Let's start with your stint at Chrysalis Records in the early 90s. Songs like "Get It Up For Love" and "If You Want" are 90s pop gems. Do you have happy memories from that period?
Yes, of course. This was my very first Record deal so it was all very new and exciting at the time. I moved to Battersea and lived alone for this period so parties and naughtiness came hand in hand. Happy days!!!
Tell us more about your debut album. "One More River" is the only ballad I've ever heard you sing. I love it and the video defies belief. What do you make of the choir in the clouds now?
I was 18 and very green about the whole music business so I was over the moon to get to do my first album with Anne Dudley of Art of Noise and got to co-write the album and the music with Anna Lee. Also getting to work with Danny D was utter fabulousness. The video for "One More River" was an amazing experience being up in those clouds. I can remember the feeling to this day. The set was just beautiful... the angels and heavens came down to earth that day to be in my video!
The next step in your incredibly diverse career was joining girlband Crush. I guess they are best remembered for "Jellyhead". Did you actually sing on that record?
Well they asked me if I wanted to go on tour in America with Donna Air from Crush, so I said 'hell yeah'. It was laugh a minute with Donna, she's a riot girrrrl. I didn't sing on that single but I recorded songs for the album.
You completely reinvented yourself as a rock chick with the band Shooter. "Life's A Bitch" is such an anthem, would you consider doing more rock in the future?
I love the Shooter album so much. I'm so proud of what we achieved. I never say never to anything so who knows. I am always writing not just for myself but for other artists so yes to more rock!!! The important thing is to continue to write good songs, whatever the style.
The next step was forming Portobella. "Covered In Punk" got so much hype - Did you think you'd finally found your niche? Is the group over or just on hold?
Wow! Good question. I think this album was my first step into a more electro sound being that it was done with Michael Gray and Nick Clow. He wanted to do more song based stuff and I wanted to explore the dance world so it was a perfect meeting of minds. Again, I'm so very proud of this album. We got dropped from Island soon after so the album never really got to where it should have, but, this is the music business. It is what it is. The band disbanded and we moved on. I still write with Michael Gray on other projects.
Your big breakthrough was "Yeah Yeah" with Bodyrox. Did you think then that it would turn you into such a dance phenomenon?
Not at all. You never know what will happen and this song came out of nowhere. I was stunned. Amazed. Gobsmacked. And of course, so happy. If you think I'd had 3 records deals and this particular song was the song that got to number 2..... I think the lesson I learnt here was to always remain flexible and open because you never know what's around the corner!! From this, Bodyrox and myself have just finished an album due for release in September.
"Bigger Than Big", "Party Animal", "I Wish You Would", "What Planet You On" - all amazing dance collaborations. Do you have a favourite?
I think one of my favs is "I Wish You Would" because that's my Ode to Jackie Stallone. It's the reason I'm singing in that American accent in the verses. Do you remember when she went on Big Brother? My friends and I spoke 'Jackie' for a week. The week I recorded "I Wish You Would"... isn't life funny!
Taio Cruz's "Come On Girl" was massive and you got to kiss a hot cop in the video. Result! Wouldn't it have been more fun to pash Taio?
What does pash mean??? I'm confuzzled! He is adorable and very talented. I had mucho fun shooting that vid in LA.
Pash = kiss! "Featuring Luciana" compiles many of your collaborations with different acts. Do you think you'll ever release another album in your own name?
Well, funnily enough, I got re-signed to Island Records and recorded an album for myself. If you go to my Myspace you'll hear the songs. For me, this album is the pinnacle of what I am as a songwriter and artist. We did a gig at Hoxton Square, The Underbelly and it went down really well. The funny thing is, I've now been released from Island Records (I asked to be let go this time because it was clear that they really didn't know what to do with me ...the story of my life with record companies!!!) so here I was, with this great album, with no record company. What am I gonna do with these songs? It was then I decided to just do a gig!!! Just for me to sing my songs. Simple. No pressure, just sing. I had a ball... now we are finding a way to release them ourselves via myspace/iTunes. So they should be available soon. It's actually very freeing not being in a deal, just doing it yourself with your team around you. Without my team all these things wouldn't happen.
Your latest anthem "I Like That" is another corker. How did it come about?
My old manager Clive Black hooked us up with Dennis White. Dennis already had the groove and I came up with the lyric/melody. This is one of my favourite songs since "Yeah Yeah". It's so raw I can taste the club dirt!
The video is amazing. Who came up with the concept?
We, my team, Stephen and David Burgoyne storyboarded this video, hired a camcorder and shot throughout the day in different locations in London. Because Dennis and Richard are based in LA they wanted something intrinsically London. Also the idea was to make it Warholian in post production. Which is what they did. I love this video. It's so very simple and impactful. In fact, Shena (of the "Weekend" track) saw the video and want us to do one for her!! Fabulous.
I featured "I Like That" on my Pop Panel and some of the judges criticised it for being "more of the same". How do you respond? Do you worry about being typecast as "the hot chick that features on great dance tracks"?
I think the main is thing is if I like it, then I'm happy! If some people dont, then that's cool. You can't please everyone so just please yourself!
In the past you've mentioned submitting tracks for Kylie's "X" album. Did she demo any of them?
At one point we had Kylie pencilled in to come in the studio which is in our house. That was funny! Didn't happen in the end. The tracks we did got down to the last 3 for her album but never came to fruition in the end. Like I said before, it is what is. You write the songs then you have to just let them go and hope something happens... otherwise this industry can eat you up... and because I work in it, you have to adapt to the fact that it's very up and down and things don't awlays go the way you'd want/expect. So don't expect... just write, write, write... then write some more!!!
What's next for Luciana? Can I suggest "One More River 2009"?
I love the fact that you love that song!!! What's next??? Bodyrox album, releasing of my own material and this bacon sandwich I'm about to eat! Oh, Bodyrox is coming to tour Oz soon at festivals so watch out!!! Thanks Mike xxx