Tea-time with… The British singer-songwriter Sophie Ellis-Bextor

copyright: Sophie Muller

We all grooved to the beat of “Murder on the Dance Floor”, when it first hit in 2001 and rocketed Sophie Ellis-Bextor to global stardom. Since then, she’s released more than 6 albums, married Richard Jones (The Feeling bassist) and become Mum to 5 kids, now living in West London.

Up next is her new album, “The Song Diaries” – an orchestral greatest hits that will debut in autumn 2018. She will also be on stage live at Royal Festival Hall on October 3rd with full orchestra and band.

Ever authentic and natural, she tells Befurk about her vision, influences, inspirations, and family life.

Tea or Coffee ?

Tea please! White with one. I love tea.

How would you define your music ? Who and what are your influences?

I suppose I make disco/pop but over the years I’ve also dabbled in folk, indie, rock and even trance! I think disco holds my heart though.

I’m influenced by all sorts but mainly classic stuff I grew up with. Anyone from Bowie to bjork, Paul simon to prince. I love fleetwood mac, I love Donna summer, I love a lot of French music too like Phoenix, air and daft punk.

After 20 years in the musical field, do you see/feel any new trends coming up?

I’m pretty rubbish at that. I just know what I like. Some folk are brilliant at knowing where the tide will go but it’s not one of my skills and never has been. I’ve never known which songs of mine will be the bigger hits or anything like that. I think it’s quite nice really as it means you just go with your gut and do the stuff that makes you happy.

French people are big Sophie Ellis-Bextor fans, who they see as a British icon… How would you describe Britishnesstoday in few words?

Ah it’s lovely to hear that as I adore France. I suppose I have Britishness flowing through me but mainly I feel like a Londoner. I love living here. It’s such a green and tolerant city and when the sun is shining it’s the best.

A place that inspires you the most in London? Where do you go to recharge?

I’m always in love with London when I drive through it at night as the roads are clear and it looks handsome… near the river or through st james park – or any of the parks. I go and walk round the river near my house to recharge. Even on a bad weather day you see the seasons change and it’s good for the soul.

What are the icons or typical lifestyle that come to mind when you think about France (if there are any!)?

Ah loads of things! I think of food – of course! From a fruit de la mer platter in Paris to the moules frites I would eat as a kid in st Maxime. I think of baguettes and croissants and wine. I think of chic, well turned out women in neat black outfits and red lipstick. I think of the music and the fabulous language. I think of childhood holidays learning to swim in the sea and drinking orangina in the sand.

Mother of four and pop music superstar: what is your secret to staying grounded?

The answer is in the question – who could stay a diva with 4 kids (now 5!)?! Family life is chaotic fun and being grounded isn’t optional. When I work, that time is for me but basically they are the centre of my world and it’s all about family ultimately for me and my husband. It’s the real deal.


Interviewed updated in June 2020 by Hélène Bouche, accompanied by Elisa Olenik.
To read it in French, click here.
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