Christine Milton is a Dontstopthepop legend. Danish pop royalty! She is the original, singer behind the global hit Superstar (covered by three other female singers no less!). Her album Friday (2004) is a wonderment of hardcore dance/rnb hits that still sound as fresh now as they did on their release. Hailing from Denmark, her sound would eventually filtrate down to the mainstream of current pop music. Yeah, it is my believe that you can trace the likes of Rihanna's recent hit singles, hits by Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown, Kylie's Speakerphone and the general wave of music that amalgamates pop with a rnb to Christine's debut album. Its all in there. After a break from the pop world Christine is back with a new album, new single and brand new look. So, DSTP thought it timely to interview the Ms.Milton. We discussed her future album, the state of the music industry, how it is changing and Jamelia!
Welcome back to pop! Its been quite a ride! Quite some time since we saw you last doing music. What have you been up to?
Thank you! I have been finishing a basic education, I have traveled and practiced my songwriting.
Tell me about Tilbage! What does it mean?
Tilbage means Back or left. It’s basically a song about being a bit naive when it comes to love. It’s about the “perfect” man who gives you everything you want, and still there’s more left to be given. But in the end it’s all just an illusion and not necessarily what you really want….
Will you do an English version of your songs?
I sure hope so!
Who are you working with on your album?
I’m working with a Danish producer team called Madness4Real, Jonas Kur (songwriter) and Pitshifters (producers).
Will you be writing some of the new songs?
Yes I will be co-writing some of the new songs, as i was co-writer on Tilbage.
When will it be out?
Hopefully it will be out by January!
I loved your Friday album! I Know its old but it’s a classic. If you listen back to it now, you can totally hear the current wave of singers like Britney, Jordin Sparks and Madonna and their slice of dance mixed in with rnb. Its like an early template for the sound of 2008. If people wanna trace the origins of Britney's Blackout album I would direct them to Friday. How was that entire process?
Wow thank you! That makes me really proud. It was a very exciting process, I learned a lot from it. I was not involved in the writing process, but picked out the songs that I liked. I was very young (17 years old) and this whole new world I entered was very different from what I knew before.
My favourite track on the album was So Addictive. Well actually two! Addict. They were rather addictive. The mixes were really good too. What was your favourite track?
My favorite track on my album Friday, must be ’Superstar’ or ’Shine On’.
Were there any tracks left-over from that album-if so…can we hear them somehow? I’ll pay!
It depends– how much will you pay? ☺ Yes there where some tracks left-over from Friday, but they have not been released.
What was it like working with legends Cutfather and Remee?
It was amazing! They are very talented and professional – and nice people to work with.
Do you look back at those years and go “What the hell…”. What was the experience like?
Well, sometimes I do. But I think I do that mostly because I’ve gotten older, and I might have done some of the things differently today. But it was a great experience, and I don’t regret that I did it.
In the past ten years the music industry has changed beyond recognition. Acts like Radiohead are giving away their albums. Robyn is doing it by herself. Things like Idol are morphing the paths that talent is discovered! With the internet too, there is a sense of brilliant urgency. I’ve asked this question to other singers before and from some differing perspectives it truly is in the hands of the artist but then again it isn't. Promotion has changed and so many new singers have emerged, that perhaps, might have been overlooked by majors. Where do you think its heading?
I think you should look at this great change as a positive thing. It forces artists to think differently and it opens up whole new possibilities for everyone. I think it is heading towards a much more creative and colorful worldwide music environment.
Where do you see yourself in this evolving music scene?
I see myself with a lot of possibilities and a great responsibility to make things happen myself.
How did you feel about Jamelia’s version of Superstar? I was all expecting you to release that single in the UK! And then I hear it on the radio and shes singing it. She has said her thoughts on the matter and your original. It basically saved her in the UK.
I think she made a great version of Superstar. I can’t hide that I would have loved to be the one who got to release it in the UK, but I definitely do not blame Jamilia for anything.
Did you know she was actually the third singer of that song? An Israeli singer called Roni (see here) had done her version & released it as her first single after winning Pop Idol. It was a massive hit for her.
Yes, so I’ve heard! I have a very good Jewish friend, who told me this after he returned from a trip to Israel. It’s a popular song! ☺
There are currently four versions of Superstar. Your original, Roni’s cover (sung in Hebrew), Jamelias version and an American singer has just done one. What is the low down of that entire affair? There were even rumours of a court case!
Yes, there is or was a court case, but I’m not involved in it, so I can’t really tell you much about it.
An AnR at Jamelia’s record company, went on record saying that Superstar was a great song and didn’t care that you’d had a hit single already in Denmark. His words were “I’m not even aware of that the productions are identical.” Thoughts on this?
No, not really. I guess he’s just doing his job.
He added that your original did not pose a “threat to Jamelia’s artistic credibility” because “UK record buyers are probably not even aware of the other version.”. I’d like to say in your defense that I am a UK record buyer and was very aware the original version. And you know what, Christine the original is better...
Well, first of all I very much appreciate that you like my version better ☺ It’s difficult for me to say whether he’s right or wrong about people not being aware of my version. All I know is that the press and people in Denmark showed quite an interest in the story.
To me, those kind of comments originating from a record company individual actually exposes how much the majors have to learn about their customers in the age of the internet, youtube and globalisation. Britney says in her track Piece of Me, there’s a panic in the industry. Would you agree?
Yes, in a way I would agree with that. I think those majors who can not adjust to the changes or make up new ways themselves must be having a serious panic attack in these times ☺
Okay, to wrap up…Christine, I cannot wait to hear more from you in the next couple of months. Can your lucky Danish fans expect to see on you on stage?
They definitely can! And I will also release a new single very soon.
And perhaps, will you ever tour the UK?
I would absolutely love to tour the UK! So if I ever get the chance there’s no doubt that I would do it ☺