Артисты: Sophie Ellis Bextor

sophie_ellis_bextor1.jpg"Pop is about summing up, in little portions, what it is to be alive. It’s about trying to communicate what it is to be humans." Sophie Ellis Bextor thinks of her music as being a bit like a courtship. She considers her debut solo album, 2001’s multi-platinum Read My Lips, as being the first few dates. With its long-awaited successor, Shoot From The Hip, we have permission to move in. Have we even been up for coffee yet? "Oh yes," she beams. "All that was out of the way by the second single. ‘Take Me Home’ wasn’t playing very hard to get." On signing to Polydor later in 2000, Sophie set to work on what would eventually become Read My Lips. ‘Take Me Home’ was an instant hit in 2001’s summer months while second single ’Murder On The Dancefloor’ hit number two in December 2001, stayed in the Top 40 for bloody ages and eventually became 2002’s most played song on European radio. ‘Get Over You’ was another Top 5 hit six months later, and by the end of the year ‘Music Gets The Best Of Me’ became Sophie’s fourth hit single. The success of Read My Lips and its attendant singles was repeated all around the globe, with massive successes in countries like Australia, Austria, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and… Chile!

As the album was doing its business abroad more high profile events followed for Sophie here in the UK a Best British Female nomination at the Brits, a reverent rendition of Blondie’s ‘One Way Or Another’ on the soundtrack to The Guru, a hard-hitting anti-fur campaign with PETA and, earlier this year, a full-scale UK tour. Being on the road, Sophie says, was a halcyon period, a hugely enjoyable few weeks which began politely but soon featured what she terms "elements of debauchery". Seeing her fans for the first time, from the teenagers to their grandparents, it struck Sophie that there was no rhyme or reason to who was buying her records, which put her in a liberated position when it came to writing this second album. Rather than feeling obliged to write for anyone, Sophie realized that she could write for no-one, and everyone. "When the tour was over," she adds, "I realized it was the first time in three years when I could sit down and reflect on everything that had happened. It turned out there was a lot to catch up on." Which brings us to Shoot From The Hip. Sophie says that the title is all about standing one’s ground and telling it like it is ¬ "it’s almost speaking before you’ve thought something through, but still meaning every word you say. The only problem is that it rhymes with Read My Lips… And I’ll have named every part of the body by the time I get to my greatest hits." In a way, Shoot From The Hip is an electrifyingly diverse collection of songs whose countless influences and musical styles imply a body of work spanning decades, rather than months, of an artist’s life. (During the last year Sophie’s been listening to lots of Goldfrapp, Turin Brakes, Streets, Human League, Prince, and Heart FM). Sophie Ellis Bextor