myself first. One day I might want to return to that world, but at the moment I can't see myself going back to that structure."

Does releasing music independently put the pressure on?
"I'd say it takes the pressure off - you don't need to sell as many records for the project to be deemed a success, and there are no worries about how much of a priority you are to your label. It also means I can release EPs instead of albums if I want to, which is something I'm considering."

You co-wrote most of the album; was that important to you?
"I don't think writing or co-writing my songs makes me a better singer, but I haven't really got an excuse not to do it as I've got too many opinions! For example I wrote my new single 'Starlight' with Richard X and a girl called Hannah, and the process usually starts with Richard setting up a drum loop, then we add some chords over it, then we put the lyrics to the melody. I think Richard X did a great job with it. I'm a sucker for sad disco pop."

How would you describe the sound of the rest of the LP?
"It's very dancey, very electro, disco, and very confident. I feel like I enjoyed making this record more than any other. Hopefully people find it quite uplifting too. 'Starlight' is a favourite of mine and I love the title track 'Make A Scene' - it's a bit bonkers! I made it with Metronomy and I loved their approach to producing."

Will there be any more singles from the album?
"I'd like to release 'Off & On' next. I think it's about time I got on with it - it's the song that I keep putting back but really want to release."

You've had a lot of success in Russia; was that planned?
"It sort just happened. I started playing the odd gig and kept getting called back more and more and the events got bigger. It was great because it felt like the hard work paid off. I've had a couple of top three hits there now and the album performed well, which is fantastic."

We've heard some of the Russian corporate gigs can be, erm, interesting...
"I know what you're talking about, but I've always made sure to form friendships with whoever I'm working with. I've never experienced anything that's made me uncomfortable, but I have heard stories. You have to keep your wits about you!"

You feature on The Feeling's new album with Roisin Murphy, who also wrote 'Off & On' for your album. Would you ever collaborate with her?
"That's weird connection, isn't it!? When I recorded 'Off & On' I hadn't ever met her, but I really get on with her now and she's the perfect fit for the Feeling track. The Freemasons also worked on that particular song, and they're an act I'd collaborate with any time they wanted me! I love their approach to dance while still remaining sensitive to pop music."

We hear you've started work on your next album; how's it going?
"I've actually gone completely the opposite way to Make A Scene. It's a lot more live-sounding, with drum kits and real instruments. I'm not sure if I'll continue with it, but that's where I wanted to start - I wanted go outside my comfort zone. Dance music is great, but it's not a time to be reflective or particularly wistful. Lyrically I can do some different stuff too - there's more to life than dancing in the clubs!"

1 comment:

Andrew B said...

We'll that answers several questions everyone was wondering about. Imagine a label giving the masters to an artist. Thank God they did or the CD might have never seen the light of day. She must have also been given any demos or studio outtakes. Hope she does something with them. How about the Kish Mauve tracks Sophie?

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