- Thu, 2009-01-22 17:31
Alesha Dixon is the all singing, all dancing female star whose album The Alesha Show has now been certified gold. Former member of girl group Mis-Teeq, Alesha has found fame and success in many areas of the showbiz spotlight. ilikemusic has had the pleasure of interviewing the lovely Alesha a number of times, back when she was part of the girl group and in 2006 when she released her debut album Fired Up. In 2007 she won Strictly Come Dancing with dance partner Matthew Cutler and in November 2008 she came back with The Alesha Show. The first single to be taken from the album, The Boy Does Nothing, went into the charts at number 5, her highest solo chart position to date.
At the start of 2009 with her new single Breathe Slow on it's way, we decided that it was the perfect time to catch up with the lovely Alesha once more to find out how she is, what she has been up to and everything else in between.
We began of course, by talking about Breathe Slow. Unlike The Boy Does Nothing, Breathe Slow is a ballad prompting women in particular to think before they act, to empower themselves. 'I am gonna breathe slow, count from one to ten with my eyes closed, 'cos ladies take it in and get composure, ladies never lose composure.' Alesha was quick to point out that the ballad was an important part of the album.
Breathe slow is a more serious side to the record. I wanted to show a serious side. The message in the song is really strong. It's really about people finding that inner strength and having composure in situations that are there to test you. I was coming from a relationship point of view. But you can use it in other circumstances as well. You know, there are so many situations where you need to step back, keep calm, stay cool and take a deep breath. A lot of people, men and women, relate to that feeling.
We move on to Mis-Teeq. I was interested to find out how Alesha felt she had grown and developed as an artist. The transition from girl-group to a successful solo career is a tricky one, and all too many names have fallen at the second or third, if not the first hurdle. But Alesha has an unyeilding sense of determination and a very positive outlook on life.
I'm a strong believer in the law of attraction, that you get back what you put out there. So if you're positive, that will come back to you. I recently found an artist on youtube and I got in contact with her, just to say, you know, if you need any advice I'm here.
I don't like the thought of artists getting taken for a ride, or struggling. It can be hard when all you want to do is write music and perform. Then you get involved in the music industry and you begin to realise that it is so much more than that, that there is this huge business side to everything.
She tells me how Mis-Teeq managed themselves throughout their debut album Lickin' on Both Sides, only accepting management for the second with solid legal advice and a lot of consideration. The notion of the artist as a product, it seems, is something unfortunate that many new artists have to deal with. Does Alesha have any advice to offer artists wanting to follow in her footsteps? Her first response is 'Don't sign a record deal!' after which she laughs heartily, acknowledging the fact that often there are many, if not more, postives than negatives as far as this decision is concerned. But she flags up the fact that whatever you want to do dedication and passion is a must. In 2006 Alesha talked to us about sacrifice;
There were many years I was skint; I had no money in my pocket, just for the love of music. I could have gone to university but I chose not to because I had faith in what I was doing. And I had part time jobs just to get money to get on the train literally to get to rehearsals. And I used to wear the same pair of jeans for months on end and the same pair of trainers for months on end and I used to borrow my friend's clothes. But I didn't care, because I knew that was I was trying to do was bigger than that.
And indeed it has paid off. Today Alesha mentions Barack Obama.
I think it's wonderful, his speech was fantastic, when he said 'We have chosen hope over fear' that really struck a chord with me. You need to have belief in yourself, whatever you want to do. You're the only one who can make yourself successful. The days of waking up feeling anxious, or sad or lost are gone for me. I know what I want. I know I am the only one who can make that happen. That's the belief you need to have. I'm not going to stand in anybodies way, but I am going to make my own way myself, that's the only way it can be done. Obviously I have a huge amount of great friends and family there to support me, but at the end of the day, it comes down to you.
Wise words indeed. After turning 30 in 2008, it is clear that Alesha's sense of direction will only lead her to the places she wants to be. It seems as well, that the ilikemusic team are not the only fans of Alesha Dixon, with Prime Minister Gordon Brown calling her a “national treasure” after she was invited to breakfast with Sarah Brown.
Before we say goodbye I ask Alesha a couple more questions, not wanting to miss anything out I ask, If you were interviewing Alesha Dixon, what one question would you be sure to ask? Ah! That's a good question! she responds, before mulling over her answer for a few seconds. Finally she comes out with the following, I'd ask her about food. So I do.
Alesha. Tell me about food.
Er...Ok...It's just, I eat too much of it and I love it. Oh, and Japanese is my favourite.
I round off my conversation with Alesha by asking her what music she is listening to at the moment, and this time she is quick to answer.
Well, my favorite album of 2008 was definitely Adele's. Not much else got a look in to be honest! Haha! Oh - At the moment I love, love, love Jason Mraz. Also Paramore, what a brilliant front lady. Oh and also Jazmine Sullivan, Missy Elliott's protégé, her album, Fearless, is amazing.