After dusting the sand from your flip flops and dismounting a donkey the perfect way to end the day over the August Bank Holiday is to put on your dancing shoes, apply your lip gloss and after adjusting your legwarmers dance the night away when THE HIT FACTORY LIVE comes to Blackpool as part of the Livewire Festival. All your eighties pop faves including Jason Donovan, Go West, Samantha Fox and Brother Beyond’s Nathan Moore will be reuniting to celebrate the eighties on Saturday the 26th August at the Tower Headlands Arena. Pop sensation Sinitta will also be joining the gang as she re-launches her musical comeback as never seen before.
Sinitta was part of the success story of Stock Aitken Waterman’s famous ‘Hit Factory’ back in the 1980’s, and came to be recognised as a household name for her hit records including
So Macho, Toy Boy and GTO. A regular presenter on UK daytime television programmes such as Loose Women and This Morning whilst also a regular on The X-Factor as a coach and mentor.
All morning I’ve been playing So Macho on repeat while watching my colleagues re-live their youth and laughing at Ben, our chief designer who has been merrily singing along to it, he’s only 5ft 5 and very slight in build, every time he sings “…big and strong…” he kisses his biceps! Yes, it’s just another day at Loop HQ.
Sinitta’s in high spirits when I speak to her, “I’m really looking forward to visiting Blackpool,” she says in her signature soft, dulcet tone. “I’ll be performing Toy Boy, along with my new single, which is a remake of So Macho but done in a very different way, it’s a really cool dance mix version. It’s weird because So Macho used to be a bit of a ‘camp’ tune, but now, for me, it represents power and gives me confidence and independence. It means something more than just being about a man.
After appearing on the X-Factor wearing nothing else but three perfectly positioned leaves I’m intrigued to discover if she’ll be sporting a similar outfit in Blackpool, maybe she’ll appear in her birthday suit with a few handfuls of candy floss hiding her personal areas…
“What if someone tries to eat the candy floss?” she answers whilst giggling. “I love doing these shows especially when people come up and share their memories of my songs; it’s just so nice to be a part of someone’s childhood and to give them happy memories.”
Sinitta looks incredible, in fact she looks younger than she did 30 years ago. She must certainly be drinking from the eternal fountain of youth, either that or she simply eats grass and works out 23 hours of every day?
“I did used to try and work out every day but now I have two young children, a puppy, a career and business to run so I’ve found that I’m not able to get to the gym every day. I do try to eat what is good for me but I don’t deprive myself of anything. I eat very well throughout the week and then have the weekend to eat what I like. I drink as well, but not excessively.
I think I have good genes; me and my mother are the same. I do work hard but I’m at an age now where you think if I can’t live a little, it’s not worth it.”
After achieving 30 years in the ‘dog eat dog’ world of music, Sinitta’s longevity is quite a feat, “It sounds corny but you’ve got to be a good person and you’ve got to really love it. I love the entertainment industry. I love the people. I love being on stage and I love to express myself because it is so much fun.”
Her long- term friendship with pop guru Simon Cowell is well documented, and back in the eighties Simon was Sinitta’s manager and he got his big break when Pete Waterman approached them both and they released Toy Boy. It’s a friendship that Sinitta holds very dear and the man of pop is godfather to both her children Magdelena and Zac. “It’s so nice to have old friends with whom you have memories with from the past. It’s good to care about someone and share the same values.”
Loyalty is obviously important to Sinitta and after interviewing her pal Pete of Stock Aitken Waterman fame I was overcome by how energetic he is, I was curious to learn if he ever stops to ‘smell the flowers’. “Believe it or not, he’s actually calmed down a bit over the years. He literally doesn’t stop, he is always so enthusiastic. He just loves life. He just lives and breathes music, you can’t stop him. Why would you? I owe him a lot and whenever he calls on me, I turn up.”
And how is it when you get Peter and Simon, the two most ego driven pop gurus, together in a room? “They’re so funny when they get together,” she laughs. “I just have to see their faces and I crack up laughing. They remind me of Laurel and Hardy.”
Eighties music makes you smile. “It takes you to a happier, if not a cornier place” and with the recent tragedies that have occurred, Simon has released ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water with various pop stars helping to raise funds for the community at Grenfell Towers. I wondered what Sinitta’s take was on the healing qualities of music.
After what has just happened in Manchester and the devastation caused at Ariana Grande’s gig, do you think that music heals and can bind people back together?
“Music is an international language, it gives you compassion, sadness, it brings us together and we mourn these situations like what happened in London and Manchester. I was so impressed with Ariana and her friends getting together for the One Love Manchester concert. It was touching. She is so young and so confident and to go back on stage because for a lot of us we wouldn’t even want to perform again. You could take it personally or you could be afraid but to stand up like that and face your fears and do something for your community, was just fantastic.”
Music is certainly in Sinitta’s genes. Her mum Miquel Brown was a popular disco/soul singer in the 1970s and 1980s.
“As a child I was back stage with her in the dressing room. I felt at home in that environment. When I was sent to boarding school it was a massive culture shock. I went from madness and mayhem to everything being very structured and predictable. I struggled with it at first because I liked the rock and roll lifestyle, but it was really good for me and gave me skills to ensure my children have discipline and structure. “My children have been to some of my shows but I haven’t taken them on a proper tour before. Magdalena is in secondary school now so she can’t really be toured around.
“I do really enjoy working. I’ve worked since I was young. I am very motivated to work and express myself. I could see myself on a private island writing a book, as long as I’m using my brain I’m happy.”
This is a lady who has achieved massive pop success, performed on stage and on our TV screens for three decades. She handles herself with such grace and decorum, how on earth does she manage to juggle a successful career with the demands of parenthood?
“Well, right now we’re walking down the street after visiting the dentist. I’ve got my eldest daughter Magdalena who is twelve with me and our new puppy. Whilst we’ve been talking I’ve just bought her a takeaway lunch from a café and she’s eating it as we walk. She’s got a day off school, but I need to keep going, you’ve just got to do what you have to do! I just have to make it work.”