She's the beautiful Welsh songbird who escaped a 1960s time capsule. Introducing our sizzling February cover star, Duffy
She’s the beautiful Welsh songbird who escaped a 1960s time capsule. Introducing our sizzling February cover star, Duffy.
We caught up with the smouldering songstress to talk about her connection with idol Dusty Springfield, her million-selling album, and how she could walk away from music at any time…
‘I remember signing a big record deal and being in a cafe by myself, weighing up what it really meant,’ she recalls of her first venture into music. ‘I hadn’t written Mercy at this time. One of the cons was the fact that my life became part of the record. The person you see.’
Rockferry became the best-selling UK album of 2008, go on to sell 6 million copies worldwide and earn her three Brits.
Yet her enduring memory of that time is of hearing the album title track being played by Jo Whiley before disappearing without trace after failing to break into the top 100.
‘You know,’ she confides, folding her arms round her 5ft-nothing frame, ‘at any given time I can walk away. It’s not a problem. It can be easily arranged.
‘If people don’t want this, then I’m cool with that. I do it for others. I don’t do it for myself. If people don’t want the records, it’s OK – it’s no problemo. I don’t take it personally. I’m here to serve.
‘If I did this for myself, I’d stay at home. I’d sing in the shower. I’d eat cake and walk my dogs, and work as a waitress.’
There’s no doubting the connection she feels with Dusty Springfield; it’s a bond that extends beyond the late singer’s music. Duffy cheerily reveals how she often shares ‘tea and biscuits’ with Springfield’s old friends in Henley.
‘They talk to me as though I was there [in the 1960s]. I was born in 1984. They rang me and said, “You are very – similar to her – you know that, don’t you? There’s something about you.”
And where does she see herself in 20 years time? ‘Where I want to be and where I think I’ll be are very different things. The way history would have it is that I would end up in some form of tragic event.
‘The people that I’ve loved – Dusty, Marvin, Edith Piaf – they didn’t always have happy stories. That’s the way history would have it.
The way I want it? I don’t know.’ She’s talking as if there’s a bargain to be made for her success and talent. ‘I take every day as it comes. You’re at the mercy of life.’
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Read the full interview with Duffy in Marie Claire’s February issue, on sale tomorrow.