Dido has given Music Week the lowdown on her "simple and moving" first album in six years, Still On My Mind.
The record is the follow-up to 2013's Girl Who Got Away and was made in collaboration with the singer's brother, producer and songwriting partner, Faithless star Rollo Armstrong. It is released via BMG on March 8.
“It was almost an extension of Rollo and I hanging out with each other, back to how it used to be," said Dido, speaking in the latest issue of Music Week. "I called him a couple of years ago and said, ‘I’ve got all these songs, but I only want to make a record if I do it with you. No one’s waiting for this record, no one’s expecting it and I just want to have fun doing it the way I want’.
"I wanted it to be simple and moving, and to reference the sounds I love – electronic, dance, hip-hop, and folk – and Rollo was totally up for that. [Faithless’] Sister Bliss played keyboards and I was also writing with Rick [Nowels], who I wrote White Flag with, so it’s been like a friends and family excursion.”
The singer has begun to make an impression on streaming platforms – her 2003 hit White Flag has been played more than 104.5 million times on Spotify, while Thank You (79.7m) and Here With Me (43.7m) have also fared well. Streams of Still On My Mind teaser tracks Hurricanes and Friends have also both topped one million.
I wanted it to be simple and moving, and to reference the sounds I love
“I love the freedom now you’re not confined to certain structures," she said of the new landscape. "You’re not completely reliant on record companies deciding, you’re not reliant on radio deciding and I think that’s great – you get real freedom from that as an artist. I absolutely love that I can write a song tonight and then put it out if I wanted to."
Dido's 1999 debut No Angel (released in 2001 in the UK) was the UK's second biggest-selling album of the 2000s. It has sold 3,096,728 copies to date according to the Official Charts Company and spawned the Top 5 singles Here With Me and Thank You, the latter of which was famously sampled on Eminem's Stan.
“If anyone said they knew what was going to happen with that album they’d be lying – nobody expected that, at all," she said. "But there were moments that changed things for me and that’s the amazing thing about music.”
Click here to read the full Music Week cover story on Dido, which also features interviews with her manager Craig Logan and BMG's Alistair Norbury. Dido talks us through her four previous studio LPs here. To get your hands on our special Dido issue, please e-mail Rachael Hampton on firstname.lastname@example.org.