When Tim met Sophie

2000 chart-topping hit ‘Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love)’, recorded by Spiller and Sophie Ellis-Bextor, was the most played song on UK radio during the whole of the noughties.

The same song was also the first to ever be played on an iPod.

I’m guessing you probably didn’t know those – I only learnt about them while doing my research ahead of an interview and photoshoot with the demure disco diva last month, for a feature appearing in the October/November issue of Winq.

Promoting her sixth studio album Familia, we met Sophie at Castle Gibson’s House Next Door location, a cavernous terraced property that’s just about been made health-and-safety compliant, retaining its artful dilapidation to perfectly suit photo shoots. For five hours, we photographed and interviewed Sophie, drawing on the album’s Mexican inspiration for art direction – flamenco-style dresses and bright eye make up.

Her hair and make up team, Louise and Lisa, have been working with her for almost 20 years, since the start of her career in indie band theaudience, and during my chat with her over a plate of Greek salad, she impressed the importance of having a talented and reliable team around her. Before the interview, I had assumed the album title was a tribute to her husband and four sons, but it’s wider than that – a musical ‘thank you’ to the creatives around her.

From 'Murder on the Dance Floor' to murdering the dance floor on Strictly Come Dancing, Sophie has attained longevity in an industry that’s famously cutthroat, where bright sparks are snuffed out before they’ve truly shone. Speaking to her, it’s clear that no small part of that is down to the people she surrounds herself with – something that applies equally to magazine publishing as it does being a pop princess!

Look out for the full interview and photo shoot with Sophie in the forthcoming issue of Winq, out 29th September.