“Gabrielle on her greatest hits” – Scene Interview

We sat down with the 41-year-old Brit singer-songwriter to talk about her music’s staying power and her upcoming Dubai gig

By Nyree McFarlane, Deputy Editor, Scene
Originally published: March 8, 2012 at gulfnews.com


On her trip to Dubai

Last time I was there was a while back, but we had a lovely experience. We stayed at the Burj Al Arab and I was just thinking, ‘Wow, this is amazing’. I’m looking forward to getting out there and I look forward to hearing all of your voices – you included! – singing the songs. Whichever is your favourite, just sing it loud, honey!

Out of Reach (2001)

I was given the book [Bridget Jones’ Diary] on the sly by the head of my record company in 1999 just before I went on holiday. Then he told me they wanted to turn it into a movie and me to do a song. Instantly I knew what I was going to write about. It was inspired by the book, but it was funny because I was quite close with someone at that point and they asked, ‘Was that song about me?’ and I was like, ‘In your dreams!’ I couldn’t believe how big-headed he was!

Rise (2000)

I’ve done shows when people come up to me and say, ‘I was going through a difficult time and your song helped me out of it.’ Music means so much to people and the idea that you can aid people is a beautiful thing. When I wrote Rise I was coming out of something very negative. So now I really sing it – I can sing it now without the tears, which is amazing. It was difficult to write, there were times I didn’t think I’d finish it.

Dreams (1993)

This song is about getting knocked back. A lot of people said you know, ‘We can take your career here’ but it wasn’t happening. So, the line ‘move a step closer, you know that I want you,’ everybody associates with a relationship, but it was actually about how every time I stepped closer to my dreams they seemed to be backing up because people weren’t fulfilling all of their promises.

The music she loves

The David Gray White Ladder album took me out of a really bad time. Babylon was a song I had on repeat. It was the darkest of times, and he lifted me out of it, so he needs to come out with another album! But I also love anything by Adele or Amy Winehouse – oh and You The Boss by Rick Ross with Nicki Minaj and P Diddy – it’s such a hip hop song!

What’s next?

I’m working on an album. It’s going to be an up-to-date version of what I do. There are lots of female artists out at the moment – Emily Sandez, Rebecca Ferguson, Lana Del Rey – and the prospect of being a part of that again is great. There’s a couple of collaborations in there that I can’t talk about at the moment. I’ve got a deadline coming up that’s a bit arrgh! They want something out by September, hopefully I’ll make it as us artists can sort of take our time on things and I’m notorious for that!


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