Born Florian Cloud de Bounevialle Armstrong, on the 25th of December 1971, in England, "Dido" is the sister of Faithless mastermind and leading UK dance music producer, Rollo. She sang "Flowerstand Man" on Faithless' 1996 debut, Reverence and contributed backing vocals to several other tracks, while maintaining a day job in a London office and studying for a law degree part-time. Like her peer, Sonique, Dido's first solo successes were here in the USA, rather than her native UK. Musically gifted from an early age, Dido (named after the Queen of Carthage) attended London's Guildhall School of Music and played recorder, piano and violin by the age of 10.
Having not heard a lot from her recently, I first wondered just what she'd been up to? "I stopped touring last May and I've been making a new record, 'Life For Rent'."
Tell us more about the new single, 'White Flag' "It's about unrequited love. Loving someone but not being able to tell them as it would get very messy if you did."
Is it based on personal experience? "All of my songs have bits of personal experience but there's also a heavy dose of imagination."
How is your new music different to the stuff we've heard before? "I've no idea. They're new songs! It's definitely a different album but the principles are still the same. It's still songs that I write on guitar and piano and they're produced in a way that makes me feel good when I put them on in my car. It's that simple."
No Angel was absolutely huge. Was there a lot of pressure to follow up with something as good, if not better? "I think there's always pressure to become a better artist, singer, producer. But I think that's half the fun of it. It's limitless. I didn't feel an enormous pressure because of what happened, I felt pressure because I wanted to make a really good second album."
How easy or difficult was it working with your brother? "It was really great. We've really settled into how we work together and there's equality and balance there. We fight sometimes but most of the time we don't."
What's interesting is that you're extremely successful but not really famous. Do you consider yourself a pop star?" "I suppose I do but in my own sort of way. I definitely consider myself a musician and singer. I totally live music the whole time. Always thinking about new songs but I don't go to celebrity parties and fall out of nightclubs. It's just not my cup of tea. I just think fame is too hard to get rid of. It's like a bad tattoo. I don't want it. I don't do it."
How did you feel when 'Stan' got to No.1 in most of Europe?! "It was amazing. It was fantastic. I loved being part of that track. I remember when my album went to No.1 because, oddly enough, I was sitting in a hotel chatting with Eminem as we'd just bumped into each other. He was so sweet. They all jumped on me in the lift and gave me a big hug!"
Interviewed by Frank Wilson for Exclusive Magazine
Back To Archives