“You’re free, to do what you want to.” What a stirring track and dare we say a crowd pleaser? This comes on in any club or dancefloor and everyone loves it! What was the inspiration behind this song?
Writing “Free” happened on the back of 8 years as a recording artist (by that time) and not knowing for sure what was next. I had been on Warner Records for two albums and after a successful run in the UK and a lukewarm situation on the US label, I was dropped in ’95. I spent the next two years writing and recording for what I planned to be my third album, but I had no deal in place and had not really shopped for one.
Following the success and longevity of this track, do you think the 90s was a good decade for dance anthems? If so, why?
The ’90s was an amazing time for dance anthems to be created because the genre was not as oversaturated as it is now. It was open to new ideas and sounds and appreciative of an amazing song over a great track.
If you were to share a night out on the town with 3 other artists dead or alive who would they be and why?
It would definitely be Grace Jones, Andy Warhol and Boy George! And absolutely in the 80s. I love fun and vibrant people and the energy of that era is iconic! I’m always a bit sad that I missed it as an adult. The creative energy looks like it was always buzzing.
What are your favourite dance anthems from the 90s?
The Bomb – Bucketheads
Professional Widow – Tori Amos (Armand Van Helden Remix)
Gypsy Woman – Crystal Waters
Missing – Everything but the Girl
Virtual Insanity – Jamiroquai
Hey Mr. DJ – Zhane’
Around the World – Lisa Stansfield
Respect – Adeva
Firestarter – The Prodigy
Give It Up – The Goodmen
Being an accomplished female artist, what words of advice would you give to other singers out there working towards a career in the music industry?
Emerging artists in the current music climate will need to not only remain open to experimentation and developing their art and creativity but finessing the business side of making and publishing music. There are a lot of grass roots possibilities to build a coalition around yourself as an artist, so it’s necessary to learn the intricacies of social networking. Listen to your music outside of yourself. Learn to be objective and A/B your presentations against music that is out there already that you admire.
Don’t be afraid to fail up. There is something to be learned from every step of the process. There’s so much information readily available online these days like never before regarding every facet of music from the creative side to the business side. Really take advantage of it because it sets you up to approach your work from a position of strength.
Where is your favourite beach destination in the world?
There are beautiful beaches in both Ibiza, Spain and Mykonos, Greece I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing throughout the years.
Have you been to Thailand before?
Yes. A few years ago, I came to perform at CC’s Hideaway.
If so, what do you love about it?
The lush greenery was stunning!
What 4 things do you dream of when imagining Phuket?
That lush greenery, beautiful flowers and fruits, lovely people and tropical weather.
Do you like Thai food? If so, what is your favourite dish?
I love Thai food. Especially the fish dishes. Thai basil anything…!
There are some massive 90s house music fans here in Phuket who would like to ask you their own questions: Russell D Russell the island’s dog trainer would like to know whether you like dogs?
Yes, I love dogs and cats actually. I’ve had multiple dogs in my life over the years. The two closest to my heart were Mugsy – a Red Nose/Colby American Pit and Stella, a Blue Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
Jay Le Shark would like to know what is the favourite remix of your song ‘Free’.
The original has always been my number one favorite with the Full Intention mix at number two. In later or more recent remixes I would say the Ibitaly Remix.
When you are not working what do you love to do?
I love yoga, dinner-get-together with friends, shopping, movies, live music concerts and underground house music events where I can dance like no one is watching!
Who would be your dream artist to collaborate with?
Lenny Kravitz, Nile Rodgers, Gwen Stefani, Mark Ronson, Imagine Dragons, Panic at The Disco among others.
Is there anything on your music bucket list? Festivals or venues to perform at?
Meltdown Festival 2020 curated by Grace Jones, Afropunk, Coachella etc.
Who is the most inspirational voice of this generation? It could be a politician, activist, musician, designer – whoever, whatever…who do you think is and will help shape the future for the better?
Colin Kaepernick, Greta Lundgren, Olivier Rousteing of Balmain, Serena Williams
You have the most amazing hair and your makeup is sublime. A bit of a personal question, my little sister has a hair and skin product shop in the UK, and she was wondering which hair care brand you would use: Cantu, Camille Rose or Mielle?
It would definitely be Mielle Organics. I try to go organic whenever possible.
Interview questions by Natasha Eldred