TEN years ago, Sophie Ellis-Bextor stormed to the top of the charts with Groovejet – later named ‘the most-played song of the noughties.’
Four albums and two sons later, the Solihull News grabbed some time with the winsome singer, who’s about to start a new solo tour.
“I can’t wait,” she tells us. “It’s my first solo tour in ages – an embarrassing amount of time really. There have been the collaborations, and I’ve been doing support tours, but I’m looking forward to going solo again.”
Is it difficult knowing which songs to perform to an audience?
“I’m a punter before I’m an artist. I think ‘what do people want to hear,’ and they want to hear the songs they know.
“If you’ve got popular songs that people love, then why wouldn’t you want to sing them?”
Today best-known for her dance anthems, Sophie was still a teenager when she fronted indie band ‘Theaudience.’
Did her 18-year-old self have any inkling that her music would one day branch off in an entirely new direction?
“Never in a million years. Groovejet [a collaboration with Italian DJ Spiller] was such a complete change for me.
“When I was in a band I was staunchly indie, but as long as you’re passionate, you can really do what you want. When you’re singing it’s about being creative, it’s not supposed to be about being trendy.”
Now 31, Sophie says that she’s having the time of her career – “I’ve been so busy, I’m not very good at taking time off.”
So, after a decade, what’s the singer’s secret to lasting in the business?
“I make stuff that I want to buy, that’s got a bit of soul and heart in it,” she says.
“And to be honest there’s an awfully large amount of luck, I know some immensely talented people who haven’t had the breakthrough.”
Next year, Sophie will start work on her fifth album, which will be rather different from the last. Can she give us a sneak-peek?
“I wouldn’t say it was so much a secret, but I’m not too sure myself. I know where the starting point is, but I don’t know where I’m going to end up!”
* Sophie Ellis-Bextor will be performing at the O2 Academy2 Birmingham, on December 18. Tickets are available on 0844 477 2000.
Remembering to avoid becoming a rent-a-quote
...Dealing with the media: “I remember when I started out in my first band, I was quite mouthy, like a lot of teenagers I said what I thought about things.
“I was told to be careful, you’re going to end up rent-a-quote. Things you say with your friends that seem funny, aren’t quite so funny in black and white”
...Starting out: “When I was first getting involved in music, London was a massive music scene.
“English music was very popular, we weren’t influenced by America in the way that we are now.”
...Her accent: “When I started singing I did what came naturally, I think if I’d gone ahead and done an American accent then it would have been bizarre.”