RedHanded meets Kylie
A look back on our iconic interview with Kylie Minogue.
That big chair on The Voice certainly kept Ms Minogue spinning. And she’s hardly stopped for breath since - with a new record label, new album and now a 15-country tour
You have been in the business for more than 25 years, do you still get nervous when you’re releasing new music?
Yes. Yes. [laughs] But it is different to back in the day when it was very clear what the chart was, you know, when your release date was. Now it depends which chart it is, which territory, there are single albums released at different times. Is it available to buy the minute you hear it? Or do you have to wait? So that’s very different. But back in the day it was ‘the week’ that it came out, you were all on tenterhooks. But in general, along with the excitement and anticipation, of course I get nervous, because I want people to love it the way that I love it.
Is there a stand out song for you on the new album - one you still love to play? No, I’m sure I’m going to think of it as soon as I walk out of the door, but I’ve actually been just listening to my own songs for months and months, different orders, different selections, different album running order and that’s only just been wrapped up. We finalised the track list for the album, the deluxe album, at the eleventh hour. I was in Australia, e-mails were pinging from every different time zone. You’re now signed to Jay Z’s label Roc Nation. Certainly an interesting place to be right now? Yeah, very interesting. I had an epiphany in 2012 that I just felt like a change, nothing was wrong, I just thought I’d spent all of 2012 working on K25 which was our celebration of my 25 years in the business and, I think towards the end of that, I just felt like, ‘I don’t want to keep going round in circles’. It’s kind of exhausting looking backwards and reflecting and reminding yourself how long you’ve been doing this [laughs] and how young you once were when you started. So I just felt like I needed a new landscape. That’s how I hooked up with Roc Nation and yeah, it’s been an ‘interesting’ ride so far. Lots of excitement, lots of new energy, which I think has energized me. It hasn’t been a totally smooth transition because you don’t go from doing something one way for 25 years and then change it and it’s just smooth sailing. So a lot of adjustment but a lot of excitement. Does Jay Z have a lot of input? Not a lot to be honest but his spirit is through the company and, you know, they’re really cool. I think they have the experience to do things the way it’s done in the business but they have a bit of a rebel spirit, a little bit renegade. So it’s cool. Mixing it up.
How was working with Pharrell Williams? I’ve had a few ‘dream come true’ moments on this album. Rumour has it you burst into tears when you saw him for the first time in the studio… This is a classic case of Chinese whispers, the story has become: ‘I was so excited to work with Pharrell that I burst into tears.’ Which isn’t... I was very excited but no, I was having a day where, just one of those days, I wouldn’t even bore you with the details, but a day where I really didn’t want to face anyone. And especially going into the studio: you kind of have to be very open and it’s a very singular feeling to be in the studio working with someone, especially someone you don’t know very well. And of course, when you’re feeling emotional, your voice - you kind of lock up and it’s the one thing you need on that day. So it wasn’t out of sheer excitement that I burst into tears, I was just having a pretty lousy day. But Pharrell was super cool and talked me through that and then he wrote a song called, I Was Going to Cancel which is a very positive song and it’s about not letting those things get you down and just, kind of, be positive and get on with your day. It’s a great, great song and yeah, a dream come true. I loved the opportunity of working with him and him writing and producing a song for me. He’s a lovely genuine guys.
You’re on Twitter now. Do you feel bad when someone tweets something at you and you don’t have time to reply? Guilty? Not really, because you can’t be on your Twitter all day. So when I have time I’ll have a look through the mentions and see if I can respond to anyone. But I think fans know it’s a game of luck on there but I do like the interaction with fans on Twitter, it’s great. And I mean, they make me laugh a lot. Some of them are very humorous.
How did you enjoy doing The Voice UK? I loved it, yeah. I say, I loved it, except for the parts that I really did not love [laughs]. Some parts you just think, ‘Is it ever going to end?’ These intense long, long draining days. And you’re trying to give your best for everyone coming through. And it’s not nice when, I mean, in truth more people do not go through than do go through. So that part is not exactly fun. But I really loved the guys and Ricky [Wilson] and I, as the two newbies, we bonded pretty early. It’s like being in a band or something. Do you want one of those revolving red chairs at home? If I had one of those red chairs at home everyone would want to come and sit in it. It’s incredible the amount of people who ask about ‘the chairs’, it’s like this magical chair. I suppose it is because if it turns then you get through. It feels pretty good being in the chair, mostly, except, as I say, when I really don’t want to be in the chair. Like, ‘Get me out of here!’ Was it hard saying no to people? Well, at times like that I really had to remind myself that, ‘No, they get the rules of the show, they’re fans of the show, they watched it like I did in series one and two. So it’s not going to come as the biggest shock that those are the rules’.
A few years ago you said you’d never be a judge on a TV talent show… Did I? [laughs] But it looks like you’re a natural? You know what? The offers have been around for a number of years, but I could just never bring myself to fully engage or see myself doing it. I think it was just nerves. I was even nervous going into this new experience but there are a few things that tipped me over the edge to say ‘yes’. One was Will.i.am bombing my meeting in Los Angeles, basically saying, ‘If you’re doing it, I’m doing it’. So no pressure. It was great talking to him about the experience and not the powers that be who make the show, but someone who sits in the chair and could tell me honestly how it was. This time around I thought, ‘I’m scared, I’m quite nervous’ and then I thought, ‘What am I scared of?’ Everything is scary – making a new album, going on tour, putting yourself out there. So then I embraced it and I’m really, really happy that I did because it’s an experience unlike anything else. Did you ever imagine when you first started out in your singing career that you’d still be here 25 years later?
It can be very challenging. You kind of have to be able to tread water, sometimes take a great wave, sometimes get a barrel, other times be floundering around. But to still be in the waters is amazing. And actually I feel as inspired as ever and I think that’s amazing.
Anything left to achieve?
There’s more to come. I think so yeah. I can definitely see with some distance what’s gone well, what hasn’t gone well, the journey that I’ve been on, how I’m literally still learning all the time. I think that’s one of the most fascinating things as a performer, you just have to go out there and, kind of, trial and error and see how you go.
Find out more atwww.kylie.com