We speak to M People lead singer ahead of Sandance gig
Looking forward to Sandance, Heather? The last beach party I was at was in Bali and it was just so much fun. There’s nothing like singing outside – you wouldn’t be walking down the street singing but you can at a beach party and it doesn’t get better than that. We played at sunset at Glastonbury and it was just a magical moment – something I’ll never forget.
Is this your first time in Dubai?
I did a private show awhile back and a member of the royal family was there, I was just treated so well. When I got invited to come back and sing in the sunshine I just couldn’t say no. I’ve got a friend who owns the club Velvet Underground so I came over for the opening of that in December. It’s like any other place – there’s a lot of expats who’ve forgotten what home is.
What can we expect from your set – it’s co-billed between M People and you as a soloist?
It will definitely be a team effort. We’re all coming over and it will be a set of crowd pleasers.
So you’re properly reformed? There was no time we ever said it was done, we all just needed a break. Now we’re thinking if it’s some fun; we’ll do it. We get on very, very well, like family, but we don’t have to see and do everything (anymore) – it’s just become very comfortable. We had our time and it was great.
Any chance of a new album? A new record is a major initiative and as a singer I’ve always loved just getting out there. We wouldn’t want to detract from what we did – we’re not out there on a day-to-day basis, and I wouldn’t want to do anything I wouldn’t enjoy.
Are you saying you’ve moved on or the world’s moved on? The world always turned. It’s not that we’ve been left behind, but it’s somewhere else to the scene we were.
There’s no new album – but five best-of compilations. Was that you guys or the record company? They do come to you and they say ‘there will be a new generation of people out there to hear it’, and you want as many people as possible to hear your music. You want to be able to make the choice. It depends on how much time has passed.
How did you get involved in UK reality TV show Strictly Come Dancing? They asked me to do it several times and I always said no, but then my sister was ill and she’s a major fan and she said ‘if they ask you again, do it for me’. She got better and then they asked me so I had to it. I enjoyed dancing every day. What wasn’t fantastic was being judged live on TV on a Saturday night. I’m not a slouch, I like to keep fit, but that was something else! M People play at Sandance on Friday March 9, with Snow Patrol, Erik Morillo and Calvin Harris. Dhs250 (VIP sold out). 2pm-2am. Atlantis, The Palm Jumeirah. Click here for tickets. www.timeouttickets.com