INTERVIEW: Nicki French: Teardrops, panto, Eurovision and me

Nicki French is bowled over by the love shown to her new single Teardrops (On The Disco Floor), which is a slice of 70s Donna Summer, penned by a Eurovision-winning lyricist that is shaping up to be one of the hits of the season.

  • Read on for reasons including how her new album is progressing and which of her hits Nicki will be performing in panto 

‘I knew I definitely wanted it as soon as I heard it,’ Nicki tells us. ‘It left me with a smile on my face. I love singing it because it’s uplifting and so much fun. It reminds me of one of those good old-fashioned Donna Summer numbers from the 70s.’

Nicki’s taking her time with the album, currently has six or seven songs she loves and is waiting until she’s found more than 10 that work. It’s likely to be released early next year and will include more collaborations like Teardrops with Eurovision-winning lyricist Charlie Mason who penned Rise Like A Phoenix for Conchita.

But it wasn’t all plain sailing in the gap between finding the song and releasing it. ‘When I heard the new Steps album was called Tears On The Dancefloor earlier this year I worried that they’d got our song but luckily that wasn’t the case.’

But it’s not just a new single that Nicki has to thrill her fans. In December she plays 42 shows in Barnstaple, Devon, when she stars as the Wicked Witch in Beauty and The Beast. Tickets

‘I love playing the wicked characters, they’re so much more interesting. I’m really looking forward to it. They’ve managed to get Total Eclipse Of the Heart in there for me to sing and I think there’ll probably be one more track from the album in there.’

After Total became a worldwide smash in the 90s, Nicki was taken to her hearts by Eurovision fans when she competed in Stockholm 17 years ago.

She says: ‘I’d love to do it again. My happiest memory of representing the UK in 2000 was probably winning A Song For Europe. There was just so much support from the fans, it was an amazing experience and I was very proud.

‘I’m not the best sportsperson in the world and so to be able to represent my country in a singing competition meant it felt very much like the Olympics. There’s no pre-recorded vocals, so it’s all live.’

She’s especially proud of the London Eurovision Party she co-hosts each year which showcases new entrants as well as featuring some old favourites. She mentions Vicky Leandros’ Apres Toi (see below) and Teach-In’s Ding-A-Dong as favourite Eurovision songs.

The last time we met Nicki was in the company of former Eurovision winner Katrina and one of the subjects we covered then was the rising popularity of Sweden’s Melodifestivalen Eurovision selection show, shortly before Katrina was invited to take part.

Would Nicki ever follow in her Melodifestivalen footsteps?

‘I don’t honestly know. It’s such a Swedish event with some of their biggest stars returning year after year that it would seem to be unlikely that it would be something I’d ever win.’

She’s positive about recent UK selections, particularly the choice of Lucie Jones this year, but says she’d prefer a mixture of established artists competing against newer ones.

And when asked which act she’d like to see represent the UK next, she pauses: ‘I don’t know … I think I’d want it to be me!’

  • Picture via YouTube courtesy Nicki French. More
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