5 minutes with Lisa Stansfield
We catch up with the 80s pop sensation who has sold in excess of 20 million records worldwide, including the iconic All Around the World.
“It’s really lovely to have people say to me it’s good that I’m back,” says soul-popster Lisa Stansfield. “Not that I had a break. People think you had a break because they haven’t seen you, but I can tell you I have been busy!”
The 47 year old is telling the truth: it’s not like she hasn’t been doing anything over the last decade. She’s been acting on screens big and small as well as on stage. But what people are referring to is the gap between her last album and her new offering, Seven, which was her first record for ten years. It’s been a long absence, and one that has been keenly felt by her fans. So why the sabbatical from music?
“I didn’t think there was anywhere I really fitted in. There wasn’t much stuff that sounded like the music I make, and if you are making music and people don’t even know about it, you might as well make an album and put it in the loo and flush it away. There is no point banging your head against the brick wall. So I didn’t see the point.”
Recently, buoyed by the success of younger female artists– “It is brilliant… Lady Gaga, Adele, Jessie J… they are all female artists in control of what they are doing – they are amazing, it’s great to see” – Lisa felt the time was right to make an album again. And Seven is a comeback worthy of her back catalogue, with its sassy soul as catchy as ever and her voice still in remarkably fine fettle.
One of those classics, All Around the World, made Lisa into a superstar, but the Rochdale-born singer admits she has enjoyed an up and down relationship with her 1989 hit.
“After 25 years, I have been through it all with that song. There was definitely a time when I fell out of love with it. But then I thought to myself ‘it’s a product of me it’s and a product of who I am, it came from my head and if it wasn’t for that song I wouldn’t be here today.’ So I made my peace with it. Now, I am just glad that I wrote it instead of somebody else.”
Lisa shot to fame in a very different era for musicians, when record companies ruled the roost over artists – has she found it strange to release a record in the post-internet age?
“I’m not sure it makes that much difference. Younger artists are on the case with social media, which is great for them, but I’m not sure it makes too much of a difference to me. I do tweet, but I have to go through a filter and have somebody check it for me before it goes out. Otherwise, I would get into trouble… I know what I’m like. I don’t want to get drunk and then wake up with a hangover and see that I’ve put a compromising picture of myself on the internet for the world to see!”
Lisa Stansfield’s new album, Seven, is out now and her European tour starts in Switzerland on 8 May.
Interview: The Interview Hub