Lancashire Times
Weekend Edition
Graham Clark
Features Writer
12:38 PM 19th February 2021

Interview With Gabrielle - Making Dreams Come True With New Album

You might have seen Gabrielle recently on the popular TV programme The Masked Singer. A new album and tour is planned too. I spoke to the singer about the new album and tour.

Your new album Do it Again is released in March, what can we expect?

The album was inspired by the television programme The Masked Singer Prior to the show I had been writing and recording with a view to a new album but by the time I’d finished doing the show, I had so fallen in love with the songs so I thought why not incorporate them into the album. There were at least five covers in there - anyone who knows my work knows that I really don’t tend to do covers.

By this time the album was getting to be a covers album so I chose some other songs to go on there such as 'Killing Me Softly' by Roberta Flack, 'Bring It On Home' by Sam Cooke. These songs are amazing pieces of music, I loved them but just wanted to do them my way. When people buy a Gabrielle record they are not looking for me to do vocal gymnastics, that’s not what I’m known for.

At the end of it all I’ve written two new songs - 'Can’t Hurry Love' and 'Stop Right Now', which fit well with the album. I’m looking forward to people hearing the album. So the album is called 'Do it Again' because the songs are out there and it’s a case of do it again, but do it my way. It might not be the best way but I’m having fun, you could say it’s my little tribute to those amazing songs.

Are you excited about the tour you have coming up?

I keep telling everybody that we have to try and put out positive thoughts into the atmosphere that will come back to us and get us all back to where we want to be. All those things that we have taken for granted in the past that we are probably all going to do tenfold when we come out of lockdown, things like meeting up with your friends, missing your colleagues at work and of course for me going out and playing shows in front of a live audience.

I saw you on the Rick Astley tour a few years ago, was it a good experience?

He is phenomenal and it was an honour to open up the shows for him. I had no connections to Rick other than being a teenager and having the albums and loving the songs. I was offered the shows through my agent who said that Rick was going on tour, how would you feel about opening up for him?

I bit the hands off my agent when he asked me the question. I was really happy as it was an arena tour. The response was amazing from the audience - they were not leaving when I came on and were listening to me and having a good time before Rick came on.

Was it a daunting aspect though having to play in front of so many people?

I am the most nervous performer I know, but you know something - it was still a fun thing to do, the audience’s warmth really made it for me. Yes I had nerves but it was all in vane as I had such a fantastic time.

How have the lockdowns been for you?

Normally myself and a lot of other artists would have been touring like crazy and like everyone I got a bit frustrated, it’s not just musicians, it is everyone who cannot go to work and also to be able to do the normal things they love doing.

I found ways to pass the time. I got into K dramas. I think I only discovered them because my daughter is a big K pop fan with groups like BTS. I really got hooked on the shows. I don’t know if I have surpassed what she has watched but I bet I’m not far behind! I have binged watched a lot of them - in my head I’ve got a Korean husband, I’ve become addicted to Korean dramas!

Apart from that I’ve been eating too much, drinking too much, putting on all the excessive weight, like everyone else I have been waiting with bated breath to get everything back to normal and we will get there with the roll out of the vaccine.

I’m just living with positivity and the fact that I had Covid and got through it. There were people who didn’t make it and ones who did still might be suffering, but we will get there in the end, everyone is doing their best to stop it in its tracks.

How long ago is it since Dreams came out?

It was 1993, 28 years ago! I can’t believe where the time has gone. The bottom line is for me to still be here is amazing as there are not many from that era that are still around. UB40 are still going, Take That. It is a feat that I couldn’t do on my own because the audiences have been phenomenal and I’m only here by the Grace of God - they are not bored yet and I am still able to do what I love doing.

The way fans connect with you has changed too, do you embrace this?

It is crazy. When I first started I would get fan mail, actual letters sent to you and now you have Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and you can interact with people a lot easier. Times change and it’s either do or die, you have to embrace these new methods or you get left behind, so I’m happy to keep going with all the opportunities social media offers.

The tour comes to Yorkshire and the north, do you have any good memories of your shows here?

I recorded the last album before this one, Under My Skin in Yorkshire so that was exciting. I consider myself an honorary Yorkshire woman as I have a lot of close friends who are from Yorkshire and who live in Yorkshire too.

Gateshead stands out for me too. My agent said to me "I don’t think you can fill the Sage in Gateshead” but we did and we keep filling it. I have memories of that gig as I have a photo of me and the whole band taken from the stage with the whole audience behind us and it’s like “wow” just when things might not go well with people being negative and you prove them wrong.

I just love going around the UK on tour. I’m British and I love my country, I’m not joking, I love each and every place that I go to.

The new album Do It Again is out on 5th March

The Northern dates in November 2021 are as follows:
7th - Salford, Lowry Lyric Theatre
8th - Liverpool, Philharmonic Hall
9th - Glasgow, Royal Concert Hall
10th - York, Barbican
12th - Gateshead, Sage