#WomanCrushWednesday: Sophie Ellis-Bextor

Disco queen

#WomanCrushWednesday: Sophie Ellis-Bextor
The '90s Brit-pop sensation has just released her comeback record, Familia. Before she makes a quick stop in Singapore this F1 weekend, we catch up with Sophie Ellis-Bextor on who gets the best of her these days

Sophie Ellis-Bextor may now be a mother of four, but that doesn't mean she's slowing down on her dream pursuit anytime soon. The award-winning songstress first rose to fame in the late '90s when she went against the music scene's typical messy cockney stereotype as the fresh-faced lead singer of Theaudience. The groundbreaking pop act shortly nestled on the crowded UK singles chart before disbanding and sending Ellis-Bextor on her solo journey. Her first big-break happened in late 2000 when the singer-songwriter joined forces with Italian producer Spiller for her chart-topping single Groovejet (If This Ain't Love). Afterward, things picked up swiftly with her 2001 record debut, Read My Lips, spawning hit singles Murder On The Dancefloor and Get Over You into the viral It-dance tune across Europe.

Tying the knot with rock band The Feeling's bassist, Richard Jones, Ellis-Bextor took a hiatus to focus on her family, but it wasn't long before the natural born musician picked up on her breathy groovy chords once more. She met indie hero Ed Harcourt and the pair co-wrote Wanderlust, Ellis-Bextor's fifth album in 2014, before continuing their budding alliance to their next album, Familia, which was dropped earlier this September. Hear hear 80s pastiche enthusiasts! The disco queen is all too ready to get you "shooting from the hips."

We caught up with Sophie Ellis-Bextor before Me & Mrs Jones (a husband-and-wife gig with Ellis-Bextor on vocals and her other half, Richard Jones, on the deck) gets The Podium Lounge revved-up come Friday.

On being part of pop band Theaudience
"I loved being in a band and I still have the same mindset with my touring band now. I became a solo artist by default but there's no going back now. I think I have the best of both worlds at the moment as my band are incredible but I don't need to make creative decisions by committee."

On her sixth record, Familia
"It's about love and life but there's also character songs in there and it's all set against a Latin American backdrop. A few factors inspired it. After touring Wanderlust, Ed [Hartcourt] went to Cuba and I went to Mexico for a holiday. So those colours were in our minds. Also the last record was quite Eastern European and cold, so I think it's human nature to now do the complete opposite."

On the song she won't mind singing for the rest of her life
"Death of Love [Familia]. It's a big anthemic song about the power of the love you create. I love it."

On her fervour for bending genres
"I think my confidence in hopping around genres has come on, but even the audience is still part of me. I'm like a kid in a sweet shop. I want to try lots of different things but they are all sincere and all part of me."

On being an old soul
"I listen to lots of music but I think the biggest influences are not new artists. It's the classic old stuff that I get inspired by. Disco, pop, dance... I'm not really someone that's great at talking about trends and it really wouldn't work with the kind of music I make now."

On who gets the best of her now
"My husband Richard and the kids. But music is still up there. Can't I just have them both?"

Sophie Ellis-Bextor will perform as part of Me & Mrs Jones on 16 September at The Podium Lounge. For last week's #WomanCrushWednesday, click

Text: Bianca Husodo

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