Source: Louise Annual
You must be used to 'Top Of The Pops' by now...
"I don't know if you ever really get used to it, to be honest. It's a nerve-racking show to do, no matters how many times you do it."
How does it compare to going out on stage live?
"It's a different feeling. When you go out on your own concert, everybody's there specially to see you and they're going to enjoy you whatever happens."
How has the 'Woman In Me' album gone for you?
"I'm happy with it, but now I need to move on, I feel stuck in a bit of a rut. I want to move on, make a new album and do some different things."
So what can we expect on your third solo album?
"Something slightly different. I think I've grown up a lot in the past few years and my music has taken a natural progression that reflects that. Now it's coming to the stage where, lyrically and musically, I want to sing about other things in my life, more personal things that maybe I haven't wanted to sing about in the past.
It could be writing songs on my time in Eternal or what it was really like when I left: the pressures, the hardship and of course the excitement of leaving a group and entering the unknown. I'm a few years down the line now, and I've got more feeling and things to write about."
Will you be writing songs yourself?
"Yes. You learn the tricks of the trade as you go along. Writing is just something I've learnt over the years. It is possible to go and write a song, even without any formal musical knowledge."
Do you write on your own or with others?
"Both! I enjoy working with other people because I enjoy the feel of other people's ideas, and I also think that I have come up with some good lyrics on my own."
Would you consider doing a duet-and if you could choose a dream partner who would it be?
"I'd definitely love to do a duet on my album. My dream partner? George Michael, no doubt about it! He's got it all-a great voice, so individual as a singer, individual in style, in everything. He never follows a trend, he's a creator. A leader rather than a follower. He's inspired me, coming from a teeny-pop band and managing to take the young fans with him as well as gain a number of older fans. I was a bit of a Wham! fan, Their "Greatest Hits" is on regularly in my car, and I know every single world!"
If we came round and looked at your record collection, what would be the most embarrassing record we'd find?
"'I'm In The Mood For Danceing' by the Nolans, they were my favourites when I was younger."
Do you have any superstitions before you perform?
"Not really I always say a quick prayer before I go on: 'Please let me sing in tune'."
Have you ever had stage fright?
"Of course I have, loads of times! When I'm doing a live show, when I get out there and once I've seen the audience and done the first song it kind of dwindles away. When you're doing one song on TV, one song's a song to late to get over your nerves, so you have to try and do that at the beginning of the song."
Would any particular show appeal?
"I was offered a little part in Friends while they were in England. Unfortunately, it was filming today - the day I was doing The Top Of The Pops. I tried desperately to try and work out the scheduling so that I could get there and get to the Pops in time... Unfortunately, I couldn't do both and, being a singer, there was no real choice to make."
We saw you on the O Zone with Jamie Theakston trying out a flying lesson. Would that be something you'd like to take seriously?
"If I had time to learn... It would be great if, in ten years' time, I could have my pilot's licence, but it's not something that I'm planning at the moment. There's other things I'd like to do. I'm interested in photography, I'd like to direct as well...music videos, even films."
You seem a very together, focused person - but do you feel the music business takes you seriously?
"It's a shame that you constantly feel you've got to prove to the industry people that you're not a fake, while fans are quite genuinely just happy to enjoy what you do. At the end of the day it's the public who put their hands in their pockets. I just think its sad that our industry doesn't get behind a lot of British artists."
Do you feel you're in control of your image, how you're portrayed?
"I've done some different things going throughout the phases of leaving Eternal and finding myself. There are certain things that I want to be portrayed as and certain things that I don't want to be portrayed as. If I feel it's ever getting slightly out of control then i'll put my foot down and say I don't want to go this route, I want to stop here. But I do know what I want at the end of the day."
What do you look for in a friend?
"My friends are from school, the same ones I've known since I was about eleven. I think I get honest opinions from all of them. I'm not really into all this hanging out with rock stars...my friends tell me the truth an I rely on their opinions."
What's the most important thing about friendship?
"Honesty. Being a singer is a great life, but you do need friends around you. Just because you're famous doesn't mean you don't go through problems, maybe with boyfriends, or feeling down. You get the same emotions as everybody else and you need your friends just as much."
How do your brothers cope with having a star in the family?
"The youngest one, Sam, isn't old enough to let it bother him. But the older brother, Joe, he's chuffed - it makes his day."
Do you feel Eternal paved the way for All Saints and the girl groups of today?
"A lot of people have asked that, but I think it's so easy for people to compare because they're female or maybe they wore army pants or something stupid like that.
They're out there doing their own thing, like Eternal did our own thing and Spice Girls are doing their thing. It all links in because we're all women in pop bands - but I think that's really the only link."
If it all ended tomorrow, could you cope with being an ordinary person?
"I think I'd have to, I'd just have to get on with my life and find other things that would make me happy. I don't think being famous is the be all and end all of life. I love to sing, but I would just get on with my life and try and be successful in something else."
Who's the most famous person you've met, and who would you most like to meet?
"I met Whitney Houston, and to be honest I was a bit starstruck. It was years ago, when Eternal did a show for the Sultan of Brunei with her. We did a photocall together, and she was a pleasure to meet. As to who I'd like to meet, I think i'd choose Stevie Wonder. My parents are big Motown lovers so I grew up with him. Could something musical happen? I'll keep my fingers crossed, and who knows?"
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