Alison Moyet made her name as singer with synth-pop band Yazoo and became a major international artist with her 1984 solo debut album Alf.
The 48-year-old from Billericay has released seven studio albums, and had a successful sixth-month stint in the West End musical Chicago in 2001.
Her new album The Best Of Alison Moyet is released on October 19. She will perform in Salford on November 17.
YOU GREW UP IN BASILDON, ARE YOU STILL AN ESSEX GIRL AT HEART?
Yeah I think so, my family are still there and it’s what’s at the bones of you, really. It was never an ambition of mine to leave, it happened upon me, but I was never one of those people who were just desperate to get out. As a child I just loved it!
YOU LEFT SCHOOL AT 16, WAS THAT TO CONCENTRATE ON MUSIC?
No, not really. I just used to flunk at everything and had a problem with concentration. I lost interest in school, so left and went from job to job — which you could do then because there were loads of rubbish jobs around — and I started a couple of courses and then dropped out. I was playing in a couple of bands, but never imagined I’d be doing that full-time.
SO HOW DID YOU FORM YAZOO?
There was a very strong pub-rock scene in the 1970s, which after punk is what I’d got into, supporting bands like Dr Feelgood, and there was a real Canvey/Southend sound which I was a part of. I knew Vince [Clarke] because I was in a class with a couple of the Depeche Mode boys at college. Vince’s best mate was a guitar player in my punk band, and when Vince left Depeche and was looking for a singer, I came to mind because I was a little face on the local scene. Within a couple of months I went from having being at college studying restoration to having a single out, made an album and suddenly we were massive pop stars.
IT MUST HAVE BEEN A REALLY SURREAL EXPERIENCE?
It was an incredibly strange and surreal experience, and unexpected, and it’s an odd thing when you’re not battling for it.
WERE YOU EXPECTING YAZOO TO BREAK UP?
No, but then I wasn’t expecting it to go into formation. We were only working together for 18 months. At the time we never even had time to go for a drink together. We never became mates, so there was no bond there and it finished as quickly as it began. What I never accounted for was becoming a solo artist.
ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THE NEW ‘BEST OF’ RELEASE?
For me a ‘best of’ album doesn’t usually spike an artist’s interest, and it wouldn’t normally for me, but the reason I’m keen to be involved with it is to ensure I could include a few songs from the last three albums, the albums of my preference.
ANY SONGS YOU’VE BECOME SICK OF SINGING?
Oh yeah, I’ll never sing Invisible again! On the whole, though, I’ve started to reintroduce early hits again, like Is This Love.
l Alison Moyet will appear at the Lowry, Salford Quays, on November 17.