■ The singer, 37, on waiting too long for kids, having to cater to men’s egos and why the moon landing was so important
What can people expect from your comeback album, Roll With Me?
It’s going to make people want to move. The album is about being free to be who you are. It explores things like making a relationship last while not losing your sense of self. Sometimes you have to compromise, sometimes you don’t.
What was the last thing you compromised on?
Sleep. My son is 18 months. He’s a delight. He really likes people — when we’re on aeroplanes he wants to say hello to every single person. He’s a joy but he doesn’t sleep through the night. And he climbs on everything.
How has motherhood changed you?
I’m more effective with my time. I feel I was always a mum but didn’t know it — I look after everyone, my family and people in my band. I should have had a kid earlier as it feels very natural. It’s enhanced my songwriting and made me more connected with myself and my creative energy.
Does that mean you want more quite quickly?
I found pregnancy really hard so I’m not rushing into having another one just now.
What was it like working with songwriter-to-the-stars Linda Perry on the album?
I love collaborations. Linda is very good at making a whole vision come together. I’ve always worked with a number of producers, which is great for radio songs, but with this I wanted one producer to do the whole album. Linda is an unapologetically strong woman and I love that. It was inspiring for me. Quite often as a woman in the music industry you have to cater to men’s egos.
You have to sandwich a critique in compliments, such as, ‘You’re an amazing producer, this is incredible but can we change this one little thing but you are amazing.’ But as a British person coming to America you find they don’t apologise as much. They’re very persuasive. In Britain we’ll say, ‘Do you want to come to this event with me? You don’t have to. You can say no.’ My husband [Matt Robinson] always laughs at that and says, ‘You can say yes.’ When we first started dating, it was intense very quickly. We were together all the time for the first month. It freaked me out a bit and I said I wanted a break. He said, ‘No, no break. Only together or break up.’ I was like ‘OK, then I guess we’re not taking a break.’ I quite liked it. It was a manly thing. We’ve been married for over ten years.
Why’s it been nine years since your last album?
It takes so much energy to get music out. I was the first of the British invasion — I was the first British female to get a No.1 in the US for a long time. People were saying Robbie Williams and Kylie Minogue had tried and it wasn’t possible. You have to throw yourself in. I did six months of going to three cities each day, singing at radio stations. It was incredible to have so much success but it’s a lot of work. And as a songwriter you need to live life. I’ve spent nine years writing.
What happened to the album that was supposed to come out five years ago?
There were a lot of changes and internal politics at the record label. It happens a lot. You write an album for your fans but the label has other ideas about who you are and decides whether it wants to release it. I’m on an independent label now. You can be much more flexible.
What were the highlights of your initial success?
It was all very exciting. Doing the big summer concert in Hyde Park, walking into a room and people knowing who you are without introducing yourself and doing Top Of The Pops. People were surprised I didn’t lip-sync on Top Of The Pops. At the time a lot of other solo females lip-synced as they were also dancing and I’m not a dancer. It was crazy. One day I was completely unknown then I went on Top Of The Pops and was No.1 the next week.
What were you up to at Nasa recently?
I sang at the Kennedy Space Centre for the 50th anniversary of the moon landings. I sang Fly Me To The Moon with an orchestra. Herbie Hancock was there and talked about the political atmosphere in the world now and was saying the world was also having problems when the moon landing happened — and it became a symbol that anything is possible. The whole world watched something happen all at the same time. We need to find ways to all come together again now.
Do you believe Earth has been visited by aliens?
I don’t know. I don’t discount it — anything is possible but I’m not a big alien person. I like the idea that something could be out there but I also like the idea that fairies might exist.
Bedingfield’s single Roller Skate and album Roll With Me are out now