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Music Interview

Sabrina Washington

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Sabrina Washington
During the noughties, Mis-Teeq brought plenty of gritty attitude to the charts with hits including 'Scandalous' and 'Why'. Since their split in 2005, it's been former bandmate Alesha Dixon hogging the limelight - that is until Sabrina Washington popped up on I'm A Celeb last December. Having survived the jungle, she's now about to launch her own solo career with the thumpingly addictive 'OMG'. We caught up for a chat about the single, her album and the possibility of a Mis-Teeq reunion.

Why has it taken you so long to come out with solo material?
"I've been trying hard to find a sound that defines me and shows my growth since Mis-Teeq. I experimented with some different things and also took a little break from the music scene as it was mad hectic. I needed time to reflect and refresh myself."

How would you describe your new single, 'OMG'?
"The lyrics are quite in-your-face and tongue-in-cheek. It's all about having fun in the world as is right now. I wrote it with Ali Tennant, who's worked with Britney and JLS, and we have a really good chemistry. When we went into the studio with the producer, Labrinth, the next day, we knew it was a hit."

What made you decide to use a Snap! sample?
"I just think 'Rhythm Is A Dancer' is a classic and no-one's really used it before. It gives the track a bit of familiarity too, so it was a clever little trick to put it in there!"

What sort of chart position are you aiming for with the single?
"I'd love to get it into the top 20. I don't know how it's going to go, but the response so far has been fantastic. The video has had loads of hits on YouTube and it's starting to pick up on radio. If it doesn't happen though, well, there's always the next one!"

There have been accusations that you've ripped off Lady GaGa in the video...
"I know, it's mad! If anything, my influence for the video was actually Grace Jones. She's always pushed the envelope with style and fashion and I think she's just amazing. My style has always been current and experimental and if I'd been out two or three years ago, I'd have got there before Lady GaGa!"

What can you tell us about your album?
"I'm calling it Dirty Pop at the moment because that's the only way I can describe the sound. It reflects who I am now. I'm talking about issues that have affected me or people around me. I'm a woman now, I like to be sexy and I like to dress up. It's definitely a more confident me."

What other songs have you recorded?
"One of my favourites is a song called 'Strip', which is about a girl telling a guy to strip rather than the other way round. Then there's one called 'I Want It', which is about wanting the keys to the world and wanting it all at the same time. I've also just done a new track called 'Don't Put Words In My Mouth', which is about how the media try to make you say things you don't necessarily mean."

What are the chances of a Mis-Teeq reunion?
"You know what, I would never say never, but right now I'm really enjoying being Sabrina Washington. I might perform the odd Mis-Teeq song in my live shows as a trip down memory lane... but then I'd bring it right back to the future!"

What's your favourite Mis-Teeq song?
"It has to be 'Scandalous'! It always sounds fresh no matter how many times I hear it. I have loads of fond memories of that track. It was the first single from the second album and at the time we weren't sure how well it would do. But then it seemed to be everywhere just like that."

What did you think of Alesha Dixon's album?
"You know what, Alesha's album reflects her personality. It's bubbly and poppy and that's what I like about it."

Finally, there are rumours that you've been talking to Cash Money - the home of Lil Wayne and Bow Wow - about signing a US record deal. Is there any truth to these?
"Yes, I am in talks with them at the moment. I've met (label co-founder) Bryan "Birdman" Williams on a few occasions and I'm meeting with him again very soon. When I have something to confirm I'll let everyone know, but for the moment I'm focusing my time on the UK."

Sabrina Washington releases 'OMG' on March 22.

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