Wadge co-wrote A Northern Soul, which is released tomorrow (November 2) via East West Records.
“It starts and ends with Sheridan, she’s an incredibly open person and performer," said Wadge, speaking in the current issue of Music Week. "My point of view was that, if I was going to do it, I wanted to try and write as close to what Sheridan would think and say as possible. My only way of doing that was by literally taking her words and stories – the whole record started with honesty.”
Smith's profile rocketed on the back of her acclaimed turns in Mrs Biggs and, most famously, as Cilla Black in the TV miniseries Cilla. She has also enjoyed West End success in productions such as Legally Blonde, Flare Path and Funny Girl.
The 37-year-old's gold-selling 2017 debut LP, Sheridan, comprised show tunes and cover versions, whereas A Northern Soul is a collection of original songs.
"Sheridan probably knows who she is a lot more than most people," added Wadge, co-writer of the Ed Sheeran smash, Thinking Out Loud. "I’m 42 and there’s an element of my job where I feel – in the UK particularly – I’m trying really hard to be cool in an industry where I’m like a dinosaur. So to have a project like this come along about something sincere, with a woman who wants to talk about real issues, was a bit of a gift.
"It made so much sense for me to do this album that I didn’t even give it a second thought. There are much bigger artists that haven’t done the kind of sales Sheridan did on her first record. So even just to be mercenary about it, it’s always going to be a good thing to be with someone who’s had some success.”
Subscribers can click here to read the full Music Week cover story featuring Wadge, Smith and East West's Dan Chalmers.