Lisa Stansfield marks the 30th anniversary of the release of her debut solo album Affection with a string of dates including Brighton Dome on October 23.
“It’s quite scary really”, says Lisa who admits in many respects the years have flashed by: “You remember a lot about it, but in other respects, it is just like history. It is astonishing really… but then I suppose it just makes you realise how busy you have been and then you are taking stock of everything.”
But no, it certainly doesn’t feel like she is looking back on an album almost by someone else.
“That album was definitely us! It was heart and soul. There were blood and sweat and tears and everything going into that album. It was a labour of love… and it definitely paid off!
The album went on to become multi-platinum and sold more than 5 million copies worldwide, winning three BRIT Awards, two Ivor Novello Awards, a Silver Clef Award, an ASCAP Award and, overseas, a Billboard Music Award, a World Music Award, and two Grammy nominations.
Its singles All Around The World (which did indeed become massive all around the world), What Did I Do To You, Live Together, You Can’t Deny It and This Is The Right Time exploded onto the airwaves and introduced Lisa and her brand of soul, R&B and Brit-house to the masses.
“I got a taste for touring around Europe and for promoting around Europe.
“I got that feeling that there was a buzz around me, that I was this girl creating this buzz.
“It was quite funny at the time. When you are in the middle of it, you know that it is going on, but you don’t really get to see yourself the way that others see you. But the record company and the music industry saw that there was this buzz around me, and when that happens you know that it is either going to be a complete flop or a total success.
“But when the record came out, we already had really good pre-sales and so we sort of knew. The pre-sales were ridiculous. It was pretty scary… but it is those first moments that you really enjoy before you have started to work so hard that you don’t know what day it is or where you are.”
That early stage is the exciting one: “You are this person who in your own head is not very famous but in other people’s heads you are very famous.
“I have been singing since I wanted to sing. I just felt I loved singing. I started professionally singing when I was 14, and I think I was 23 or 24 when All Around The World was a hit.
“ It was ten years, but for a 23-year-old, that is a long, long time. And nothing really prepares you for it. You prepare and you prepare and you prepare, but nothing can ever prepare you for the amount of chaos that is going to come flying your way. You have just got to go with the flow with the chaos.”
And learn from it and enjoy it.
“I didn’t lose control because I didn’t think about it. I just employed as much gumption as I had to hold my head above water. You are just constantly learning. You are like a sponge. And you are just thinking ‘This could all be over in five minutes!’
“I feel enormously proud of Affection. I said it then and I’ll say it now. To have a part of yourself floating around out there for everyone to enjoy and knowing so many people still do enjoy it is a huge compliment.
“The response it has to this day still inspires me to keep pulling music and emotion from myself and share it with others if they want to share it with me.
“It feels right to celebrate it. Life is a cycle and music is like that.
“Right now, in this current climate, Affection makes complete sense.”