Dido Returns With Family-Focused Album 'Still On My Mind'
Dido came out with her fourth album Girl Who Got Away in 2013, promptly before actually getting away from the spotlight to spend time with her newborn son. The British singer-songwriter has sold nearly 40 million albums and been nominated for an Oscar since her 1999 debut hit, " Here With Me." Now, six years after Girl Who Got Away, Dido is back with her latest album, Still On My Mind.
"There was so little pressure on this album," Dido says. "I didn't have a record deal and no one was waiting for it. No one was expecting it. I wasn't even sure what I would do with it. I just knew I wanted to make some music with my brother."
Dido joined NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro to talk about her time away from music, motherhood, her relationship with Eminem since " Stan" and more. Click the audio link on this page to hear their conversation, and read on for highlights.
On motherhood and the song "Have To Stay"
The big thing that happened in the last six years was I had my son. So that was what kept me not out and about for quite a while. I just wanted to hang out with him, and we've just been having an amazing time.
It is a very simple write what you feel song. I really didn't want to write about having kids. I was quite adamant that I'm not writing a song about having children, partly because what I write about tends to be little moments of conflict and I just felt like, "Well, that's not interesting to write about. I just love him."
But then, I did sit down one day and write this song. I didn't really intend for anyone to hear it; it was just a sort of little moment of personal thinking about unconditional love really, and then it sort of opened the floodgates because it suddenly made writing really simple again. It was just like, you write the things that are important, what you feel and you put it down, you sing it and then you've done it.
On working with her brother on the album
For me, music has always been this sort of family thing. And I realized, very clearly that I just didn't really want to do it if it wasn't with him this time. I just had a real need to do that and go back to the basics, where I'm just hanging out with my brother and we make some music. It actually didn't take very much time. I would say it's definitely been the easiest record I've ever made.
For me, music has always been this sort of family thing.
I think it's like when you're sitting, looking at a piece of art or a picture with someone and sometimes you're seeing something completely different and sometimes you're seeing the same thing. I think when I work with him, we're hearing the same thing, we're seeing the same thing, and our values are the same. We both just feel really lucky to be making the music that we want to make, unashamedly using whatever sounds and thoughts we want to use, and still being able to do that.
On her relationship with Eminem
I saw him a few years ago because we performed "Stan" at a big festival here, the Reading and Leeds Festival. It was sort of completely out of the blue actually. They called and was like, "You want to come do 'Stan'?" It's been like 10 years. I hadn't been on stage for ages, I was just being a full-time mom, and I just thought, "Yeah, you know, that'd be really fun." And [I] performed the song and then went back to normal life. It was completely surreal and really, really fun.
On advice to her younger self, 20 years after No Angel
Practice the guitar, because you would rather have been a bit better at it now [ Laughs.]
I just don't have regrets. I'm not sort of regret-y person. I don't tend to look back, but I also don't tend to look forward. I'm very much sort of in-the-moment person and I'm terrible at planning and I'm terrible at looking back. But if I had one regret, it's that I just feel like I should be better at this by now...I write everything on the guitar and I still feel like I'm just not that great at it.
Still On My Mind is out March 8 via BMG Rights Management.
Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.