Lisa Stansfield: Deeper Interview with Eileen Shapiro

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Lisa Stansfield is just......

Titanic and indomitable singer/songwriter and individualist Lisa Stansfield has unleashed her latest album entitled "Deeper." An iconic and soulful phenomenon, the Grammy-nominated recording artist also released her powerful, "I rule the world" type video, "Billionaire", the first official single to come out of the 13 track album.

Known globally for songs including: "All Around The World", "The Real Thing", and "All Woman", Lisa Stansfield is an anomaly in the world of British soul. "Deeper" is her 8th studio album in a string of award-winning releases that began in 1989. "Deeper" has already reached enormous heights, charting on Billboard, and demanding a massive tour in support of the album including a concert at Hyde Park.

Winning a singing competition called, "Search for a Star" became the inauguration of Lisa Stansfield’s career. Her first solo album "Affection", brought her the international chart-topper, "All Around The World", a nomination for two Grammys, and endless recognition in music history. Triumphantly winning awards such as the Brit Awards, Billboard Music Awards, ASCAP Awards, and a host of others, she has sold over twenty million records worldwide. In 2016, Billboard ranked her as the 46th most successful dance artist of all-time. After a 10 year hiatus from Music, and in pursuit of a successful acting career, Lisa has re-emerged in the music industry as strong as ever with "Deeper."

I spoke with Lisa who is exceedingly proud of this album and found her to be candid, funny, unaffected, and happy to be back. She is a warm, and lovely person, loving her fans and caring about the human race...

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Eileen Shapiro: I am completely in love with "Deeper." 

Lisa Stansfield: Thank you so much! I get so excited because everybody keeps saying it. It's so nice... it's so lovely that everybody likes it.

Eileen Shapiro: Everyone loves it...and your video, "Billionaire"...

Lisa Stansfield: We did that in a little green screen studio. My husband is pretty amazing like that. He can make it look like the whole city of Paris. The city of Paris in your living room.

Eileen Shapiro: Well, he's very talented then....so does the album have a themed message?

Lisa Stansfield: I just think this album to me feels like when you're ready to go out, when you're going out on the weekend, say a Friday night.... and you've been working all week.... and you put all your eggs in your Friday night basket. And you're thinking that you're going to get out there, show them what you're made of, and all of your dreams are going to come true! That is really the big story of the song, "Love of my Life". There is pretty much a really big message in the record. There is a lot of positivity and looking to the future. I'm just being very, very positive and energetic about things.

Eileen Shapiro: Yes, it's apparent when listening to the album. 

Lisa Stansfield: God knows we need it at the moment. We need a little cheering up.

Eileen Shapiro: We do! I think we need it more in America than you do.

Lisa Stansfield: What with the golden train-crash.

Eileen Shapiro: Yes...exactly! When I visit the U.K., he's talked about a lot...and not nicely, as a matter of fact, I'm going tomorrow...

Lisa Stansfield: Oh, where about?

Eileen Shapiro: London and Manchester...

Lisa Stansfield: So you go to Manchester quite a bit...I love Manchester, it's so grand. It's such an amazing place, and everyone is so friendly as well, aren't they?

Eileen Shapiro: Yes, yes...I know that you're in the midst of a massive tour right now,...

Lisa Stansfield: Well, yes...it's very condensed. We're traveling all around all over the place. We're like little jumping beans going everywhere. Little jumping beans all over Europe...

Eileen Shapiro: So the entire American gay community is wondering when you will be coming to the states. Are there any future plans for that?

Lisa Stansfield: I really do. Fingers crossed, I think it's going to happen this fall. I'd love to, I'd absolutely love it. I'm expecting we are looking at gay pride and stuff like that. So yeah, I'm saying fingers crossed...hopefully. I know that everybody wants me to go...

Eileen Shapiro: You're one of the biggest gay icons in life.

Lisa Stansfield: I know...I must tell you, ... that when I go to New York, I lived in New York for quite a while and I really want to move back... I love it. If I go out in New York, if I go to Sacks or Barney's, or Bergdorf, if I spot a gay assistant, I get anything I fucking want... it's like all my dreams come true.

Eileen Shapiro: And I'm sure their dreams are also coming true...

Lisa Stansfield: Well yeah, it's a mutual effect. If you love me enough you get the dress...

Eileen Shapiro: You took a break for a while, and I know you were doing some acting, so how does it feel to be back doing music?

Lisa Stansfield: It's gorgeous! It really is. I feel it was a real excitement....there are so many people and you can see it. It's strange. And also what happens is even if you're not right in the forefront, it's weird.. people become more aware of you for some reason. I don't know why. If you're in a room with 100 people nobody will notice you, nobody will bat an eye... then all of a sudden it's like this energy starts, and it's very strange. it's like I became famous again.

Eileen Shapiro: I don't think you've ever stopped being famous though...

Lisa Stansfield: It's funny because I can go out and nobody notices me. I have famous days and unfamous days. It's not depending on me, it's depending on other people.

Eileen Shapiro: I'm not too sure about the people in the U.K., but speaking for America, you've never left...

Lisa Stansfield: Awww.. well whatever it takes...if I have to go in a fucking dingy I'll get over there. If someone will feed me when I get there I'll be alright.

Eileen Shapiro: So the album is really buzzing....

Lisa Stansfield: It's gone in the Billboard, it's so nice!

Eileen Shapiro: So if you could have your ultimate stage fantasy, what would have to happen?

Lisa Stansfield: You know what I fantasize is what's happening already. That the crowds become part of the whole show, because that's just what it's all about, that everybody has a part of it. The music is what it's all about. My voice and the music is first and foremost, but because we are very good at doing it and we have a lot of fun doing it. Everybody can see that we have a lot of fun and the audience can see that, so they have a lot of fun.

Eileen Shapiro: Yes, an audience can tell when a performer is really into it and having a good time, and a good time is contagious. 

Lisa Stansfield: I think people like to be part of something. If you go to see a show I feel like part of it should be the audience feeling it, and being part of it. It's not like you're just watching a DVD or at home watching TV. You need to feel that you're really there.

Eileen Shapiro: Yes, there is an excitement like no other when you're at a concert...

Lisa Stansfield: It's so lovely when all of those people get together when you're all in the same room, it's just this big sensation...Last night we played Paris and it was just unbelievable. The crowds where ridiculous. They just got off from the get-go. They were relentless. It was like they were saying "you keep going because we are going to keep going."

Eileen Shapiro: How fun!

Lisa Stansfield: Yeah, it was gorgeous. You know they give you energy really. The crowd actually gives you the energy.

Eileen Shapiro: So can you recall the proudest moment of your career?

Lisa Stansfield: Well, hopefully it hasn't come yet. I think one of the biggest moments was playing the Freddie Mercury Tribute, when Freddie Mercury had just died. It was an amazing, amazing event. It was just such a privilege to be part of that. I think it was one of the most special days ever, to be included like that is beyond any dreams in music. It was just unbelievable. It's just unbelievable to think that you were part of that historical moment. At the time you don't realize it. You think, "Oh I'm just doing a lovely concert". And when you're done with it you realize it was groundbreaking. It was a gorgeous day, absolutely gorgeous.

Eileen Shapiro: Can you recall a moment in your life that changed the trajectory of it?

Lisa Stansfield: It was when I was very young. It was when I heard Diana Ross. I was a child and I didn't understand music. I didn't understand singing or anything, but I was just compelled... I was drawn to it. That was it, that was me, the beginning of me as I am now I think.

Eileen Shapiro: She's a great lady, I interviewed her.

Lisa Stansfield: Oh did you...is she nice? I've had some unfortunate experiences where I've met people that I really idolize who have been quite weird with me. I was at the Grammys when Diana Ross was there. I was going backstage, honest to God she gave me the most dirty look ever. I was thinking that hopefully she's blind and she was just squinting. That happens to a lot people. You think that they are being really hurtful and they're not, they are just squinting at you. But I’d love to meet her if she is a nice person. She's the one person I would really, really love to meet, but I don't want to be there if she's going to be horrible to me.

Eileen Shapiro: She's really nice. Maybe she's shy, maybe you're talent intimidated her?

Lisa Stansfield: Oh..that's alright then...oh god, I don't think so...

Eileen Shapiro: Mary Wilson is also one of the nicest people you'll ever meet.

Lisa Stansfield: Oh so her personality matches her face? She does have a really friendly face doesn't she? You're very lucky, aren't you?

Eileen Shapiro: I'm very lucky... I love my life...and my job... I get to speak to the best people ever, like you!

Lisa Stansfield: You know what, when you meet wonderful people you do love it. We cannot complain about our jobs. To be able to do shit like this and get away with it..... you do really think at least I do, when you get found out I hope that people aren't going to say "you don't really belong here, go home now". I'm just along for the ride. I'll just stay here until people boot me out. I love what I do it's grand.

Eileen Shapiro: So if you could say anything to your fans and followers what would you want them to know?

Lisa Stansfield: I would just want to say, you know at the moment there were so many different people who are saying "I'm the best, we are the best", and in fact we are all different. Nobody is the best. We are all different. That is what makes it beautiful. If we all think we're the best then we might as well just step back in time. There is no point in being nasty to each other. We are just different.

Eileen Shapiro: Is there anything that we haven't discussed that you would like to add?

Lisa Stansfield: I'd just like to come into the U.S., because I get messages all the time, "Just please come, please come to the US". So I'm going to make it.

Eileen Shapiro: You'd have thousands of people including thousands of shirtless gay men waiting at the airport, screaming like when The Beatles first arrived in the US...

Lisa Stansfield: All holding a sign up....loads and loads of gay men...that would be fantastic! ....

Follow Lisa Stansfield on Twitter @lisajstansfield and check out her website here.

 

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