Lisa Stansfield’s timeless ability to pen a tune that stays in your head is beyond doubt – songs such ‘All Around The World’ and ‘Someday ('I'm Coming Back)’ still prompting a sing-along whenever they appear on the radio.
It’s been a decade since we last heard new music from Lisa Stansfield. Why the silence?
“I lost a little bit of faith in the system,” she admits in her instantly familiar Rochdale tones. “I was resigned to the fact that I might not be able to do it again.
“And there’s a lot of effort involved, so if it doesn’t work, it’s a little piece of your soul that you feel like you’re flushing down the toilet, or throwing on the fire.”
So what did inspire the return to the studio for the new album ‘Seven’, whose first single ‘Carry On’ is being touted on radio this week?
“I think it’s just security in your own head,” she muses. “I’m not so worried what other people think. I’m a bit freer and a bit more determined. I figure I can do a jazz covers album later on but, at the moment, while I’ve got some fight left in me, I thought I’d better use it.
“Plus listening to other artists on the radio like Adele, Emeli Sande and John Newman. I was listening to Alicia Keys the other day while I was putting my makeup on. They shine through. And I thought, this might be okay.”
The album was recorded mostly in Lisa’s beloved Rochdale, which meant she could hang out with friends and family and “just have a lovely summer, basically”.
Lisa’s so down to earth, I ask her for a rock and roll anecdote, just to remind myself this is a woman who’s sold 20 million records and taken her seat at the Grammys.
She immediately remembers one eventful night, sitting at a dinner table in New York, with her husband Ian, The Fall frontman Mark E Smith and Barry White for company…
“We were sitting on slippery leather chairs, and we all drank so much, eventually all four of us fell off the chairs and were sitting under the table laughing. Just me, my husband, Mark E Smith and uber-crooner Barry White.As you do.”
Lisa Stansfield’s new album 'Seven' is released on 10 February, with the single 'Carry On' to follow on 24 February.