INTERVIEW: Nicki French on new single Haunted Heart, Christmas show and Eurovision

SINGLE OUT: 26/10/20

‘I think everyone is really keen to get back out there to entertain people and to be entertained,’ says monstagigz favourite Nicki French as she launches new single Haunted Heart.

  • Read on for reasons including details of Nicki’s Christmas show with Gareth Gates and Eurovision

We’re loving the rhyming of ‘promised me’ and ‘honesty’ in the storming disco stomper’s epic chorus and Nicki explains that co-writer Gordon Pogoda was also behind On Your Marks, Get Set, Go Away a previous single and monstagigz Song Of The Month.

Pogoda has written for other artists including Steps, Sonia and Sergey Lazarev – and Nicki is pleased others have described the song as one of the best she’s released for a while.

‘There’s quite a few more to come from Gordon. There will be an album hopefully around the middle of next year, COVID-dependent. Because actual shows weren’t possible over the summer we took the opportunity to record in a studio.’

Those wishing to see Nicki live will be able to do so in Devon between 21 and 31/12/20 at the Queen’s Theatre in Barnstaple, where she performed in panto in 2017, in a variety show with acts including Gareth Gates.

‘I watched him with the rest of the country in Pop Idol, I met him a few years ago and he’s a lovely man so I can’t wait to work with him for the 1st time. I’m so excited to be going back to Barney, it’s a lovely place, the people are just fantastic and I had a great time there in panto.’

The theatre has a 650-capacity but the show will be socially distanced for an audience of around 200.

Nicki is still working on a setlist but would expect the cover of Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse for which she is best known to feature as well as material from her recent Christmas album.

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She was touring earlier this year in Menopause The Musical 2: Cruising Through Menopause when lockdown struck and hopes to return to the show. Her commitment to it meant she wouldn’t have been able to host the London Eurovision Preview Party, later cancelled, but she’d love to return to it once more with beloved co-host, the BBC’s Paddy O’Connell.

‘It’s my favourite night of the year and I was just desperately sad not to be able to make it this year.’

She feels for the Eurovision contestants who missed out on their chance to shine at the cancelled event this year and hopes they would all be invited back in 2021.

‘I remember how excited I was to represent my country (she competed in Sweden in 2000) and you just hope they get another chance.’

She didn’t think UK entry James Newman’s song was a winner but ‘I do think it would have gone on and had some longevity. He seemed up for the challenge and I would like to see him return.’

Nicki is unhappy with the rule change that will mean pre-recorded backing vocals can be used for tracks where previously all singing had to be live and by no more than the six people either on or off stage.

‘The live singing was very much Eurovision’s unique selling point. It’s heartbreaking because there will suddenly be no limit to the amount of backing vocalists you could have and you could suddenly start hearing countries with 50-strong choirs in the background.’

During lockdown Nicki has found joy in baking, growing vegetables and swimming.

With a Halloween-appropriate single out this week, we asked Nicki what one spell she’d cast to make a wish come true?

‘I’d banish COVID – let’s get back to real life as soon as we possibly can.’

  • Picture via Facebook courtesy Nicki French Tickets
  • Have you seen any of these shows? Let us know what you thought in the comments below
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