Singer Alison Moyet was first thrust into the spotlight in the 80s with Yazoo. She talks to Sarah Probert about her proudest moment and why she is a reluctant celebrity.
“I don’t want to be a celebrity,” declares a rather determined Alison Moyet.
The international singing star has snubbed numerous requests to appear on reality TV shows and it was these ruthless rejections which she claims nearly prevented her from releasing her latest album.
The TV offers had attracted the attention of a record company, keen to use them as marketing opportunities.
“I empathise with what remains of the record industry – it is not easy to get a record out for someone at this stage of my career but they really missed the point,” she explains.
“It is not going to sell more records just because more people might recognise me on the street.”
She claimed her decision to knock back any offers resulted in a record deal falling through last year.
But Moyet is a fighter and refused to let it get her down.
“I appear to have forfeited my recording deal because I won’t do reality TV,” she declared on social networking site Twitter, adding: “No one needs to make an album that badly. Tea anyone?”
Despite the setback, Moyet’s tenacity and determination meant she went on to produce the album without a record company, working with musician and producer Guy Sigsworth,
With the finished product in hand, they took it to a number of record labels and were soon taken on by Cooking Vinyl.
The result is The Minutes, released earlier this month, which blends that old Yazoo sound with more experimental electro pop.
It is that electronic sound which the 51-year-old will be bringing to audiences on her UK tour in October.
“It is going to be more about those more constructed pop and prog-pop moments than my more recent tours, which have been blues influenced,” she explains.
Moyet has had a few battles in her career and her proudest moment was borne out of disagreements she had with a previous record company
“I made an album and then the record company wouldn’t release the album or me from their contract,” she explains.
So while the row continued, Moyet thrust herself onto the West End stage, playing Mama Morton in Chicago.
“Part of me didn’t like musicals but that was a trigger sometimes as I love to do things that scare me a bit.
“I had a brilliant time.”
Moyet was eventually released from her record contract and went on to bring out her album Hometime.
“For me, my proudest moments is when I have pushed for something against the wind and ended up being well received,” she says.
“I finally managed to get Hometime out and it was one of the best records I had done, so it was a really joyous moment.”
Despite her enthusiasm and those unmistakable booming, bluesy vocals, Moyet hasn’t always found her career an easy ride.
During her years with Vince Clarke in Yazoo, she admits to finding being on the road a lonely experience and would often snub big celeb parties.
“Vince and I weren’t really connected with each other so when things were going really well I had no one to bounce ideas off and when things weren’t going so well, there wasn’t really anyone to talk to about it,” she explains.
“When we reunited in 2008 and we had overcome our differences, it was a lot easier.”
When asked if she keeps in touch with any other stars from her early years in the 80s, she adds: “I never did that professional networking. I just used to shut myself away.”
And with all the accolades Moyet has received over the years, it was perhaps a shock to some fans that she recently took a sledgehammer to all of her gold discs.
A dramatic act she says was to do with downsizing.
“They really are these large hideous, ugly things painted gold and mounted on plastic with a bit of sticky tape,” she says.
“They were never in any great shape. Some people may be horrified by that but if you adorn a wall with these monstrosities, people think you are a knob.
“I don’t want to be disingenuous I was very thankful about receiving them, I just don’t need the physical evidence of it. For me it is about making a record, once it is done and is in someone else’s domain, I don’t dwell on it. Some people think you sit around listening to your own records but you don’t.”
However, in her mission to de-clutter, Moyet hasn’t entirely emptied her home of awards.
She has kept her Brit awards – and a 500 metre swimming badge.
“With these things I do get dewy eyed about,” she says of the swimming badge. “Especially when it was an award for doing something, especially as I flunked school. To me these sorts of things, like degrees and things, are more important than awards which show how much money you have made.”
* The Minutes is out now. Alison Moyet performs at Warwick Arts Centre on October 10 (024 7652 4524) and Birmingham Symphony Hall on October 28 (0121 345 0600).