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Music.co.uk Interviews Beverley Knight

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1. Hi Beverley, welcome to music.co.uk. I have to admit I’ve been a fan of yours for many years, but I’m just wondering what’s your recipe for success?

There is no short cut to lasting success. You have to work really hard, always.

2. We’ve noticed that you quite often seem to end up touring in the winter. Do you ever feel like doing a summer tour in the sunshine?

I would very much like to tour in summer, it is always freezing when I travel the country. It hasn’t worked out that way as most of my albums have been released in spring, and touring typically happened with me five months later, in winter! I thought this album may mean I would tour early summer, but yet here I am touring in winter again!

3. Which, if any do you think is the hardest emotion to capture in a song?

For me it’s hatred. I am very slow to hate, and so I don’t write of hate too much. It’s funny as I love Kelis’s “Caught Out There” with the chorus “I Hate You So Much Right Now!”

4. As your album title is 100%, is there anything you wish you could score 100 %/be really good at?

I would love to be excellent at racing cars. I love speed. I don’t “get” the technical aspects of cars but would like to learn just so I could rip some serious road.

5. We recently interviewed Newton Faulkner who said he’d once performed a session in a hot air balloon for a radio station, what would be your ideal/fantasy gig??

I already did it! Prince’s house, on a makeshift stage with Hollywood’s great and good present, and Stevie Wonder joining us on stage! His post-Oscars party in LA, 2008. I just wish my boyfriend and family could have been there.

6. Are there any other songs or samples you’ve got your eye on, now you’ve had the chance to use ‘Rip It Up’ and ‘Too Much Heaven’.

At the moment, I don’t have any other songs I want to sample but I have been so busy working and promoting this album that I haven’t really thought of it… When Mariah sampled Tom Tom Club’s “Genius of Love” for her single “Fantasy” I was so envious as I wanted to use it at some point… but I hadn’t even started my professional career then!

7. Your passion for shoes is well known, but if we gave you a pair to customise, what would you do with them?

They would be dyed red, the heels would be extended, and a platform would be added to the sole so the whole shoe would stand taller. Then I would add straps to make it a “t-bar” shoe. Lovely!

8. If we were to study at the Beverley Knight School of music, what could you teach us?

I would encourage you to find your own voice, your own sound, so you have the chance to stand out among the many hopefuls out there. Once we had done that, I would teach you stagecraft, how to reach an audience without having to rely solely on a big budget production.

9. With school and university terms not so far away, are there any subjects/skills etc you’d ever like to look into?

I’d like to formally study Spanish and refresh my French. I did French at school, I have a great accent but my vocabulary is lacking and I would love to be fluent. My Spanish was gleaned from listening to others speaking and Spanish TV. I would love to have that under my belt.

10. Does it feel like you’ve been in the business 15 years? And how do you compare then/now?

It doesn’t feel like a long time, but when I see the videos and listen to the tone and texture of my voice back then compared to now, it sounds like a long time!! So much has improved in music, we have the internet which has revolutionised the way we receive music now and gave me the chance to strike out on my own with my label Hurricane Records. I am a much more confident artist now and after fifteen years that’s how it should be.

11. There’s quite an impressive list of producer and collaborators on your CV, is there anyone left on the hit list??

I would like to sing with Steve Tyler from Aerosmith as he has an amazing voice, and it would be unexpected. Still waiting for Prince to write a killer for me! I would love to do a proper dance/funky house track with Fedde le Grande or Masters at Work. It would be awesome to sing with Aretha Franklin, although I would probably not actually sing, just listen!

12. When it comes to the internet, it can be something an evil distraction/addiction; do you have any guilty pleasures in cyberspace?

I buy lots of shoes online! It’s too easy!! I live on twitter too, it’s really addictive!

13. We’ve seen various people such as Ben’s Brother interview you over the years, who would you like to interview, and have you any killer questions lined up to ask?

Given the latest news, I would ask Oasis what is really going on with their reported split!

14. Finally going back to your new album and tour, what can we expect, and do you have any interesting facts about either you can share with us?

This album is a return to the more rhythmic side to my music. It is totally different to the last album which was a conceptual, old school soul album. Not many who have heard the album realised that towards the end of Too Much Heaven, Robin Gibb actually makes a vocal appearance doing some adlibs.

For more information on Beverley Knight visit www.beverleyknight.com or click here to read our review of her new album 100% (available now).

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