Soundtrack Of My Life: Charlotte Church

Charlotte Church

The first song I remember hearing

Black Box – ‘Ride on Time’

“When I was about three, I started going to a nursery. And apparently the first time my parents realised I was musical is when we’d come home with the radio on and I’d very quickly be able to sing every word to every song. My mum was like ‘that’s weird!’ I could just pick it up by ear.”

The first song I fell in love with

Shakespears Sister – ‘Stay’

“I had this song on a compilation album and it made such a big impact on me – I must have been about seven at the time. It was just so unusual: there’s a real darkness that comes in, and it all just sounds so exotic. I still fucking love this song now.”

The first album I bought

Peter Andre – ‘Natural’

“I remember buying this album on CD. And I can also remember seeing him at the Smash Hits Poll Winners Party with his six-pack and black leather trousers. I had a singing exam the next day, so my auntie bought me a whistle to stop me from screaming and ruining my voice. But because all the other kids were screaming, obviously I had to scream too. And so I lost my voice for my second exam, but I think I still managed to pass it.”

The song that makes me want to dance

Bee Gees – ‘Stayin’ Alive’

“I could say anything by Kaytranada, but I’m going to pick ‘Stayin’ Alive’ because it’s such a fucking banger, it’s insane. No matter how many times I hear it – and in whatever context – when you actually tune in to what’s going on musically, it’s like ‘wow’. Like, the crunch and the space and the drums and the bassline, it’s all just so delicious. This song is just dripping in movement.”

The song that always goes off at my Pop Dungeon gigs

Robyn – ‘With Every Heartbeat’

“There’s actually two, and they go off in different ways. ‘With Every Heartbeat’ has everyone holding each other and crying their eyes out – every single time. And then ‘Killing In The Name’ by Rage Against The Machine goes off because it’s so political and moving: it’s really to the point and really anti-establishment. And then when we come in with ‘Independent Women Part I’ by Destiny’s Child, people are like ‘whaaaaaat?!'”

The song I wish I’d written

Nat King Cole – ‘Nature Boy’

“It’s one of the most magical songs I’ve ever heard. It was written by a hermit [eden ahbez] who lived in a cave in LA, and then he waited backstage after a Nat King Cole [gig] to sing it to him. So it’s already got this great mythic backstory, but then the song itself is just completely spell-like. That last line – ‘The greatest thing you’ll ever learn/Is just to love and be loved in return’ – that’s it right? That’s life. Lush.”

The song I can’t get out of my head

Jazmine Sullivan – ‘Lost One’

“She’s just an incredible singer. Sometimes she’ll deliver a lyric almost like a teenage boy, but then she blows and does these incredibly fast runs and stuff. And lyrically, this song is really visceral and interesting and complex. I absolutely love it.”

The song I do at karaoke

Alannah Myles – ‘Black Velvet’

“When I do find myself at karaoke, this song is my go-to, because I know that I can slay it no matter how drunk I am. We actually used to do it at Pop Dungeon as a mash-up with ‘Strict Machine’ by Goldfrapp, which was fucking awesome. If I’m feeling a bit more experimental at karaoke, I’ll do ‘Bills, Bills, Bills’ by Destiny’s Child, which is really difficult for me to sing. Not only are Beyoncé‘s vocal runs insane, but a lot of it is really fast rap-singing which I’m fucking terrible at. So if I’m trolleyed, it’s a nightmare.”

The song I want played at my funeral

Talking Heads – ‘Once In A Lifetime’

“Oh, it’s got to be ‘Once In A Lifetime’ without a shadow of a doubt. Much like ‘Nature Boy’, this song is a spell: it’s much deeper than it first appears and really interpretable. I actually think that it’s a fucking divine, sacred song.”

Charlotte Church’s final Late Night Pop Dungeon tour begins December 3 at The Clapham Grand in London. It then goes to Leeds, Manchester, Bristol and Cardiff

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