Dream girl

Round & About

Liz Nicholls asks soul singer Gabrielle (AKA Louisa Gabrielle Bobb) about life and work ahead of her performance at Blenheim Palace on Thursday, 20th June.

Q. Hello! How do you feel about turning 50 this year? “I can’t wait! To reach 50 is exciting, a real celebration. I’m embracing getting older – some people sadly don’t even make it to 50 so I can only be thankful I’m still here, loving life.”

Q. Are you sick of being asked about your ptosis, which is why you cover your eye? “Not really. After 25 years I still get asked about it so I have to accept I always will. I don’t mind explaining why I cover my eye, it’s personal choice and how I feel comfortable. Each to their own I say!”

Q. Are you super-healthy and how do you relax? “I’m so not healthy, which isn’t good. I love Haribo and all things sweet. When I’m relaxing I love a good box set on Netflix or a sci-fi novel.”

Q. What’s the greatest lesson motherhood has taught you? “That you don’t stop being a taxi.”

Q. How do you feel about the critical acclaim Under My Skin has earned? “The way my new album’s been received has been phenomenal. When you write songs and haven’t released new music in a while you don’t know if you still can. I made an album I love and am proud of so people telling me they love it too is an amazing feeling. I can’t wait to perform songs old and new at Nocturne Live.”

Q. What advice would you give to any budding musicians? “Stay true to yourself, do what makes you happy and follow your instincts.”

Q. Are there any rising stars you think deserve to be huge? “I think Lady Leshur is amazing and I’m sure will be a huge star very soon.”

Q. What format do you most like to listen to music on? “I still buy CDs, mainly in the supermarket. I like physical copies, I never stream anything, I’m old-fashioned like that. My daughter has a record player and I actually loved listening to my new album on it as it came out on vinyl. It’s lovely to hold and play, I should get more really.”

Q. What’s your favourite live show so far? “It has to be performing for Nelson Mandela at the Brighton Centre in 2000. He told me afterwards he wanted to get up and dance. I’ll never forget that and will harp on about it forever!”

Q. What’s on your horizon? “I’d love to go to Nashville to write songs, I’ve done elements of country before in my music but to actually go there and be in the history of the place would be amazing, one of my ambitions for sure.”

Q. Who is your dream party guest? “George Michael, I loved him growing up as an artist and think he was amazing. He sent me flowers and champagne when Rise went to number 1 and I never got to say thank you. I’d like to hang out.”

Q. What would you wish for if you had the power? “I know it’s obvious but how can I not say peace?”

  Gabrielle will perform at Blenheim Palace’s Nocturne Live series, 20th – 23rd June, alongside Gladys Knight and Disco Classical plus Sister Sledge ft Kathy Sledge. www.nocturnelive.com