It's Hard Out Here for Lily Allen
There hasn't been a time in Lily Allen's career when she wasn't controversial. From her three, snark-ridden albums to her public persona that has included quite a few beefs with a diverse array of fellow stars, Allen has never shied away from saying and doing whatever the fuck she wants. After a break to start a family and take some time away from the spotlight, Allen's latest is no different than her earlier ones in terms of her ability to raise eyebrows and stir up some trouble.
Courtesy of WBR Press
We spoke over the phone with Sheezus as she prepared for the Met Gala about pressures to both leave and return to music, her feelings about the record business, and of course many of her very recent controversies.
I read that your Highline Ballroom show is apparently your first in NYC since 2009. Is that correct?
I couldn't tell you that. I'm not sure because my memory...but yeah I think so.
Looking back on that era for you, what do you think will be some of the biggest differences in your show for your audience?
I know what they'll be, the visual stuff. I don't know what the reaction will be, but you know what, I don't want to spoil it for people! [Laughs]
In a lot of your recent interviews, and also on the album, you speak a lot about marriage and motherhood as a catalyst in terms of both taking a break from music and also returning to it. Did you feel like the pressure to do either came more from yourself or everyone else?
Well I suppose I initially felt it was everyone else and that sort of became pressure on myself. That reaction, that feeling judged, I guess. It's both. I think it would be weird not to think about that stuff.
Are you happy that you returned to music?
Oh yeah! I couldn't be happier. Right now, I'm sitting in a lovely hotel room, getting my nails did. I'm going to get a fancy dress on and go to the Met Gala later. Then I'm going home to see my kids then I'm coming back to do some shows. I'm living the dream. It's amazing.
Starting with your last album, you've used your music as a critique of celebrity culture and the current landscape of pop music, especially for women, and poke a lot of fun at it. I'm curious as to whether you genuinely find it all humorous or if you find it intimidating?
It's not really about the pop landscape, it's more about media and the effect that it has on people, especially young people, and how it shapes the world. It's kind of pop-aganda, so to speak. We live in a culture now that's fabulous in lots of ways but it's also very vacuous and fake. It's just one of those things that fascinates me, and that's why I write about it.
You recently noted in an interview that you want to get out of your record deal and owe your label two more albums. Do you feel like you're kind of over the major label structure and the business? Has the media had an effect on you in those terms?
No, no, no! The people I've worked with at my record company are the people I've worked with since the beginning. I love them. Some of them are really close friends of mine that I hang out with on the weekends. It doesn't mean they're not facing huge amounts of pressure. It's really tough in music right now to make money and to sell records, which is what they do. It's what they decided when they left college; they were going to go and work in an industry that's deteriorated and that's really really sad and makes all of our jobs a lot harder. I don't know if the model works anymore. I love them and I appreciate them because it's really difficult. It's bad.