My Secret Life: Skin, singer, 42

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The Independent Online

My parents were ... fun-loving, very strict, very Jamaican. My dad was in the Air Force and then worked on oil rigs. My mum was a nurse before she took a position in local government, working in the environmental department.

The house/flat I grew up in ... When I was six years old I moved in with my granddad in a two-up two-down on Long Acre in Brixton. He ran a nightclub from the basement; there were pictures of Bob Marley and Muhammad Ali in the hallway, always music and rum.

When I was a child I wanted to be ... a pianist.

If I could change one thing about myself ... I'd curb my hedonistic ways. I try to be a good girl but I've got this hedonism inside me which cannot be tamed.

You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at ... running.

You may not know it but I'm no good at ... being told what to do.

At night I dream of ... Last night I dreamt of having time to grow my vegetables properly.

What I see when I look in the mirror ... I still see a 24-year-old rocker. There are no lines or grey hairs just yet, thank God.

My favourite item of clothing ... is a reconstructed leather jacket by the Scottish designer Noki. It has a big black crocheted hood, with twisted and knotted ties around the arms and the shoulders.

I drive/ride ... a racing bike and I also have two cars: a Nissan and a chunky Land Rover Freelander.

My house is ... a three-bedroom cottage in an Ibizan pine forest. There are herb boxes around the windows, with lots of clothes hanging everywhere and paintings on the walls. And I have the hugest sofa I've ever seen.

My favourite work of art ... If I could own any artwork it would be a piece by the Chapman brothers. It's an African-style work made from McDonald's containers.

My favourite building ... is my home. I used to be an interior designer and have reconstructed my house. It has a traditional façade but when you step inside it is super-contemporary with a black slate floor. It's a country house, a living, breathing animal, so things go wrong; it's a hands-on job.

A book that changed me ... was 'Macbeth'. I loved the intricacy and complexity of Shakespeare's play. It was the first book I ever read, aged 14.

Movie heaven ... is 'Sex and Lucia'.

The last album I bought ... was 'Pete Tong Presents Wonderland 2009'.

My secret crush ... is no one you know.

My greatest regret ... is having been in a completely useless relationship. Some relationships are really bad and you learn from them, but this particular girl gave me nothing to take away.

My real-life villains ... are people who make you feel less than yourself.

The person who really makes me laugh ... is Alan Carr. Every time I bump into him he comes out with something that just flaws me.

The last time I cried ... was when my girlfriend said she loved me, two days ago.

My five-year plan ... I will learn to speak French properly, begin to learn Spanish, and I will have my vegetable patch sorted.

What's the point? The point is to find something you really love doing and then do it. If you hate your job, fuck it, why not do something else?

My life in six words ... fun, inspiring, draining, loving, soulful, contented.

A life in brief

Born Deborah Anne Dyer in London in August 1967, Skin is best known as the lead singer of the multi-platinum-selling band Skunk Anansie; their Nineties hits include 'Weak' and 'Hedonism (Just Because It Feels Good)'. Skin, who lives in Ibiza, had a brief solo career after the band split in 2001. Skunk Anansie reformed last year and following a recent Europe-wide tour, have released a 'Greatest Hits' album, available now on One Little Indian records

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