LONDON - It’s 3:30pm in the afternoon at a swanky London hotel in south west London and we’re waiting to meet Kylie Minogue in a lavish, yet relatively small room, mainly due to all of the cameras and lights strategically placed everywhere.
This is the girl who we first fell in love with in the 1980s as Charlene Robinson on Australian soap Neighbours. Fast forward 25 years, via a whirlwind of glitter and many ‘Kylie phases’, she’s about to release her 12th studio album, Kiss Me Once, under her new management - through Jay Z’s Roc Nation. And this week she’s also unleashing her new single “Into The Blue”, a soaring Kylie pop song.
She’s like a beam of happiness and friendly radiance when she walks in to greet us. We ask what she knows of BuzzFeed and Kylie reveals she knows all about our lists and tells us that we “are very up-to-date”, so we already know we’ll get along.
And after getting her to take our “Which Kylie Are You?” quiz, with gloriously cute results, it was time to find out all about her latest music and life at Roc Nation, how she feels about “Loco-Motion” now, what she makes of young stars like Miley Cyrus and what it was like to work with Pharrell Williams and Enrique Iglesias.
You’re about to release your new album, Kiss Me Once. Can you describe it to someone who’s not listened to it before?
Kylie Minogue: Well, it’s called Kiss Me Once. I would say you get some big Kylie moments, like with the first song “Into The Blue”. We have a disco moment as well with “Sexy Love”, a kind of cool moment with the MNEK-produced track “Feel So Good”. And then there’s a few sexy moments with “Les Sex” and “Sexercise”. So it’s basically all still about love and wanting to find love and falling in love and losing love.
So have you drawn from personal experience for this album?
KM: Not so much drawing on experience because I didn’t do too much writing for this album, but certainly songs I connected with and ones that I felt I could deliver them. And you know, that I could do the songs justice.
You’re with Roc Nation now. Did they have a big influence and do you feel this album’s different as a result?
KM: I do think this album is different. It feels like a new beginning and that’s all I wanted when people asked me what the inspiration for this album was. It wasn’t an inspiration like, I don’t know, I found love… there wasn’t one particular thing like that. My inspiration was I want to make an album, I want to feel excited and motivated, challenged. And being part of Roc Nation was able to help me with that, to be able to bring new energy to essentially what is the same thing I’ve been doing for years. You know, there’s a certain way that you make an album. I say it’s like you’ve got a piece of furniture in your house that’s been there for just so long, you don’t even notice it. It functions, it’s there, but you don’t notice it. But if you move it somewhere else in the house, it has the same function but you see it differently and that’s kind of where I was at (with my album).
You’ve got some big collaborations in there as well. What was it like working with Pharrell?! (On “I Was Gonna Cancel”) And the big question: Was he wearing his ridiculous big hat?
KM: He was ‘sans hat’ I have to say! No hat, although he says he’s had the hat for years so I guess it might not have been too far away but it certainly wasn’t on his head. But it was great to work with him because he’s been on my wish list for years and finally that happened, so that’s amazing.
And Enrique! (Iglesias on “Beautiful”) That’s clearly a beautiful song.
KM: Unfortunately I didn’t get to record in the studio with Enrique. So we did our parts separately, but we’re connected – phone calls, emails, moving forward if we make a video for this. But I was just so happy to be part of this song. It really, it is beautiful. It made me stop in my tracks, literally. I was feeling quite frantic, which is normal at this point. But it really slowed me down and I was lost in the story of the song and the feeling and the emotions. So to now be part of that and have a duet with Enrique is just amazing.
Is there anyone left, is there anyone else you would particularly like to collaborate with?
KM: Yep, and now you’re going to ask me who and I won’t be able to tell you who! I think every collaboration I’ve ever had done is not one that I’ve gone after. Maybe somewhere there’s like a pipe dream in my mind somewhere. But they’ve all come to me or just arrived: the right person at the right time and I’m getting quite a collection of them now, which is amazing.
You’ve had all of these different ‘Kylie phases’. Can you describe this current phase?
KM: I guess you mean like ‘Pop Kylie’, ‘Dance Kylie’, ‘Indie Kylie’, ‘Sex Kylie’. I didn’t come up with those names so someone needs to come up with this one! For me it kind of feels like, I think I said ‘nouvelle’ at one point because it feels like the start of a new era for me. But hopefully someone else will think of the right phase, the new Kylie. Maybe it’s just new Kylie.
What do you make of today’s music? Do you think there should be more glitter out there?
KM: (Laughs) I’m coming back! There’s going to be glitter! Is there not enough glitter out there? Is there not enough sparkly?
Not the Kylie type of glitter!
KM: (Smiles widely) Well, that’s good! That’s good to hear because glitter follows me, or I follow glitter, I’m not sure which way around it is. But all the timing on this album feels like it’s all beyond me. It’s just meant to happen. So if glitter is required, I’m your man!
What do you make of the whole Miley Cyrus thing? You didn’t seem to get as much controversy during “Spinning Around”.
KM: Well, the whole world knows what twerking is now and everybody’s talking about Miley, so she’s obviously doing plenty of things right. For the backlash, I don’t know. I had a backlash myself when I was actually a bit younger than her even. Just being very successful very quickly and having not really earnt my stripes, so I know what it’s like to feel like people are out to get you. But I appreciate what she does because we’re all different, we all have a different line of how far you want to push things. I like her, I’m a fan, I like her free spirit so I’m a big supporter.
How about your early days then. What do you make of “Loco-Motion” now when you look back on it?
KM: If I think of Loco-Motion compared to what young artists are doing today, I mean, it’s like I might as well be in kindergarten. It’s so sweet. I remember making the video, I was so excited, it was my first video. Then there was a whole period of, you know, you get quickly embarrassed of things you’ve done and you want to move on and not be a kid any more and be a young woman and let the world know you’re growing up. But now I look at “Loco-Motion” and I just think it’s really sweet.
So you’ve got the new Kylie album coming out. Does that mean we can also expect a new Kylie tour? (Please say yes)
KM: Yes! Yeah you can! I’m very excited. Certain songs when I was making the album, ones that I thought would stay, ‘keepers’, I immediately get quite excited thinking: “How can I do this live?” And there’s some fun songs to play with, like Sexercise is going to be a good moment on the stage.
And do you have anything lined up for the music videos? Are there going to be any gold hot pant-type moments?
KM: Well I’ve only done the one video (so far), “Into The Blue”, which kind of had a pseudo pant moment. But not really a hot pant moment. I don’t think “Beautiful” is the video for a hot pant moment! But every time I think, that’s it, I can’t be doing that any more, next thing I know I’m in something spectacularly small, feeling really self conscious. And it works, so I can’t say that it won’t happen!
Do you ever worry about how your music is going to be perceived and if radio stations will still play your songs?
KM: I basically worry about everything. Every new album, the same with my last album, the same with Aphrodite, the same with X. You know, you invest so much, you believe so much in the album, you want it to do well. It’s like sending a child to school. You want it to do really well, you want people to respond and have their own experiences with the songs and radio’s still a really important part of that. So if I hear that I’m C, B or A listed on radio then I’m over the moon!
Kylie’s new single “Into The Blue” is out this week, while her new album Kiss Me Once will be released in the U.K. on Monday and can be bought here.
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