One of the most recognisable voices on the planet comes in the form of Anastacia. She's been through well-documented health struggles in recent years, but now she's back on form and ready to shine with a brand new album - her first in five years.
We got the chance to chat to Anastacia, and between her brilliant Northern accent imitations and conversations about her hairdresser, she had a lot to say about her new material, a surprise for the fans on the forthcoming record and much, much more.
You've announced your album 'Resurrection', it's your first in five years so, how does it feel to be back on the music scene?
It's crazy. It's wild. Even though it's my first original in five years, I feel like it's the first album in almost ten, because really this album is much more similar to the 'Anastacia' album.
So, I feel like sprock-chick - I've reinvented her - and gone back to what I do like to do, and in a way said; 'that really was great, I actually really loved that, and it was the truest part of me as an artist' - even if that's not on the music charts right now, I really loved doing it, so I've gotta go back and do it.
What can you tell us about the creative process behind the record?
You know, being that I didn't write originals for so long, I'm sure there was in theory, tonnes that were sort of, festering up in my little head, that I didn't even know, because I usually don't write until I get into the room - that's just part of my deal - and I also don't write for other people, so when I don't write there's just no writing going on, and there's a lot of stuff that I don't realise that I need to say, and a lot of - just even from the title of the album - I had the title before I had the songs. I didn't know what I was going to say in the album, but I knew I was, that this was gonna be a resurrection.
Also, I had heard that my name in Greek, when you look it up, it says the meaning of it is resurrection, and obviously I didn't know what my name meant - somebody had told me - and I was like 'that's so fascinating!' That's such a very big pair of phoenix wings to fill! (laughs) You know? The rising of the phoenix! How very ironic that I named my third album 'Anastacia', which means resurrection, yet this album which is bringing back my sprock sound which is on the Anastacia album - it's almost the reverse - this is 'Resurrection'.
So, it's really trippy. I couldn't have planned it better if I'd planned it! (laughs) I didn't plan it. I didn't plan two cancers and all this sort of stuff so I'm like 'Wow!'.
You look at 'meant to be' and it's written all over what this project is.
As you mentioned you've been through struggles with your health, how would you say those have shaped you as a person and this record?
I never would change it. I call even my second cancer more of a bigger blessing. I always look at what people may consider obstacles as triumphs, and I look at the second opportunity to having cancer as a blessing, because this time I got to choose the bigger stick in the choice, and I got the winning one by saying: 'you know what? You can take it.'
I tried first time, trying like 'I don't like this bumpy boat. I would like to ride a smooth boat. I'm not a risk-taker, I don't gamble, this isn't part of the stuff I do.' So, I would rather take the road less travelled so; 'chop them off. Go ahead.'
I know that this is the day and age of reconstruction and everyone these days are going in and getting an afternoon boob job, so to me I'm like 'this is no big deal', even though mastectomys are far more intricate a situation, the reconstruction part and the looking like a woman part is so part of mastectomys. They're just, they're hand in hand. When we think of mastectomy, at least when I used to think of mastectomy, it just felt like 'you're not a woman'. It almost sounded like the word 'man'. Even though it's not 'manstectomy', in a way it's like that hidden agenda. And that's not what we do anymore.
From Angelina [Jolie], to Sharon Osbourne, to now let's just say me now, I'm going 'oh my God, it's so not that kind of thing', and we just have to not let everyone know 'go out and get a mastectomy!', I'm so not advertising that at all, but also just letting women know if that's your choice, it's not an awful one, it's not the end of the road, and that is more of being able to talk about it. It's more that kind of thing. I feel grateful.
I had a very substantial amount of female parts, so I was never lacking in that category! So, I was grateful to downsize if I'm honest, I was like "Holler! I've been able to trade in for a better model!" You know? So it kind of had a little plus to it!
Your brand new single 'Stupid Little Things' is out now, and the music video was released last week, how was the experience of filming those visuals?
I really loved it. It was a whole massive experience of doing the photoshoot and the video - they were all inclusive. So we did like a four day campervan type of experience.
We'd go four hours to travel to one location, we'd do the shoot, do it there. Whether it was a night travel, then we'd stay over, we'd do all this from dawn to the very dusk - and it was winter so it wasn't that long of dawn to dusk! Meaning, winter - just January - and in Nevada, Vegas, which is where we decided to film, on a lake and all these different locations - just breathtaking, the whole thing felt like a resurrection dude. What a brilliant idea my photographer had to go to these locations, then the video guy was like 'I'm totally gonna come along, this sounds like a great idea. I love these locations, this is awesome.', and then they kind of shot and did these things - it was very intricate - but we ended up finding a way to do all of this, and then the packaging and the video just feel like they're so at one.
Really we're just very blessed, because I've never done that in my life; been able to have a video and a photoshoot in the same - literally I was rolling round on the ground in the video then right after they were like 'cut!', he takes the picture and then there's the cover of my album. So, it just is kind of trippy that I've never had that in my life, to be able to experience that spur of the moment. You never know what your album cover's gonna be, but I didn't think it was gonna be rolling on the ground in the desert! (laughs) It's just one of those things!
I've had a little look at the tracklist for the album and I noticed 'Left Outside Alone Pt. 2', is this a little throwback for the longterm fans?
Uh-huh! Shout out to the freaks of the world! I actually was thinking to myself I wanted to do a remake of a past song, a song that the fans really liked, so I started to touch base with a few. I experimented with a bunch and I liked a lot of them, but I just felt 'Left Outside Alone' was the appropriate one to put on the album, and it really is like, I like what I did.
I wanted to call it 'LOA Pt. 2' so that my fans didn't know, and then once they listened to it they were like 'Holy mackeroonies!', but if it is 'Left Outside Alone', I end up knowing that they do know that and that's totally cool! But that's what I wanted to call it so that I could really surprise them!
Will you be touring with the album when it gets released?
Absolutely, 100%! I'm totally coming to the UK, totally touring with the album.
In fact, even doing songs from 'It's A Man's World', because I never got to tour that album because I had to cancel, so I'm gonna throw in a track or two from that album, and maybe change it up every couple of countries.
So, just really, truly working. I'm back, I am ready, I'm fit and, not fit for tour right now! But, I'm really wanting to do it. I'm sure that halfway in the tour I'll be looking at my manager going 'What did I say? I didn't mean to say to you the world!'. But, I really, I'll definitely need a break probably after this album, but knowing me I'll have a break and I'll be writing during my break. My breaks are never breaks! They're either getting through cancer or writing an album! (laughs)
So finally, what should we expect from you in the next few months?
Tonnes of TV, tonnes of promo, being all about! I haven't really planned this out sometimes the way that people do where they have a million brand campaigns with their album, and everything's branding to get it like - I'm just coming back, you know? And if people are interested and everything takes off, it's going to continue taking off. That's just pretty much - I'm starting to drive forward and seeing where left and right goes - but right now I'm booked all over the place. It's not a negative, it's a total positive, and I'm extremely enthused and excited about the ground swell that's starting to happen. It's inspiring.
There's part of me that's nervous to come back into a business I have no idea how it works, and then there's another part of me that's so butterflies in my stomach with excitement because I don't know at the same time. This is cool, because there are no rules! (laughs) You can't really break them at this point, so it's kind of exciting!
We who are coming out - all of us in the past few years - are leaders, and we're setting the path to the future of music, and that's cool. I like being part of that, whether we make a wrong turn or not.
Anastacia's single 'Stupid Little Things' is out now, with her new album 'Resurrection' scheduled for release on May 5.
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