Dido ‘way too private’ to replicate Bros doc

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Dido.
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Dido, like many of us last Christmas was transfixed by After The Screaming Stops, the documentary of the ill-fated Bros reunion of 2017 which went viral.

The film has unexpectedly breathed new life into the brothers Goss, who have not only announced a big show in London this summer but may even record new music.

“It was a brilliant, brilliant piece of film,” she giggles. “I watched it last week but no, I’m not documenting anything personally.

“I’m way too private. I feel like I’m happy with the memories.”

And to be fair, she has a few from which to choose.

Between 1999 and 2005, Dido was one of the biggest music stars in the world. Her debut album No Angel was the UK’s top-selling album of 2001 and was certified platinum in more than 35 countries with an estimated 21 million copies sold.

She released another four albums and a greatest hits before taking time away from the spotlight to raise her son Stanley. Now, she is on the eve of releasing her first album in six years and is embarking on her first UK tour in 15 years.

Dido – or Dido Florian Cloud de Bounevialle O’Malley Armstrong to give her rather extravagant full name – first came to global attention when her track Thank You [below] was sampled by Eminem on Stan, a track which is still considered among the rapper’s best.

She reunited with him in 2013 when he headlined the Reading and Leeds festivals, coming out on stage to perform the track.

“At the time I was so out [of the music industry] and I thought, ‘You know what, that could be fun,’ she says.

“I always say yes to something that’s a little bit off the wall, then worry about it later but that was a great little moment because it was so random.”

With so many artists marking the anniversary of their significant works, it comes as a bit of a surprise that Dido hasn’t got anything planned for No Angel’s 20th birthday in June.

She can’t even remember the last time she listened to it in full.

“I’ve listened to bits but I’m still not bored of singing Thank You, I think it’s a lovely song to sing and it always creates a really brilliant atmosphere.

“People come up on the street and tell me about a song, someone told me recently they had sat next to their future husband at a gig of mine in 1999. Those crazy those little moments feel like magic.”

Still On My Mind, out on Friday, is Dido’s first since 2013’s Girl Who Got Away.

“At some point the penny will drop that I just take a long time to make a record but it does feel like longer this time,” she admits.

Dido comes back into a vastly different industry to the one she left behind.

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Dido and Youssou N’Dour sang at Live 8 in 2005

Streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music have become the biggest contributor to the industry’s coffers, helping record labels to a third consecutive year of growth, after 15 years of decline.

But the $7.1bn (£5bn) made in 2017 is only two-thirds of what the industry made at the peak of the CD era in 1999 – the same year as No Angel.

“I’m not a big thinker,” says Dido. “It’s not how or why I make records. It’s like, at some point or another a record will be made, it’s not a plan.

“I didn’t even have a record deal so it was fun to make this record because no one was expecting it. I didn’t really know whether to put it out; it was one of those ‘well let’s just make some music and we’ll see what happens’.”

Still On My Mind sees the singer back in familiar Radio 2-friendly territory, mixing introspection with a canny knack for observing the mundane, with polished beats provided by her producer – and big brother – Faithless’s Rollo Armstrong.

The campaign began last year with the moody, sparse Hurricanes, which she followed up with the singles Give You Up and Chances.

But the creative process began with the final track on the album Have To Stay, written about Stanley.

“That was a one-off,” she says. “I was adamant I wasn’t writing a song about motherhood, partly because I didn’t feel conflicted about motherhood, which is just a happy amazing pure love and, to me, that’s not something to write a song about.

“But it was niggling at me and I couldn’t help myself. I thought, ‘just write the song, don’t play it to anyone and throw it in the bin and then move on’.

“All my songs have a bit of light, a bit of dark and it wasn’t just a sort of unconditional love song and that sort of opened the floodgates.

“After I had a kid, I don’t think that anything I wrote was very good for a couple of years. But it opened this emotional part of my brain again that writes songs and then everything else came really quickly after that.”

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Dido picked up best new act at the 2001 MTV Europe awards

The new album precedes new live dates, which Dido has resisted for 15 years, partly due to her third album, Safe Trip Home, recorded in the wake of her father’s death.

“It actually has a lot of my favourite songs on it, but it is a very dark record and lots of it was written about my dad, I started doing a few shows and I thought, ‘This is too raw. I was singing Grafton Street and it was literally months after my dad and I was like I can’t do this’.”

The song is a reference to an old folk song she sang to her Irish father on his deathbed.

“When I sing a song like that,” she says. “I’m back in that room with my dad it’s a rollercoaster and I just couldn’t do it.”

If it was raw emotion which put a halt to her live commitments on that record, touring her fourth album Girl Who Got Away was put off for more practical reasons.

“I had a baby and originally I was like, ‘Yeah sure, the baby will be sitting on the edge of the stage’ and it was like, ‘no, not happening’.

Rapper Cardi B had the same problem last year when she announced a tour with Bruno Mars shortly after the birth of her daughter Kulture, from which she later backed out.

“You have this fantasy of popping the baby in the corner and saying it’ll be fine and it just wasn’t going to happen,” admits Dido.

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“I’m excited to just be in a room playing and singing with people, there there’s been a lot of singing on my own to the wall for quite a long time so it will be really fun.”

Stanley is eight now and has apparently taken after his mum in the music stakes, even if is not quite aware of how famous she is.

“He loves music, he knows that’s what mummy does, writing songs.

“He teaches me a lot, kids are amazing, he is so unselfconscious and brilliant and instinctive when he’s singing or doing whatever and channelling just a little bit of that gives you confidence.

“It’s going to be a pretty mad moment when he first comes to a gig.”

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