AN INTERVIEW With Nerina Pallot feels like a chat with your best friend. We chat about stars’ relationships, (“Jennifer Aniston is a complete failure”), celebrities, (“Everyone wants to see a pic of Cheryl Cole looking fat”), writing hits for Kylie, and, of course, her new album Year Of The Wolf, produced by Suede’s Bernard Butler.
She is passionate about music and likens a good pop song to three and a half minutes of mind-blowing sex.
So, naturally, the first question that I ask my new bestie is, “What are the best 210 seconds of intense lust you’ve ever had?”
âI can’t possibly tell you that!” she cackles. “A lady never tells! Oh my God, no! Let’s just say I’m fortunate to have had more than three and a half minutes of good sex in my life.”
British singer Nerina, 36, grew up in Jersey and started making music over ten years ago, encouraged by her jazz singer mum. During that time she released critically acclaimed debut album Dear Frustrated Superstar, and second, self-financed album Fires. Her new release Year Of The Wolf, produced by Bernard Butler, is a euphoric collection of perfect pop songs, lead by shimmery single Put Your Hands Up.
âIt’s really embarrassing, I don’t own a single Suede album and I didn’t know who Bernard was based on Suede. (I loved âThe Sound of McAlmont & Butler,ââ she has previously admitted).
“When Britpop was happening, I was totally into Jamiroquai and I was a soul girl. I think I only bought a Blur album when Beetlebum came out. I missed the whole thing completely.”
She is now married (to record producer Andy Chatterley), following a whirlwind romance (he proposed after only 30 minutes), but Nerina is savvy when it comes to the ideals that are pressed onto women everyday, insisting it only works with her husband as she is fulfilled herself.
âI hate the way that it’s still peddled to women that the only way you’ll find your self-worth is based on a bloke,” she says emphatically.
âI’d like to see women be given something other than marriage as the ultimate cherry on the cake. I think people look at their relationships and find them wanting, as they don’t look like what they’re told it should be from a movie with Jennifer Aniston in it. That’s not real life. And for God’s sake, Jennifer Aniston can’t find a man and keep him, so why are we looking to people like that, she’s a complete failure!
It’s this deliciously down-to-earth honesty that makes Nerina such a great girl to interview.
Butler isn’t the only famous name that Pallot has rubbed shoulders with. Nerina has penned tracks for Diana Vickers and Kylie (Better Than Today and Aphrodite).
So, working with Ms. Minogue must have been exciting? âYes, it was good fun. She’s lovely. She’s really cool.
Now Pallot’s own brand of chilled-out pop, influenced by Kate Bush and Joni Mitchell is causing a stir once again, but Pallot feels her peers have left some of the mystery behind.
She exclaims, âRihanna wants to whip you with her chains!
“Romance has left pop music. Everybody’s about getting their cock out, now, on the dance floor! Very soon we’ll have pop videos where they’ll go, ‘well, there’s a watershed, so Rihanna will get her tits out now’. There’s no flirtiness, it’s all in your face.â
And carries on: âI think celebs are hilarious, it’s really funny. If you take it really seriously, then you’ve got a problem. I think it exists as a human zoo. It’s there to make us all feel better, that’s what it’s there for. Everyone wants to see a picture of Cheryl Cole looking fat for an afternoon. That would make me feel much better.”
Surely for someone who has been producing credible music for as long as she has, there must have been times when Nerina felt like ditching the fickle music industry.
âI thought about giving up loads of times, as it’s really tough and really precarious. I got frustrated at times watching friends of mine get good jobs, and I was as capable as they were, but I’d chosen to do something that was a labour of love.
“So, lots of my friends were buying houses and I was still renting a room, and it’s quite frustrating. The flip side is that I’ve persevered and I do love what I do and I’ve started to make a decent living from it so actually it’s paid off. I never moan about what I do, I hear my friend moaning, ‘I’ve got to go to work’.
“I never look at what I do as work and I really like that. I’m lucky.â