Lisa Stansfield - still controversial at 52

Lisa Stansfield  Picture:Republic Media.
Lisa Stansfield Picture:Republic Media.
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The Lancashire lass with the soulful singing voice and the Rochdale accent is back and coming to Yorkshire. Grace Hammond reports.

Lisa Stansfield is 52 today and yet she is recalling a recent encounter with a journalist where she did forward rolls through Paris airport during her interview.

The Lancashire singer is promoting her new album Deeper.

Stansfield returned from a 10-year break in 2014 with Seven, which shot into the top 20 and led to a sell-out European tour. Before that, of course, was number one hit All Around The World, 20 million records sold, and an array of trophies including Brits and Ivor Novellos.

Deeper was, like its predecessors, created alongside her music partner and husband of 30 years, Ian Devaney. Full of funk, groove and soul, Stansfield envisions it as perfect for before the club.

“I think it captures that moment when you’re getting ready to go out on a Friday night,” she says.

“You get your music on and then you face the night.” The couple spent 14 years in Ireland but moved back to England in 2008 after her mother died and Devaney’s mother fell ill. They now live between Rochdale and London but miss Ireland, she admits.

“We just felt so alienated when something serious was happening on this island and we were in Ireland.”

The album’s release is followed by a UK tour – including one important date in particular for Stansfield which will see her career go almost full circle. “I’m really looking forward to playing Liverpool because we’ve not played it since the very first gig that I did as Lisa Stansfield,” she says.

“I’ll be a bit scared actually, are they going to throw rotten tomatoes at me because I’ve not been back in 30 years,” she adds with a laugh.

It’s 38 years since she won the Search For A Star competition. But you’d never find her encouraging anyone to take part in their modern televised equivalents.

“I don’t think I’d go on the X Factor or The Voice,” she says adamantly.

“Unless you know exactly what you’re going [to] do and you’re very, very strong as an individual, you can get so lost on it,” she adds.

“And if you’re on a show like that when you say you’re 23, 24 or younger, if you don’t succeed 
but you have that period of a few months or weeks when you’re on TV all the time, that will define the rest of your life.”

She’s not one inclined to agree with the consensus but wouldn’t shock for the sake of it. Her opinions are hers.

And more intriguing are her 
views on Harvey Weinstein and 
the MeToo movement, which could be considered controversial.

“I think women have to be very careful,” she says – describing the revelations as having created a “bandwagon” attracting a 
minority of people who are 
speaking out for attention and “completely trivialising the whole thing”

“Women have worked for years and years and years to be taken seriously and a handful of women are trivialising it for everybody else.

“I think it’s disgraceful for an issue which is so serious for some people to trivialise it.”

Lisa Jane Stansfield was born at the Crumpshall Hospital in Manchester, England, on 11th April 1966.

Lisa was barely 14 when she took part in a talent contest, “Search For A Star”, sponsored by a local newspaper, at the Willows Club in Salford. It led to her first recording contract.

Lisa Stansfield tours the UK in April. She will be at York Barbican on Thursday April 19

Deeper is out April 6.