ARTICLE MARK JACOBS
PHOTOGRAPHY XEVI MUNTANE
STYLIST WILLIAM BAKER
WHEN WE TRACKED DOWN THE SEXY GLOBAL POP SENSATION ON HER CELL PHONE TO DISCUSS BODY LANGUAGE, HER NEW ALBUM, SHE WAS CROUCHED IN A LOADING DOCK OUTSIDE OF A LONDON REHEARSAL STUDIO. “HOW ARE YOU?” WAS OUR OPENING LINE. “TO BE PERFECTLY HONEST,” SHE REPLIED, “FRAZZLED IS THE ANSWER.”
Can you tell us about your new album? Green Gartside of Eighties pop band Scritti Politti was involved, wasn’t he?
Yes. My team and I were discussing references and Scritti Politti was something we all agreed upon. We were very excited about that kind of mid-Eighties soft electro—kind of feminine, especially with his voice. There are many layers of breathy, rich, sweet vocals in an electronic bed.
Are you ever concerned that the production on your singles will be too sophisticated for American audiences?
Oh, definitely, yes. Absolutely. It’s the $64,000 question. How do you make something work globally and also in America? Something could work everywhere else and just not even make a splash in America. I was concerned about that, but it didn’t stop me from selecting the Slow, the single I wanted to push. It did make me a little nervous—there are definitely other tracks on the album that would have been less challenging for people.
Was the Slow video your first encounter with synchronized sunbathing?
[Laughing] Yeah. I figure it’s something like your classic suntan commercial where there are three girls and they roll over and put their bums to the sky. Definitely. Filming was three long days of sunbathing and simultaneously trying desperately to stay out of the sun.
What are the virtues of going slow?
[Laughing] You miss less.
What are the virtues of being fast?
[Laughing] You get there quicker.
Does the drama surrounding pop celebrity ever make you feel like ducking out of the business?
Oh, yes. The nature of celebrity has changed so much even just in the last five years, and I’ve been doing this for…pretty soon it’ll be 20 years. It’s a different environment. But I try not to change what I do to accommodate the media. [Loud noise] Just hang on, a gate’s being opened. You should see where I am. It’s not a very glamorous spot, is it? I’m hunched, I’m squatted down on this floor. It’s miserable and raining outside. There’s studio stuff just everywhere.
Are you in a garage?
I’m just by the loading bay. There are risers and road cases. There’s a band, I don’t know who they are. I just had to sneak through their studio to come outside.
Do you have a body language tip for men?
After naming the album Body Language, I started to think about what it means and how important it is in every day life. Men should remember that it’s the first thing a woman will notice. A woman or a man, I should say. Across the bar or down the street, before you know someone’s name, age, religion, profession, within those first few seconds you’re going to notice the way they walk, what their gestures are like.
A do or a don’t?
Never be too leery or lecherous.
What are you wearing?
I’ve got a…gee, I’ve got an Alexander McQueen jacket on, I’ve got a Chloé tank top, I’ve got, I don’t know where this scarf is from, M&S trainers and Sass & Bide white cord jeans.
What is the best strategy for avoiding the paparazzi?
Hair Renato Campora (Wall Group) Makeup Karen Alder Photo assistant Alyia