Lisa Stansfield - still going strong.
After ten years away from music, the Northern Soul singer Lisa Stansfield makes a triumphant return with her 7th album Seven.
‘The more successful you become and the more records you sell it seems the more serious things become but it should never get serious it should be a bit of a laugh.’
If the name Lisa Stansfield does not stir you into an uncontrollable rendition of her biggest hit to date the infinitely catchy All Around The World (1989) then you were probably not born or living as a hermit in out (outer) Mongolia.
Having introduced herself to the music fraternity back in 1988, Lisa proceeded to be an ever present force in that heyday of UK music. The late 80’s to the end of the 90’s was her most prolific period with nine hugely successful albums.
The beginning of a new century and Lancashire born Lisa eventually shied away from the intense gaze of the music business: “I just sort of thought that I did not fit in any more” 2014 however and Lisa Stansfield the Northern lass is back with her new album Seven.
Student Times caught up with the extremely funny and very down to earth singer to talk about that long awaited seventh album and her foray into acting.
So the obvious question which you must have been asked so many times; why the wait for another album?
I just sort of thought that I did not fit in anymore and I did not want to do a style of music that was not me. So I wrote loads of stuff while I was waiting for the world to come back around to a style that I did fit in with. I thought that if it never comes around to the style of music that I do that I will never release anything but if it does well then I would be prepared.
You were that ready to never make music for the public again?
Well I really did mean it because I just thought what was the point of trying to walk up a hill but right now it just feels really right.
Was there a bit of you that really actually needed the break from the music of business anyway?
For a while I ducked out because it is true, when you get famous it starts to sort of get to you-you cannot do anything without anybody recognising you and I am not really a natural show off. It became like a little habit. I ducked out then it went on and on and I just enjoyed doing normal things.
Was it difficult the reality of being a successful singer as well?
It sounds horrible to say that but just getting on with your life and not travelling anywhere and not having to do all that sort of thing was a joy. When you have to travel for your job you begin to resent it although I don’t resent it as much as I used to do. I was sort of a bit shy I did not really want to talk to anyone but now I don’t really give a shit anymore. The thing is, I think no matter how much time you have as a lead up to being ‘famous’ I don’t think you can ever expect what it is really like. It is a bit freaky when it happens.
And indeed does the joy of music sometimes recede in the face of making sure you get that ‘next hit’?
It does get like that really and I think that is because of other people around you. The more successful you become and the more records you sell it seems the more serious things become but it should never get serious it should be a bit of a laugh.
So as part of this break I know you acted-that must have been a welcome change in profession?
I must admit, I really enjoyed that period of time. I did quite a few things but I have always really loved acting and I think that is a real big part of being a singer. I acted in a film called Northern Soul which is out now and I play the mother of the main character. It’s set in the seventies and it is about this boy who never goes out and just stays with his grandfather. Eventually the mother persuades him to start going out and he of course gets in with the wrong crowd.
Ok so returning to music what was the direction with this current album?
I think we just went back to our roots and we approached it from a really simple way of thinking. When we first started the album we were in New York we were in a two bedroom and in one of the bedrooms had a big walk in wardrobe and so we used that as the vocal booth really. The last track on the album was recorded in the wardrobe. The first album [Big Thing 1988] actually was really like that. Some of the vocals we recorded on the first album were recorded in the toilet but we really just went with the flow.
Were you nervous after that period of time out of music?
Of course because when you write something and you record it you think it is brilliant it’s like pleasuring yourself but then you put it out and then you think shit what will people really think!?
Lastly it must be magical that after so many years that people are still hankering after your music.
I just really think I am so lucky because in the last ten years people could have completely forgotten about me and not really care about me but I have had so much warmth and people really have shown me that they want me back-it’s just lovely and I am glad to be giving people some new music.
Tickets go on sale on Friday 21st Feb 10:00 - available from gigsandtours.com // 0844 811 0051, priced from £27.50 (except London from £25).
Fri 05 Sep 14 Birmingham Symphony Hall
Sat 06 Sep 14 Gateshead Sage Hall 1
Sun 07 Sep 14 Manchester Bridgewater Hall
Tue 09 Sep 14 Northampton Derngate
Wed 10 Sep 14 London Royal Festival Hall
Fri 12 Sep 14 York Barbican
Sat 13 Sep 14 Glasgow O2 Academy
Mon 15 Sep 14 Reading Hexagon
Tue 16 Sep 14 Southend Cliff Pavilion
Wed 17 Sep 14 Guildford G Live