- Thu, 2008-02-28 13:29
New mum Myleene Klass has released a new album in time for Mother's Day, called Music For Mothers, packed with relaxing chilled-out tunes played by Myleene herself. She's also got a new book, a diary of her pregnancy and early days of motherhood.
Myleene talks to I Like Music about her new album, book, plus her time in the Jungle during I'm A Celebrity and Hear'say.
ILM: Myleene’s Music for Romance was a huge success for you – are you enjoying making the series of CDs?
Myleene: It’s perfect, it’s just right up my street! It gives me the opportunity to delve into the archives of classical music and find pieces that are well-known and familiar and others that might be more obscure and need to be given a new lease of life. So, yes, it’s perfect!
ILM: And do you have high hopes for Music for Mothers?
Myleene: It’s not so much high hopes but who it hits, what demographic it hits. One person rang in to one of the radio shows this morning and said they used to suffer from insomnia and that Music for Romance is so peaceful it calms them down when they’re getting to sleep so I just think wow! When you realise how it is used in a home environment then I’m really proud of that. It’s nice to see how an album becomes personified, how it works in the real world. You live with an album in a studio environment for so long it’s good to see how it translates.
This album is going to relax mummies, or daddies even, be played through the night-feed…that’s when I chose half of the pieces! It will work nicely and I’m proud of that. It’s great to get the recognition of the sales and the position but first and foremost it’s the fact that now in the archives it will last forever and I’m really proud of that too.
ILM: Obviously selecting the music must be really difficult because you have so much to choose from, does each piece have a really personal meaning for you?
Myleene: Every single piece has a really personal meaning. I don’t just think about what’s out of print, I have to think really carefully about what has the right feel, and how it’s going to come across. When I have someone trusting me to choose a range of pieces that’s going to interpret well and be relaxing for mothers I have an obligation to fulfil and they need to blend well. Just because it’s classical music doesn’t mean that they automatically blend well, just as any 20 pop songs wouldn’t necessarily work well together, they need to complement each other and that’s what I’ve tried to achieve.
ILM: Any piece on the forthcoming album that you have a very specific association with that you can tell us about?
Myleene: Well, America is a piece that I have always wanted to tackle and a lot of session musicians will be the first to tell you that when they see that come up at a session they’re like “Oh no!” because it’s very tricky! Leonard Bernstein was an exceptional perfectionist and he was very strict about his timings so I have always wanted to have a go at learning it and playing it. But you never get round to it. You set yourself a goal but you never necessarily set yourself a time limit so the fact that I’m playing it now is something I really love. It’s one of my favourite musicals, if not the best musical for me.
ILM: So that’s really a personal achievement for you?
Myleene: It really is. And also to have Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star which is Mozart! A lot of people just think it’s another nursery rhyme but it’s actually Mozart! I think that’s very important because it’s something for mums and for children and this is obviously my first baby and my first album since having my baby so to have a piece like that is great. This time last year I would never have thought I’d be putting Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star on an album but I am! There are so many pieces – I could go on about every one but there is a distinct reason for every piece on here.
ILM: Have you any ideas yet as to what will be the next CD in the series?
Myleene: It’s going to have to be music to sleep to because I need that! No, really I don’t know yet. I love the fact that it’s a series and it keeps evolving and we’ll just see what that brings really.
ILM: And what music do you listen to day-to-day?
Myleene: At the moment it has been the same pieces which are the two that I am releasing and playing at the launch as I need to get them so ingrained in my head that it’s like muscle memory. So I have been listening to them day in, day out. But after the launch I will be back to my cheesy pop. You can’t beat a bit of Take That! But also I find the old ones the best; a bit of Aretha, Ella Fitzgerald, anything really! As long as it’s not dance! My partner listens to dance music and it’s the one sure thing that can cause an argument in our house!
ILM: Music has been a part of your life from a very early age - were you naturally drawn towards all things musical or was this encouraged because your family was musical?
Myleene: Well I am from six generations of classical musicians on my father’s side so it was inevitable that it was going to happen but I do really love classical music, I love music in general. I think it’s a fantastic way of interpreting feelings, it’s also a fantastic way to express yourself. It relieves any pressure and pains of the day. It’s the one thing that anyone can have an opinion on and it’s ok! So I could never imagine my life without music.
ILM: You studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal Academy of Music – was this hard work?
Myleene: Immense! They were full on days and if you add to the fact that when I was at the Guildhall in the junior department I was travelling down on a train from Norfolk and adding five or six hours of travel to my school day, you had to really commit to it! My mum and dad didn’t think that I would last, but I did. I did two years there before going full time. It was hard but there’s always someone who travels further, some Russian prodigy or someone from China so you just got on with it really!
ILM: And how many instruments can you now play?
Myleene: I can play three; violin, piano and harp.
ILM: Anything else you want to have a go at?
Myleene: I’d love to just get a language under my belt. I think languages are so key to everything. My next thing was to write a book but I’ve just done that so… It’s a very personal book; a diary and to write a diary to basically expel a lot of pregnancy myths but also to admit to your own insecurities was really good.
Buy My Bump and Me: From Morning Sickness to Motherhood by Myleene Klass
ILM: Was it therapeutic?
Myleene: Oh, god yes! Absolutely! I mean I was very hormonal and my partner did nothing right as far as I was concerned! But it was the same for him, so it was very therapeutic. We learnt a lot about each other but we have been together for nearly eight years and you realise that if you can come through all the trials and tribulations and tackle all the problems there’s one thing always bringing you back together and that was my baby.
ILM: Should we look out for another book from you in the future?
Myleene: Who knows? There are a few ideas that I have for books.
ILM: We have to mention Popstars and Hear’Say – what do you think about all the reality TV shows like Pop Idol having had a similar experience?
Myleene: I think they’re brilliant! It’s so easy for everyone to turn around and say “Hang on a minute! This person came dressed as a banana and sang two bars of I will survive!” and take the mickey out of them. But they’re missing the point. For every singing banana there’s a Leona Lewis, a Kelly Clarkson, an Avril Lavigne, a Will Young. And if you think they are getting an opportunity which they haven’t had through the normal route of singing 16 bars at an audition then there’s something wrong with the industry.
To think these people could be working in an office for the rest of their lives with a voice that has gone to waste! So I think that they are paramount and a necessary evil to a degree. And I know that people chastise the way that they are run and the judges getting the money and that it’s not about the singers but I disagree. I think it gives them a platform and what people miss is that the show is only the beginning! It’s the first rung on the ladder and after the show ends that’s when the journey begins.
ILM: I’m a Celebrity was also a huge success for you – how would you describe that experience?
Myleene: It was one of the best experiences of my life. Yes, it was surreal being cut off from everyone you know and love, to have no phone, no communication. But first and foremost you answer to no one but yourself so you get to know yourself all over again. It sounds so ‘self help’ but it’s so true! Do you really know yourself? Every decision you run by your partner or your mum, your manager or your boss but when it comes to you making a decision it’s a lot to stand by.
A lot of people come out of these programmes saying that they weren’t edited accurately but then you realise actually… I made that decision, I chose to act that way, I chose to say those things and you suddenly realise that you don’t have to find your backbone to keep you strong. If you get to the trails you don’t have to get all the stars to win, you can learn to pick a spider up like I did two nights ago and I felt like an Olympic winner! Normally that would have had me screaming but I felt proud to do that. You take what you want from it and I learnt that I am a pretty strong girl when I put my mind to it. I’m not a moaner, I get on with it and I’m pretty determined too but at the same time I’m nothing without my family; my partner, my baby… that’s what you’re doing it all for.
ILM: Since then you’ve done pretty much a bit of everything! A solo album, TV presenting, radio presenting, modelling…
Myleene: I think versatility is the key. Everyone says hone your skill but when you look at the old school performers; Dudley Moore, Morecombe and Wise, they could present, they could play, they could act and they could sing. I think to be an entertainer you need to do it all; entertain!
ILM: What did you really enjoy about all of those things?
Myleene: I love the presenting, I love the communicating that comes with that in the sense of finding out something no one else knew or getting to the bottom of a character. Or maybe speaking to someone who has been misinterpreted and letting them have their say, seeing what makes them tick. Having a good old gossip really with Robert de Niro or Cate Blanchett! It’s all really lovely and a nice way to make a living. I’m not a model but I still get to model for M&S – what a great job! The fact that I am short and a bit wobbly doesn’t matter!
ILM: And of course, becoming a new mum is your most recent achievement. You must be exhausted!
Myleene: Yes I am knackered but I think all new mums are! I don’t think I have a monopoly on it! Everyone finds their niche and finds what they are comfortable with. I thrive on work and I bring my baby with me. They say to fit your baby into your life and that’s what I’m doing. If I had to stop work I would feel as though I wasn’t still being me.
ILM: What has been the best thing for you about becoming a mum?
Myleene: Really realising not to waste a single second. I want my legacy to be that I am a good mum and gave time to my baby and that my baby was loved. All she wants is to be loved and fed. She doesn’t want all these expensive toys or anything like that she just wants a mama.
ILM: Do you have any heroes who have really inspired you in your career and influenced the path you have taken?
Myleene: Gosh, at the moment I’m on a big working mum kick so I think Angelina Jolie and what she does is pretty remarkable. But I think mums in general are pretty remarkable, especially working mums. I love the elegance and grace of Audrey Hepburn in her style and how she used to command herself. I love the originality of Ella Fitzgerald… so it depends where I’m looking for inspiration. I love strong women I really do.
ILM: Is there anything with hindsight you wish you had done differently?
Myleene: No regrets as such. I make mistakes all the time but I do learn from them. If I was perfect all the time I would be like a robot! Sure I could have done things better or differently but then that’s the beauty of hindsight. If I keep worrying about what I should have said I wouldn’t be able to plan for the next thing and enjoy it so I try not to look back.
ILM: And what’s coming next for Myleene Klass?
Myleene: I’ve got my baby range coming out in August which is for Mother care. It’s been an absolute pleasure to design. I have always been a little cynical about ranges as I’ve always thought that everything is done by the team and then you just stamp your name on it but on the first day we sat around the boardroom and they said “Well…?” And so I just brought loads of baby gros that I liked, things that I didn’t like, things that I wanted to adapt. Because I travel a lot I brought things that I liked from different countries. They showed me how they do their stringent tests and I really approve of that as a new mum, being very aware of different materials and things. I also got some clothes out of my own wardrobe and asked them to make it 20 sizes smaller and in red! It’s been really nice to be creative and work with ‘the Mother’ of all brands for babies!
Also more M&S adverts – it’s lovely to work with all of the girls, hopefully another CD before the end of the year and I have a lot more presenting so it’s going to be quite busy. In between all that I have my 30th birthday and a Christening so pretty busy. But if I wasn’t busy I would only be thinking about how to get busy!
Buy My Bump and Me: From Morning Sickness to Motherhood by Myleene Klass