Interview by By CHRIS CUMMINS
Hi Lisa, you released your latest album, Seven, back in February – how did that go?
Yeah. I cant remember now. It’s just becoming a bit of a blur to me because I’m just getting so busy at the moment. I’m not complaining, though.
How was it received?
I don’t really know. I don’t pay attention – I just get on with it and I just do it. I don’t really pay attention to figures and facts, and stuff like that. I just cross my fingers and hope for the best.
There’s been a 10-year gap between albums – what have you been up to?
I think that everyone assumes I’ve been doing bugger-all, really, but I’ve been constantly writing all that time.
I’ve been writing more than just music. I went to film school in New York and did all that sort of thing – just learning. I’m getting older but I think there’s always time to learn.
Why did you decide to comeback now?
I just think because the current climate of music is more in keeping with what I’m in to. I suppose Amy Winehouse triggered it and then people like Adele and Emeli Sande. It was like a beacon – like a lighthouse flashing at me.
I just thought if it’s not now then it’s never – and I just decided to put my dancing shoes on and get out there.
Did you find it difficult going back into the studio?
No, it’s like riding a bike, and I’m always in the studio anyway. Just because people cant see you doing it doesn’t mean that you’re not doing it. So yeah, it was pretty lovely when I found out that people really wanted me to comeback.
That’s the most beautiful thing about it, because you make so much effort and if you’ve had knock backs and stuff like that before, you just think ‘I’m ready for another knock back’. But everyone just started going mad about this album and it was lovely.
Was the album influenced by the likes of Amy Winehouse, Adele and Emeli Sande, then?
Not sure that I can say that because I’ve always had the same influences, and I’m sure they’ve always had the same influences as me. It’s like pretty much all soul music – the old masters.
You worked with Ian Devaney again on the album – what was that like?
We’ve always worked together and I just think me and Ian work together so well. I had to, like, pull him out of his socks and say come on you’ve gotta do it, because he got into his film thing and he’s done a lot of the video stuff on this album, but he produced it amazingly.
I think both of us had a bit of trepidation about doing everything again, but it’s like riding a bike – you just get on the bike and do it again.
Would you say your music has changed much over the past 20 years?
I think it has gone in a cycle. I always say that this album is like a renaissance, because it’s looking at something you did at a really early age and looking at it through different and older eyes, and with a certain amount of maturity.
Do you feel like you have a lot more control over your music now?
Yeah. I think this is why this album has been as successful as it has been so far. Because we wasn’t with a record company, and I think when you’re a certain age people just write you off and they throw you in the rubbish bin, basically. And I just thought f**k it – I’m doing it. Because I’ve got a lot more to do and if anybody thinks they can put me out to pasture they can f**k off.
Would you say the industry has changed much?
No I don’t think the industry has changed that much. There’s always gonna be boy bands; there is always gonna be girl bands; there’s always gonna be garage bands – but it runs full circle. It’s different types of music, but the industry will always be very similar.
Your appearing in a new film, Northern Soul – how did you get involved with that?
I’ve known Elaine Constantine for years and we grew up in similar places. She’s completely obsessed by Northern Soul and she just said to me ‘do you want to be the mum in my next film?’ And she said you know about Northern Soul anyway – and I said yeah, I sort of grew up on it.
I didn’t get to dance and I didn’t get to sing – but I got to shout and I got to cry. She gave me a massive opportunity, actually, because she allowed me to really act. When you’re a singer and songwriter, a lot of people don’t trust you to actually be an actor, and Elaine was brilliant – she just said do what you want.
You’ve done quite a lot of acting – has it become as big a passion as music?
I’m not sure really. I think music will always be my biggest passion, but I would love to write drama actually, and comedy-drama – whatever really.
Your going on tour in September – what can we expect?
It’s going to be the most top band that you’ve ever heard. We just do what we do and we enjoy ourselves. We know exactly what we’re doing and it’s not about whistles and fireworks and stuff like that. It’s all about music and it’s all about going to see a really good show.
Do you still enjoy touring?
I really love touring now. I never used to like touring – I used to hate it. Mainly because we used to fly a lot and as a signer flying it’s really bad for you.
It’s lovely now because we’re like a big family – like The Partridge Family. Honestly, it’s really good being on the bus and everything. I just love touring and I think if you’re gonna have to do something you’re going to have to embrace it.
Lisa Stansfield will be heading out on a 10-date UK tour in September – tickets are available here.