THE STEVE ANDERSON INTERVIEW 2010...Part Two!




If Polly-Rae is a reworking of the showgirl through a redressing of burlesque, where do you think Elouise (myspace) is coming from?

I think the classic torch song diva always hints at tragedy but brushes it aside with lipstick and eyeliner - the show must go on. Every great torch song is heartbreaking but that makes you invest even more in the performer, but it takes something really special to make the vocal delivery believable to the listener and thats something Elouise excels at.


You’ve been producing & working a lot with Elouise recently. What are you both trying to achieve with the Elouise sound?


We aspire to make a record that we both love and hope everyone else loves it too which is why we are unashamedly referencing classic songs and records as the music should be timeless in the end.


Your 2009 and 2010 might be defined as a year in which your examining, through your collaborative and production work, the narrative of the showgirl & diva. You’ve got an interesting trinity there-the next Kylie album, Polly Rae and Elouise. The material you create seems to closely explore the women singing….would you agree and if so can you expand on this thought?

I have always preferred the female voice to the male for some reason, saying that there are one or two exceptions in particular Mark Feehily from Westlife who has an incredible voice full of emotion which is why I was so thrilled my production of “Talk Me Down” is on the new Westlife album as it really showcases this. In general I’m drawn to believability over technique always, especially when I am producing vocals. I find a lot of male singers are all about showing off whereas even when someone like Alicia Keys is being technical the passion and emotion is still very much there. I believe the best purveyors of true believability as singers are Kylie, Karen Carpenter, Julie London and Barbra Streisand.



So how do you go about deconstructing/reinventing a Kylie track? For instance how on earth did you come up with the reworked version of I Believe In You?

The orchestral version of “I Believe In You” was originally arranged for “The Kylie Show” and I knew the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra were going to be part of it. Also William had a beautiful black and white treatment with mirrors so again the visuals really inspired the reworking. I never change arrangements for the sake of it - there is always a reason and on occasion the best thing to do is take them right back to the original version.


With the new Kylie album what can fans expect for her 11th studio outing?

I anticipate it will be her strongest album to date judging by what I have heard and the people she is working with.


And with Elouise? She taps into a stream of singers and music where we’ve witnessed and head the performer convey their tears, and heartbreak, under the spotlight. Is this what you’re trying to achieve?


I grew up listening to the most incredible palette of music so its not really any surprise that I have turned out like this. My dad would be playing Otis Redding, Dusty Springfield and Julie London and my mum would be taking me to see musicals so I have always been quite eclectic and have a tendency to adore big sounding records and will forever be in love with the sound of an orchestra and lucky enough to work with them a lot.



A few weeks ago I ‘chatted' with Kylie about doing an intimate show that would include some rarities (Like That’s why they write Love Songs and Flower), and reworked classics. I recently saw the Spanish singer Monica Naranjo in Madrid with just her, a full chorus, orchestra and the all important composer. This was a total change from her massive showgirl-like concerts. She simply stripped it all away but with that massive orchestra…she brought out all that emotion and drama contained in the originals….and perhaps increased the drama. Would you consider doing this with Kylie and how’d ya go about it?

Of course - we talk about this a lot but its about finding exactly the right time and place to do things like this whether it be stripped down and acoustic or a night with an orchestra. All these things get discussed along with the West End musical project - its all about the timing.

Elouise recording album tracks with Steve at Universal

There’s something intimate in your work with all three women. You see and hear that quite amazingly in Kylie (Bittersweet Goodbye, Impossible Princess, Flower, I Believe In You) and Elouise (Another Day). Where do you think this comes from?


I think its just a great connection with the artists that spill over into a friendship and basic trust in each other. Also every song you mention is one that we have loved making and have stayed true from the moment of creating to the final record which means we will never tire of them.

How did Another Day come about and whats it about?

This is more a question for Terry Ronald as its his lyric but basically he and I realised we hadn’t written anything for ages so decided to go in one day and do something , again, that we just loved. Most times you are asked to pitch songs for an artist but we thought lets write a song for an incredible voice in case one happens to cross our paths in the future, lucky for us she did. Its quite common when writing songs for artists that you have to keep the range down as not many people can sing that well.



Other than dramatic torch songs with Elouise, your exploring a rather poptastic sound too. A certain called The Fireman of My Dreams. You’ve described this on Twitter as perhaps the campest thing you’ve ever done. Care to expand?

I said it was definitely up there, remember we did “Copacabana”. I don’t think I really need to expand, its about a fireman.

I remember hearing the original and thinking - “Oh My Elouise!" And then hearing the E.P version in your studio…which is essentially a totally brand new song. You took the song to a brand new level of fabulousness! How’d it all come to be?

I heard the original idea for the song at Stratford Circus and always thought it could be turned into more than just a cabaret skit so Elouise and I got together and created the final version in a very fun studio day.

Where can fans hear this ode to the fireman and his pole?


Well as you know Elouise will be supporting Miss Polly Rae at the Leicester Square Theatre 23-28th February so come along and hear it for yourselves.

And are you planning release it?

There is a very limited edition “Stardust EP” which will be available at the shows containing “Another Day”, “Pretender” and “Fireman Of My Dreams”.

So whats the low down on the other song Pretender? There’s a bit at the end would make Shirley Bassey seethe with jealousy. Elouise truly does reach those mega notes. Whats it like to hear a track like Pretender back and record with Elouise?

I remember with “Another Day” there was already a key change and she asked if we could make it a bigger jump which is unheard of for a singer. I knew we were going to get on famously after that so we added another huge note in “Pretender”. I don’t think anything would make Shirley seethe and her current album with David Arnold is superb but I would love for her to hear the songs to see what she thought.


When do you, Steve Anderson, finish a song…and think-yes, that’s it. Its arrived. Its ready to fly.

I finish something when I can’t hear anything wrong with it anymore, then its done to a point. This of course can change when situations change and all of a sudden there is a budget for an orchestra and choir or I get a great idea to do it in another style.


Whats next for you?

Our commitment to Polly goes way beyond the London shows as we are in it for the long haul so there will be a tour of the UK and then hopefully America, Australia and Europe, We also hope to secure a London residency too. I am also Musical Director for Christophe Willem’s “Cafeine” tour which opens early May in France. I have put together a UK band headed up by Sarah deCourcy and Christophe is such a visionary and a superb pop star so it promises to be a cross between a Kylie and a Madonna show - he is really pulling out the stops and I’m looking forward to doing something very electronic after all the big band. Variety is the spice of life and more so the way to make sure ideas stay fresh. Aside from that there will be more Elouise of course and a few other things I am not allowed to mention including a reason to head back into the West End sooner rather than later......

It seems like very exciting time at Steve Anderson Productions. Do you ever go “ahh-I need to go off to Rio for a bit”.

I am very lucky that everything I say yes to I genuinely love so apart from the odd occasion I prefer to be working as there is so much left to learn.....

***

So here's an Dontstopthepop exclusive for ya! For a limited time you can get discounted tickets for Polly Rae and The All New Hurly Burly Show featuring the special guest Elouise! Just follow this link or click the banner bellow and you'll get your reduced tickets. All you have to do is....for the Tuesday (23) and the Sunday (28th) Feb dates...go to this link and type in "£10teaseoffer" instead of £15.00. Its a limited special offer so get it quick! Come, watch stardust fizzle and sizzle!


All important Links

Ticket Web for tickets (see details above for exclusive discounted tickets)
Polly Rae
Kylie
Elouise
Steve Anderson

19 comments:

Ryan said...

I LOOOOOOOOOOVE ELOUISE!!!!!!!!!!!

Can she come to Canada (ontario) please. She's a darling!

That fireman song is brilliant.

FairyTaleBoy said...

Pretender is AMAZING!

Steve's work on the Kylie NYC album was brilliant.

Thanks for this bobby.

Lance said...

Returning to the West End???

Okay? What? ! A Kylie musical!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!

Oh jeesh! I think i just creamed my handbag. Great interview bobs

I really like the Elouise stuff.

Eric said...

I wont be able to make the Polly Shows. Is there any where else I can get the Elouise ep?

Eric
x

Jamie said...

Oh no. No no no. Kylie didnt reject Fireman Of My Dreams did she? I hope not. I love that track. Elouise sounds amazing.

Nice interview Robpop. Shame you couldn't ask more about the Kylie album. I'd love to know what the album is gonna sound like with RedOne on board.

Jamie
x

Oh...and if you ever get the chance to interview Steve angain can you ask whether Kylie will tour the states again?

AND

whether they've got plans to bring Elouise over here.

Anonymous said...

Nice

Daniel said...

Love Elouise
Love Kylie

Will they be coming to the US this year?

That is all.

JJAveNYC said...

Why the hell is he hooking up with Westlife?

His New York album was stunning.

Elouise seems interesting. Slightly dated. But perhaps thats the point. She'll be really popular with people who buy Barbra Streisand & Susan Boyle albums.

Paul said...

Yay for the Elouise love :) I'm pleased to hear Polly Rae may be touring as it's becoming increasingly difficult for me to get to the London shows (though I'm still trying). You'll have to pick me up a Stardust EP if I don't get there :/

I love Steve's work with men - he bought out the best in RyanDan and Talk Me Down by Westlife/Mark is quite lovely.

Great interview.

Fredrik said...

His credibility takes quite a bashing when he brings up working Westlife. But his work with Elouise, Britney, Kylie, Holly V and that Rent reloaded musical from a few years ago shows he's a British pop staple. He really deserves acclaim from Kylie fans but also the rest of the industry.

Elouise sounds fine but she's no Whitney or Mariah. I don't think she'll be received well in Europe with its need to have new music being all 120 bpm. Its gotta be 120 bpm to have radio play. Still, her voice is one of a kind and it makes her one to watch this year.

The Polly Rae show sounds really interesting. Real risking there. Won't be able to make the show but if its a full residency I might be able to attend any summer shows if the show is still on.

James said...

Thanks.

Robpop said...

Loving the Elouise support. Its very early days yet. If you can come to the Polly Rae show, you'll be able to get a signed cd of the Stardust EP by Elouise. And perhaps meet the girl herself! Not 100% sure about that. But hey come along.

As for Kylie coming to the US...i think the resounding success of last year in the states will, i assume, mean the US/CA will highly likely be on the places to tour whenever she gets out her diary.

Fredrik your reply is intriguing. Thank you for posting it. But I think Elouise is not at all trying to be Whit/Mariah. She's a deep contrast to those divas. She's trying to evoke the the tragedy and beauty of Dusty.

As for her music being to slow...Well, the album isn't done just yet. If you come to her shows you'll she moves a tail feather when she performs her more dancier tracks. Essentially tho you are right. That boy who writes all the Leona hits..Bleeding Love...can't remember his name...Ryan Tedder??? He was saying pretty much the same as you. His recent song with Leona flopped because she didnt promote the track and as its a ballad radio in the states (not europe) failed to pick the song up. So in short, upbeat songs are incredibly important and as 2010 unfolds elouise will be heating up the dancefloor. But more on that in the future.

For all those bringing up Westlife...I'd just like to know whether you've heard the track Steve has worked on. You can't really love pop and have a popsnob attitude like that. Pop is a weird and wonderful sector of music. Its made out of stardust and dreams. And part of that fizzypop is the real & requirement of the "boyband" poster on the bedroom wall. You can't have the the likes of Kylie and Lady GaGa without Westlife.


As for those wanting to see the Polly show...yup, they're seem to be plans to tour in the USA, Europe and extend the run in London. Not sure whether Elouise will be there though but that all depends on schedules. I've seen them share a stage before and it completely works.


Okay and just to clear up something regarding The Fireman of My Dreams. That was never given to Kylie. I've had a few emails and messages from the forums pertaining to this too...its not the case. At all. The Fireman Of My Dreams was written by Elouise, Steve, Francis Goodhand and.....her brother! Its about a certain fireman in elouises life ;-)

Paul....

you...

is...

coming...

to...

Polly.Rae..

end.of.

;-)

Jerome said...

I usually love DSTP. But I am not 100% sure either Elouise or this Polly Rae show will achieve success.

Nothing about Elouise strikes me as being relevant. You can always perform in a classic way (look at the mighty Michael Bublé for instance!) but Elouise seems like nothing more than a Jane McDonald knock-off. I'm sorry Robpop, I know you love her but she needs music that puts her firmly in this year ;-)

Great interview though

Lance said...

Jerome, i think its too early days to judge Elouise so harshly. Personally i think her music is incredibly lush and quite classy. A return to melody and real instruments. And real singing. Not synths. I like that. She might have loads of more contemporary songs that just arn't ready to go on her myspace yet.

Fredrik said...

I agree with Jerome. She's totally out of touch. How can she compete against the likes of Marina, Florence and Robyn? She's out of touch. She needs music that speaks to her generation. Not her grandparents. Its all about demographics.

Its all about the music with Elouise. She has a great voice though.

Same applies to Polly. Is she gonna have music on her myspace?

christina said...

Just flew in here from SayHey

Great blog btw.

Its really interesting how you got some background on Steve Anderson. A lot of writers generally dont give away such stuff.

Also loved the Biff interview. (forgive the lateness!)

Elouise. Love her. She sounds like a classy girl. Will her cd be on sale here in America?

Ray said...

Great interview. With Steve working with Elouise, Polly and Christophe he'll no longer be associated with Kylie as much as he has been in the past?

Robpop said...

Jerome/Frederick...variety is the spice of life right? You've got to have performers that evoke all trends, genres and eras. Elouise has shifted away from electro. So far. If you come to the Polly Rae show you'll see her perform songs that are incredibly upbeat. She's performed on stages where in which she's had the most choreography and the audience is left breathless at her constant dance moves. Please be patient as AS lance suggests...there is more music in the works that is more upbeat.

I do however find Pretender/Another Day incredibly
contemporary. I think Steve and Terry have written songs that manage to have 1 foot in the now whilst strutting in the realm of the classics. The same applies to The Fireman of My Dreams. It manages to be both a tribute to songs like Tears On My Pillow AND yet with Elouises lyrics...seems quite saucy. Its the song Rizzo would have recorded if she was going out with a fireman these days.

There is another song in the works called I Owe You Nothing. That one is a bit different. Has some Spanish influences in there. So keep your eyes/ears close....much is ahappening in ElouseWorld at the moment.

As for Polly having music on her myspace.......not sure...should do really! (I hope so).

Also fred...u can't have singers like "marina, Florence and robyn" as people would be just like "er...we've got robyn...why another". Although people do like sameness, I suppose. And if so, thats what I think so cool about Elouise. She's not doing what has already been wonderfully established
by the likes of Robyn and Marina. The trick is to be original ;-)

Ray: I think Steve is still working with Kylie. Just cuz he's working with Chris, Elouise+Polly...shouldn't be read that he's moving away from Kylie :-) Producers/songwriters work with loads of people.

Christina: thank you!!! Glad you like the interviews. Will her cd be on sale in the USA? Hmmmm. Maybe! We shall see...

Ray said...

I *LOVE* Elouise! I don't know what Fred is on about!!!! Its nice to hear a new singer come out with material that ISNT following the current synthpop trend. Which is over saturated at the moment.

Gonna make it to this Polly thing! Yes! Booked my tickets today. Steve is such a masterful agent of music. Did that make any sense? But you know what I mean? He makes old Kylie classics listenable and gives them a new lease of live in the arena setting. If you hear her live performances when Steve is not on board you can clearly notice the difference. He just has a way with music. He knows the ins and outs of popular music.