mercredi 16 janvier 2019

Music Week - 16 janvier 2019

'I love the freedom': Dido on new music, No Angel and the streaming revolution

by James Hanley
January 16th 2019 at 7:14AM

Dido has given Music Week the lowdown on her "simple and moving" first album in six years, Still On My Mind.

The record is the follow-up to 2013's Girl Who Got Away and was made in collaboration with the singer's brother, producer and songwriting partner, Faithless star Rollo Armstrong. It is released via BMG on March 8.

"It was almost an extension of Rollo and I hanging out with each other, back to how it used to be," said Dido, speaking in the latest issue of Music Week. "I called him a couple of years ago and said, ‘I’ve got all these songs, but I only want to make a record if I do it with you. No one’s waiting for this record, no one’s expecting it and I just want to have fun doing it the way I want'.

"I wanted it to be simple and moving, and to reference the sounds I love – electronic, dance, hip-hop, and folk – and Rollo was totally up for that. [Faithless'] Sister Bliss played keyboards and I was also writing with Rick [Nowels], who I wrote White Flag with, so it's been like a friends and family excursion.”

The singer has begun to make an impression on streaming platforms – her 2003 hit White Flag has been played more than 104.5 million times on Spotify, while Thank You (79.7m) and Here With Me (43.7m) have also fared well. Streams of Still On My Mind teaser tracks Hurricanes and Friends have also both topped one million.

"I love the freedom now you’re not confined to certain structures," she said of the new landscape. "You're not completely reliant on record companies deciding, you're not reliant on radio deciding and I think that’s great – you get real freedom from that as an artist. I absolutely love that I can write a song tonight and then put it out if I wanted to."

Dido's 1999 debut No Angel (released in 2001 in the UK) was the UK's second biggest-selling album of the 2000s. It has sold 3,096,728 copies to date according to the Official Charts Company and spawned the Top 5 singles Here With Me and Thank You, the latter of which was famously sampled on Eminem's Stan.

"If anyone said they knew what was going to happen with that album they'd be lying – nobody expected that, at all," she said. "But there were moments that changed things for me and that's the amazing thing about music."

Click here to read the full Music Week cover story on Dido, which also features interviews with her manager Craig Logan and BMG's Alistair Norbury. Dido talks us through her four previous studio LPs here. To get your hands on our special Dido issue, please e-mail Rachael Hampton on


mardi 15 janvier 2019

Forbes - 15 janvier 2019

Dido On Her 15-Year Absence From Touring And 2019 Return: 'I'm A Very Unintentional Person'

Steve Baltin

Wow, times flies. This year marks the twentieth anniversary of Dido's multi-platinum debut, No Angel. Released in 1999 the album became a worldwide phenomenon a year later when Eminem sampled the refrain from the gorgeous "Thank You" for the smash "Stan."

As a result of that push from Eminem, No Angel went on to sell 21 million copies worldwide, making it the second biggest-selling album in the U.K. for the 2000s (behind only James Blunt's Back To Bedlam).

Dido followed that with the brilliant Life For Rent, a magnificent collection that mixed a singer/songwriter folk sensibility with sublime electronic beats largely courtesy of her brother, Rollo, from the acclaimed U.K. act Faithless.

Life For Rent went on to sell 14 million copies worldwide and spawned a sold-out tour that took her to arenas in some markets, cementing Dido's status as one of the brightest new talents in pop music.

She followed that with 2008's Safe Trip Home and 2013's Girl Who Got Away, both strong collections. Though neither had the same impact commercially as Dido chose not to tour behind either album.

It's been 15 years now since she has toured in the U.S. All that will change in 2019 though as Dido will release a stunning new album, Still On My Mind, out March 8 on BMG, and follow that with a world tour. From the opening single, the ethereal, majestic "Hurricanes" to the rest of the 12 songs, the album is a much welcome and stellar return to form for the one-time music superstar.

I spoke with Dido about the new album, how her long absences are unintentional, making music with her brother and why even though she never wanted to write a song about motherhood, that actually jumpstarted Still On My Mind.

Steve Baltin: It blew my mind to hear it had been 15 years since you toured the U.S. Are there other artists who've had similar long breaks that inspire you?

Dido: It blew my mind when I actually counted out the numbers. It was like, "Oh my god, it really has been 15 years." For me it's not an intention. Every album there's been quite a long gap and there's been a bit of living in between and then I end up writing more and it builds up. I'm a very unintentional person, I don't really have a big plan and I'm not very good at thinking past next week. But what happens is enough songs come together that I start feeling like, "Oh, I'd just love people to hear this." And then I put a record out (laughs). As far as other artists it gives me comfort that you see people who do it with such grace. They just put a record out, they sort of disappear and then they put another record out like Sade comes to mind. I thought Kate Bush coming back after all that time was just fantastic. But, from my point of view, I just feel really lucky that I still get to do this after all this time. That, to me, feels like magic.

Baltin: I love the new material. It feels very contemporary but undeniably you. When did you know you wanted this to be an album?

Dido: That's so nice to hear because not many people have heard it. Well, barely anyone has. But that's really lovely because I just have no idea if people are gonna like it. So few people have heard it and it's been made in such a small way, with my brother. How this album came about is I had my child and just wanted to hang out with him and that was a really natural progression. And then I was sort of writing with various people cause I always do. Then I just sort of woke up one morning and was like, "I would love to make a record, but I only really want to make it if it's with Rollo, my brother. And I don't want to make one if it isn't." I sort of wanted to go back to how it was at the beginning when music was almost a byproduct of me and my brother hanging out with each other. And that, to me, is why this whole thing started. I wanted to feel that again and that's what this album is. It's basically me and my brother hanging out and making music.

Baltin: Was there one song that jump started this album?

Dido: My dark album was the third album. I wrote that when my dad died and that was actually why I didn't tour the third album cause I realized when it came to it I couldn't really sing the songs live because it was so raw at the time. So this album is very different. I never wanted to write a song about having a kid. But I had a few ideas in my head and I almost felt like, "Get it out of your system, write a song about what you feel having a kid and then put it in the bin." Anyway I wrote this song, it's the last song on the album, called "Have To Stay." And I was so proud it and it so sums up how I did feel about being a mother and this unconditional love. And that sums up the whole record. Suddenly the floodgates opened and I wrote all the rest of the songs. That was the song that started it and that wasn't even really meant to be a song anybody ever heard. Everyone fell in love with it.

Baltin: It's funny what you say about the third album. Look at a song like "See You When You're 40" off Life For Rent and I'd be curious to see how that song has changed for you being around 40. Are there songs from the catalog you are excited to revisit with your new perspective on life?

Dido: I'm way past 40 (laughs). It's funny, I'm still not living by the beach and that is still what I want. I'm still quite not living that life. When I do actually listen to those songs and sing them again sometimes I'm like, "They're still really relevant to my life now." Obviously having a family it takes you into this whole other dimension and you're never gonna return. And it's a whole different world. And even just making music this time around I feel different. In a way it's more relaxed, it's very sort of natural and easy. The songs, some of them feel very young and I love that because it takes me back 20 years or so. But some of them still feel sort of relevant, like "Life For Rent," for example.

Baltin: Have you been surprised by how they stay relevant to your life today?

Dido: It's the way you feel things and if you write honestly about the way you feel things that probably doesn't change much. I was on tour for like nine years straight in the end. And I remember songs changing while the tour was going on. So one song that might've been more of a distant thing for me, then one day I'd be singing it and I'd think, "Oh my god, this is really hitting home." And sometimes when you met fans and met people in the street and they would tell you a story about how the song affected them or the particular story about where the song was relevant and that would bring a whole other level of emotions to it, which was sort of amazing. So, for me, my songwriting has always come from the same place, which is I don't write songs unless there's light and dark in it. There's no song of mine that's out and out happy and no song that's out and out sad really. For me songwriting is about finding those little moments of conflict in life, whatever they are. And that's what inspired me to write the song. So that's never changed. I wrote my first song when I was nine and that's never changed.

Baltin: Who are those songwriters that capture the light and dark best for you then?

Dido: I admire so many people and I look at people and think, "Wow, what a great songwriter you are." I look at Carole King, Sarah McLachlan, all these amazing people you just think, "Wow, I dream of the day I can write a song as good as they have done." The one that springs to mind is "Angel," by Sarah McLachlan, which is the most comforting song in the world, but then you realize it's sort of about drug addiction. It's the most beautiful song that wraps you in it, but it's actually quite a dark song. And that song will always make me cry.

Baltin: After the long hiatus from the road are you excited about touring and does it feel almost like a new beginning?

Dido: I'm excited, I have no idea what it will feel like doing it 15 years later. I'm excited because it feels like the right record at the right time. Third record wasn't the right record and the fourth record wasn't the right time as I had a brand new baby. So there was no way I was gonna go on tour. But it just feels fun and I feel, as a songwriter, I want to engage with people and sing songs with people in the room and it's an interactive thing. You can go so long as a songwriter sitting in the room on your own and then at a certain point you just want to share music with people and you just get so much inspiration from that. I do anyway. Whenever I'm actually playing with a band or performing for people it gives you this whole wave of new songs, of new inspiration. And it's also a great feeling. I've got bands full of friends and there's nothing better than that moment when you're in mid-song and it's sounding good and it's working. That's what it's all about, that's the high bit of the job.

Baltin: And is the low bit the traveling?

Dido: I love flying, I'm pretty excited. I feel lucky to be doing this. I love being on a plane. I've written a lot of songs on planes. There's something about the lack of oxygen, the cabin air pressure and the view out the window. I absolutely love flying.

Baltin: You mentioned this being the right time to go sing in a room for people. How much has the tumult in the world influenced your music and that feeling it is the right time?

Dido: You can't help have that feeling creep into things. It's funny, I've noticed, for me when the world gets more uncertain, chaotic or confusing, I get smaller. I start focusing on the really small stuff. In a way it's sort of good. I focus on micro moments anyway, but then they become really micro. It's almost like you couldn't even write a song about the bigger picture. I couldn't because it's too big. I take a lot of comfort at that point in sort of, and just life in general, when the world does get confusing, for me to focus on the small moments and the things that really keep you calm, make you happy, family moments is what I end up doing. And it's the same with songwriting. You go into more small moments, comforting place.

Baltin: When you go back and listen to this album are there things that surprise you or stand out?

Dido: When you put all the songs together and then people go, "Oh wow, there's a huge theme of this, that or the other." And you're like, "Oh wow, I did not notice I was doing that. But good point, there are a lot of songs about similar themes." And that's what you start noticing as the record as a whole has a feel to other people. To me, I'm so clear where my head is at when I'm writing the song and each part of the song. I'm a very visual songwriter, so even when I'm singing the songs I can still see exactly where I was when I wrote it or what I was thinking or what visuals were playing in my head. So I still hear the songs that way. There were a lot of songs to choose from and I ended up choosing 12 I thought went well together. That's when you start finding themes that you didn't really expect.

Baltin: Is there one recurring theme you really notice on this album?

Dido: I don't know. I think that's for other people to sort of feel. I don't think I'd want to think too much about what the theme is. It's sort of all is not as it seems is the sort of theme probably.


dimanche 15 décembre 2013

The Sydney Morning Herald - 15 décembre 2013 [Traduction]

Dido raconte comment elle se détend

Dido Florian Cloud de Bounevialle O'Malley Armstrong, ou plus simplement, l'auteur-interprète londonienne Dido, a cumulé 30 millions d'albums vendus, s'est fait kidnappée dans le coffre d'une voiture par Eminem dans le clip de 'Stan', et a produit plusieurs tubes, dont 'Here With Me', en 1999, et 'White Flag', en 2003. Aujourd'hui, à l'âge tendre de 41 ans, elle sort son premier best of : un double album contenant de nombreux titres qu'elle préfère, ainsi que des collaborations avec Kendrick Lamar et Faithless.

Que faites-vous généralement 10 minutes avant un concert ?
Le trac me fait me précipiter aux toilettes, c'est malheureusement ce qui arrive juste avant un concert. Je m'échauffe, tout simplement, et j'aime être seule juste avant un concert, pour me concentrer, mais je n'ai pas de rituel particulier.

Et juste après un concert ?
Habituellement, j'ai très faim. Je n'aime pas manger juste avant de chanter, donc je n'ai en général pas mangé depuis très tôt dans la journée, donc après, je meurs littéralement de faim. Je trouve que, lorsque j'ai l'estomac plein, ma voix n'est pas aussi belle.

Quel sujet de conversation revient régulièrement avec vous ?
Probablement, mon enfant [son fils Stanley, âgé de 2 ans]. Lorsqu'on a un enfant, on finit par beaucoup en parler. La maternité vous change énormément. Par certains aspects, vous restez la même, mais tout votre monde tourne autour de lui, et c'est en fait très libérateur, et très relaxant, d'une certaine manière, parce qu'on cesse de s'inquiéter pour soi, et de se torturer pour des décisions minimes qui n'étaient, de toute façon, pas importantes.

Comment réagit-il à votre musique ?
Je chante pour lui depuis qu'il est tout petit, et avant qu'il s'endorme, tous les soirs, et même avant qu'il puisse parler correctement, il connaissait des mots qu'il avait entendus dans des chansons, et je pouvais ainsi savoir quelles chansons il voulait [que je lui chante]. Il y a deux soirs de ça, j'étais en train de lui chanter quelque chose, et il m'a dit : "Eteins ça." [rires] Il est complètement obsédé par les Wiggles [Ndlt : un groupe de musique pour enfants], c'est comme une drogue pour enfants. Il se réveille, le matin, et il dit seulement : "Wiggles". Il adore toutes leurs chansons et connait tous les gestes.

Qu'est-ce que vous avez ressenti en réalisant le best of ?
Lorsque la maison de disques m'a contactée et a annoncé qu'ils sortaient un best of pour Noël, j'ai répondu : "Vous faites quoi ?" Au début, j'ai été un peu surprise, et puis, je dois dire que je me suis tellement amusée à le faire, parce que c'est comme un journal intime des 15 dernières années de ma vie, compactées en un peu plus d'une heure. Pour moi, c'est une célébration très sympa et amusante de ma carrière jusqu'ici, et j'en suis fière.

Quel est l'événement le plus important de votre carrière à ce jour ?
Il y en a tellement. J'ai adoré faire le clip de 'Stan' [avec Eminem, en 2000]. C'était génial, ces choses précises qu'on ne peut pas voir se répéter. On n'aura plus la possibilité de les faire. C'était drôle, parce que, lorsqu'on m'a mise dans le coffre (je suis très maladroite, quoi qu'il arrive, et lorsqu'on est attaché, on l'est encore plus), j'ai fini par me cogner la tête contre un cric qui se trouvait dedans, donc je pleure réellement dans le clip. Ils ont dû penser que je jouais la comédie, ou quelque chose comme ça. Personne n'a arrêté le tournage, ils ont continué, et ma tête cognait. C'est ma seule et unique tentative de la méthode Actors Studio.

Quel est le meilleur conseil professionnel que vous ayez reçu ?
Mon frère [et collaborateur professionnel, Rollo Armstrong], m'a dit : "Quoi que tu sortes, assure-toi de toujours vraiment l'adorer, parce que, si tu réussis tout en gardant ton intégrité, alors ce sera génial." C'est vrai, parce que, lorsqu'on sort quelque chose, et qu'on en est satisfait, quoi que vous disent les gens, vous vous en fichez réellement. Rollo m'a aussi donné les pires conseils : "N'essaie pas de devenir chanteuse, tu n'y arriveras pas, ça ne se fera jamais." Ce conseil est aussi le meilleur qu'il ait pu me donner, parce que j'ai pensé : "Je vais te montrer, on verra bien qui va gagner ce pari." Il m'a donné la rage de continuer à mes débuts.

Si vous n'étiez pas chanteuse, que seriez-vous ?
Je ne sais pas, c'est terrifiant de penser à faire quelque chose d'autre. Je suis nulle pour la plupart des autres choses. Je suis très forte en pâtisserie, peut-être que j'aurais une petite pâtisserie et que j'y chanterais, de temps en temps, dans un coin. Je suis très forte pour la pâtisserie expérimentale et saine, je n'utilise pas de sucre ou de gluten. Certains des aliments que je prépare sont absolument dégoûtants, et mon pauvre époux [l'auteur Rohan Gavin]... Habituellement, il dit : "C'est un peu trop sain pour moi", mais Stanley aime ça.

Qui sont vos plus grandes sources d'inspirations artistiques ?
Wouah, il y en a tellement. Je suis une enfant des années 1980, donc je ne peux pas taire mon amour de Duran Duran, Paul Young et Spandau Ballet, tous ces gens qui, lorsque j'absorbais littéralement de la musique, étaient forcément là. Et puis, j'adore Carole King et Sinead O'Connor, et toutes ces femmes incroyables qui écrivent des chansons superbes. James Taylor et Neil Young, et la liste se poursuit encore. J'adore Police, j'étais une énorme fan de Police. Je dois dire que j'adore vraiment les années 1980, Foreigner et tous ces groupes.

Comment vous détendez-vous ?
Mon nouveau hobby est le footing, mais je suis complètement nulle. Sinon, il m'arrive souvent de me réveiller et de demander à Stanley : "Qu'est-ce que tu veux faire ?", et on monte en voiture, sans savoir où l'on va, et on part à l'aventure, quelque part. Ca a beau être un endroit que j'ai vu des milliers de fois, lorsque je le vois à travers ses yeux, c'est incroyable. En gros, passer du temps avec lui et mon mari est très relaxant. Ca, ou un bon verre d'alcool. [rires]

Le best of de Dido, chez Sony, est actuellement en vente.

Traduction de Dido France. Reproduction interdite.