February 2003
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 doesn’t 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 didn’t 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?

We’ve 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 didn’t 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 didn’t want to ruin it for myself as well (Laughs).

We did it secretly. We thought, if it doesn’t work we’d 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, it’s almost like giving birth. In a live situation, it’s the opportunity to sing those songs in front of a crowd that really want to listen to you sing. That’s exciting in itself, it makes me want to sing better and stronger for everyone.

Do you have touring plans?

We’re touring Europe and Britain, but as far as America goes I really don’t know what’s 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 can’t say anything about it because it’s not my place. I don’t want to tread on anyone’s toes. But it’s a British movie and I should be filming that beginning in June.

So acting is obviously very exciting for you?

Yeah, it’s a really nice thing to do as well as music. I’m gonna really concentrate mostly on the next album when the touring is finished, and we’ll get down to some real work at that time.

Are there other aspirations you have that you’d like to share?

I just want to do what I’m doing and hopefully people will still want me around to do it. I just love what I’m doing!

© 2003 Steven M. Housman. All Rights Reserved.