By Steven M. Housman
Lisa Stansfield: Around The World And Beyond
Lisa Stansfield has been a major force in the dance and R&B arena since her breakout smash single All Around The World went platinum and reached the top of the charts in 1990. To date, Stansfield has sold more than 13 million albums worldwide. One might think of her as a Caucasian girl with a soulful diva persona. But after speaking with her, the word diva just doesnt fit her down-to earth honesty and lack of pretense. She has won countless awards and Grammy nominations. After listening to her latest disc, which happens to be her very first Greatest Hits record entitled Biography; you realize how deeply her music has penetrated our consciousness. Lisa discussed her decision to release a Greatest Hits album that consisted of real hits and not fillers, to her love of Barry White, to her latest love . Acting.
After all of your successful albums spawning so many singles, was it a natural choice to finally release a Greatest Hits album (Biography)?
Yes, because I didnt want to make a Greatest Hits album with extra tracks just to fill the album. I wanted it to be just the way it was done so that people could remember the songs exactly the way they were.
Your husband [Ian DeVaney] has also been your collaborator since you were a teenager- Do the two of you have differences as far as the material you record?
Weve always pretty much been on the same wavelength as far as music is concerned. We both like a lot of soul and R&B. That really comes out in what we do.
You have said that Barry White was a childhood hero of song for you. When you recorded his single, Never, Never Gonna Give You Up, were you excited or intimidated?
I was both. I put off doing that song for a long, long time because I didnt want to ruin the song. I think some people have memories of songs and then someone covers the song and then it ruins it for them. Same for me, I didnt want to ruin it for myself as well (Laughs).
We did it secretly. We thought, if it doesnt work wed just throw it in the trash and get on with the next thing. But it worked from the word go, it was just fantastic.
Do you prefer a recording studio as opposed to live performances?
I like both because each gives a different experience and a different type of excitement. In the studio you create for the very first time, its almost like giving birth. In a live situation, its the opportunity to sing those songs in front of a crowd that really want to listen to you sing. Thats exciting in itself, it makes me want to sing better and stronger for everyone.
Do you have touring plans?
Were touring Europe and Britain, but as far as America goes I really dont know whats been planned.
Well, we want you here.
Well, I really want to go!
What female vocalists do you enjoy listening to?
At the moment, the last thing I was listening to is a girl called Tweet.
I understand you have explored acting in film and have appeared on the London stage in the Vagina Monologues-Is acting a direction you are pursuing?
YEAH (answers enthusiastically). I should be doing another movie this year. I really cant say anything about it because its not my place. I dont want to tread on anyones toes. But its a British movie and I should be filming that beginning in June.
So acting is obviously very exciting for you?
Yeah, its a really nice thing to do as well as music. Im gonna really concentrate mostly on the next album when the touring is finished, and well get down to some real work at that time.
Are there other aspirations you have that youd like to share?
I just want to do what Im doing and hopefully people will still want me around to do it. I just love what Im doing!
© 2003 Steven M. Housman. All Rights Reserved.