Sophie Ellis Bextor: 'The money's a fallacy but the other myths are true'

By Ingrid Kennedy
Saturday 18 January 2014 03:38

Sophie Ellis Bextor is best known for beating Victoria Beckham to the number one spot when she provided the vocals for Spiller's hit "Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)" in 2000. The 22-year-old singer first appeared on the pop scene as part of the critically acclaimed but short-lived band theaudience. She is the daughter of the former Blue Peter presenter Janet Ellis and was brought up in London, where she lives with her boyfriend Andy Bond.

What makes you laugh?

Everything, particularly my boyfriend and my friends. I am one of those annoying people who start giggling really easily. People tell me that I have got a very dirty laugh.

What is the worst job you've had?

Working as a Saturday girl in a hairdressers. I had to wash people's hair, clean it out of the plug-holes and sweep it up. The job was grim, very long hours on very bad pay and I didn't even pick up any hairdressing tips.

You did a bit of acting in your teens. Did you ever want to become an actress?

Like most girls I had a bit of a fascination with acting. But when I started singing I discovered I enjoyed it more. I had always found it difficult to keep a straight face on stage, so I don't think I was a natural. My mum is an actress and she always talked about those moments when you feel the power of captivating an audience. I never really knew what she meant when I was acting. When I started singing I finally discovered exactly what she was talking about.

What are you passionate about apart from music?

My friendships. I love the fact that I have got a wide circle of people that I have known for a very long time. I've got about six best friends, five were friends I made at school. I also love clothes and make-up. I find fashion inspiration everywhere, but first and foremost I am defined by my limitations. I can't really wear things that are baggy; they have to be quite fitted and my skin tone goes better with one colour like black or a really strong red.

What was your favourite children's show while you were growing up?

I liked cartoons. Thundercats was great.

And your favourite band?

I don't think I had one, but I was really into A-Ha, the Jackson Five, the Beach Boys and Squeeze. I never fancied Morten Harket but A-Ha had that really cool cartoon video for "Take on Me".

Who has influenced your music?

I really liked Toni Basil. I loved "Mickey". It taught me a lot about adult pop songs. The way she delivered the lyrics was so knowing. That kind of adult pop was really well done in the Eighties, like Soft Cell and "Tainted Love". After that I got into Britpop and now I listen to people like Björk and PJ Harvey.

Are there any myths about fame?

Yeah. The main one is that I'm incredibly rich. People tend to assume I'm a millionaire. That's a fallacy but the other myths are true.

Rumour has it that you are writing a novel

I did start a book last year, but I don't know if I will get round to finishing it. I don't think I am at the right stage of my life to write it. You have to have a book aching to get out of you and I don't just now.

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Are you ambitious?

No. I don't think I am. I am passionate and I want to get on, but I don't think I'm competitive enough to be ambitious.

How do you spend your spare time?

I like having time to myself to sit and read a magazine with a glass of wine or cup of tea. Travelling around a lot can get very boring so I always have at least three magazines on me and a good book. I've just read the Girl with the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier about a young girl who goes to be a maid servant. The other book I have just read is Carrie by Stephen King. It was very good, but not half as scary as the film.

What's your favourite indulgence?

Food has got to be top of the list. I love most types – Italian and French, Japanese – anything, really.

What would your definition of a great night out be?

It wouldn't be a gig. Even though I love music I like to go somewhere where I can sit down. I'm a bit of an old woman. My ideal night would be to go for a drink, go for some food, go for another drink and then maybe go to a club that plays disco. I like making a long night of it.

Have you ever had an embarrassing moment on the dance floor?

Not so long ago, actually. I was with a group of friends in a club where they were playing lots of Eighties music and we were trying those Molly Ringwald-style pony kicks. I was doing them with some enthusiasm and I kicked so high that I knocked a man's glass clean out of his hand. It smashed all over the floor. I was mortified.

Sophie Ellis Bextor's new single, 'Get Over You', is released on 10 June

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