Texas’ Sharleen Spiteri opens up on friendship with Wu-Tang Clan

Sharleen Spiteri.

Sharleen has opened up on her famous friends and getting on the road again

What inspired your new album, Hi?

We went back into the vaults of Universal because we were looking for stuff to put on a White On Blonde anniversary record and there were so many tracks we hadn’t put on the original album. So, to cut a long story short, and it sounds unbelievably arrogant, we were inspired by our younger selves! We started writing and decided to make a completely new album inspired by those tracks.

You collaborated with the Wu-Tang Clan again for Hi. What was that like?

It was great. We were making a documentary for Texas’ anniversary and decided to focus on a moment that was really pivotal in our career. We chose the collaboration with Wu-Tang on Say What You Want, and while RZA and I were having a chat, we were like, ‘We should make another record!’ [Bandmate] Johnny McElhone and I had already written Hi and thought it was the perfect song.

Have you stayed friends with the Wu-Tang Clan?

We’re all geeks together. I’m in a band because I didn’t fit into normal life and a nine-to-five job. I rebelled against the norm and that’s what the friendship is based on. RZA said we took a big chance on doing the collaboration with them and I burst out laughing. They were the ones taking the chance! ODB was supposed to do the rap but he was arrested so Method Man stepped in and wrote it from scratch all about pirates because he thought British people were pirates.

Sharleen collaborated with Wu-Tang Clan for Hi (Picture: Rick Kern/Getty Images)

Can you believe this is your 10th album?

Not really. I still think I’m on one. It’s a weird thing — not many people get the opportunity to make this many records, and especially not a lot of women. So I feel unbelievably proud. I’m almost at the point where I’m thankful I’m old now because I don’t want the pressures young women have on them.

Having to look a certain way, you mean?

The obsession with how they look and how many likes they get, it’s crazy. It’s one thing being in a normal day-to-day life but then having the whole social media side of it, the bullying and bulls***. I look after myself but I get moments where I think I’m looking a bit rough so I stop eating all the pies or do a bit more exercise. My gran taught me to always look after my skin but I went through a bad bout of acne in my twenties and I used to hide under my fringe in Texas. I can’t imagine how you’d feel if you were on social media because I know how I felt being on a TV show every now and again. We all need to look after ourselves mentally and physically but there’s a big difference between looking after yourself and changing yourself.

So you’d never have plastic surgery?

It’s not really for me because I’ve not looked at anybody who’s done it and thought they looked amazing.

Sharleen is keen to get Texas back on the road (Picture: Andrew Redington/WME IMG/WME IMG via Getty Images)

How’s your neck now? You blew three discs…

I can’t fix it. I’ll need to go back to hospital at some point and have more injections but it’ll just be a problem for the rest of my life. Having surgery is too risky because if they have to go through the front of my neck, they could hit a vocal cord. I never said I was going to quit live gigs, though. Not a chance! The tour is booked for 2022 now and starts in Australia.

How has lockdown been?

My mum passed away just before lockdown. Within two weeks of being told she had cancer she had died but my sister and I got to be with her in the hospital for the full two weeks and we feel so lucky. We had the funeral, came back to London and my daughter Misty got knocked down by a car and dislocated her shoulder, so I just said, ‘Right, we’re going to Wales,’ and we were there the whole time. To be there with my daughter and husband was the best healer ever and the garden has never looked better.

You must be so glad you had your wedding in 2018…

I was so lucky that we didn’t know what was round the corner and that Mum and Dad were there. Bryn [Williams] and I had been together for 10 years before we got engaged and I’m so glad we just did it.

You have quite a few famous friends — isn’t Peter Kay one of them?

Peter is a wonderful man and has been a great friend. He loves his music and is always there whenever we make an album. I’ll send it to him and go, ‘What do you think?’ And he gives me really good feedback.

Which famous friend does Misty get most excited about?

When she was small it was Alan Rickman. I remember I was driving one time when she was in the back of the car with a friend and Alan called. Obviously that voice is unbelievably recognisable so when he came on the phone saying ‘Sharleen’ the girls’ eyes popped out of their heads. ‘It’s Snape!’

The new Texas album Hi is on BMG

MORE : ‘To this day I still can’t believe I said it’: Why Sharleen Spiteri had the audacity to shut down ‘boring’ Texas and Smokey Robinson duet

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