Amer­i­can singer Anasta­cia tells Fri­day about beat­ing breast can­cer, and her new mu­sic.

Award-win­ning Amer­i­can singer Anasta­cia talks to Lind­say Judge about life af­ter breast can­cer and why she’s re­leas­ing new mu­sic

Friday - - Contents -

Known for her unique, bold voice, Chicago-born singer Anasta­cia was at the height of her ca­reer in the early 2000s when she was di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer — twice. De­spite hav­ing to take a break from singing and can­cel tours and per­for­mances (in­clud­ing the Dubai World Cup, where she was sup­posed to per­form in 2014), the 48-year-old singer of hits such as I’m Outta Love, One Day in Your Life and Left Out­side Alone, has never let her health get her down and is now pro­mot­ing a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude to can­cer. On a re­cent visit to Dubai to per­form at the Global Gift Gala — an ini­tia­tive hosted by Eva Lon­go­ria on the side­lines of the Dubai In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val — she sat down with Fri­day to tell us about her re­cent char­ity work, and get­ting back into the stu­dio. You’re here for the Global Gift Gala, which helps mil­lions of chil­dren around the world. Is this some­thing that is close to your heart? Ab­so­lutely. I’ve al­ways been quite in­ter­ested in want­ing to make a dif­fer­ence. My brother is dis­abled, so chil­dren’s needs have al­ways been quite a big part of my life, as I grew up with it. Be­cause of that I can un­der­stand, in part, the help that peo­ple need and the im­por­tance of help­ing chil­dren in par­tic­u­lar. On one of my al­bums, I wrote a song called Se­crets to tell kids not to keep them be­cause they are dan­ger­ous. Chil­dren are our fu­ture so it’s re­ally im­por­tant that we get the best for them we pos­si­bly can.

Have you been in­volved in any of the projects the char­ity is work­ing on? I help Global Gift Gala with a lot of its events and ac­ti­va­tions re­lated to breast can­cer and it also works with me on events for my char­ity The Anasta­cia Fund. It also hon­oured me last year for my hu­man­i­tar­ian work.

You have bat­tled breast can­cer twice and beaten it, which is ab­so­lutely in­cred­i­ble. What’s your mes­sage to women who are hav­ing sim­i­lar ex­pe­ri­ences? Can­cer is such a scary word but what I tell peo­ple is to look at the first three let­ters of the word: CAN. You need to take the fear that is as­so­ci­ated with the word can­cer away and think of ‘can’. You CAN do any­thing and you CAN beat this. The next step is to sur­round your­self with peo­ple you love and al­ways be pos­i­tive. The pos­i­tiv­ity will af­fect

your re­cov­ery. Has the ill­ness given you a dif­fer­ent out­look on life? Yes, it gave me a pos­i­tive out­look on life. You can’t let ill­ness or any­thing for that mat­ter get you down or it won’t help your re­cov­ery. Be­ing pos­i­tive about ev­ery­thing is the key to a happy life.

You’ve had a lot of health prob­lems in your life but you’ve picked your­self up and car­ried on – what has kept you go­ing through the bad times? I think it is about hu­mour and again, pos­i­tiv­ity. Those two things to­gether have me up when I’m feel­ing down and got me through ev­ery­thing. Yes, you will have low times, but you need to not take life too se­ri­ously and live for the good mo­ments.

You have worked as a judge on a num­ber of tal­ent shows and even started your ca­reer on a sim­i­lar show your­self. Do you think this is a good way for as­pir­ing artists to get into the in­dus­try? I think it was a good way, I don’t know if I would say that these days it is, be­cause it has be­come more en­ter­tain­ment than look­ing for the raw tal­ent. How­ever, I think there will be new shows launch­ing that are go­ing to be more about real mu­sic com­ing in the fu­ture.

Your songs are pos­si­bly some of the catchi­est pop songs of all time. Do you have a feel­ing about whether a song is go­ing to be a hit be­fore the re­lease? No! I have good feel­ings that I like songs but

‘As a CHILD I lis­tened to BAR­BRA STREISAND. Even though I don’t sound a thing like her I re­ally ad­mire her BEAUTY and HU­MOUR and her PER­SONA. I wanted to sound like her grow­ing up.’

I don’t know if I can pick a hit. Some­times things can be ran­dom and you never re­ally know why it has be­come so pop­u­lar. I put it down to luck.

You voice is listed up there with the likes of Cé­line Dion, Shakira and Mariah Carey. Who is your in­spi­ra­tion? As a child I lis­tened to Bar­bra Streisand. Even though I don’t sound any thing like her I re­ally ad­mire her beauty and hu­mour and her per­sona. I wanted to sound like her grow­ing up, in fact I wanted to sound like all the peo­ple you men­tioned, but my voice has a very dif­fer­ent tone to all of them.

What can we ex­pect to see from you in 2017? I am work­ing on a new al­bum, which will come out in Septem­ber, as well as a sin­gle in

July. I have also just re­leased a live al­bum that I made from rec­om­men­da­tions of the fans. I asked them what they would like me to sing that they’ve never heard me sing be­fore and af­ter they voted through an app, I chose the most pop­u­lar and recorded them for an al­bum.

What was it like to record a fully live al­bum? Well, it was very dif­fer­ent. Ev­ery song had one take so you have to get it right. It’s dif­fer­ent to any­thing I’ve done be­fore but I’m re­ally pleased with it – I think I’m do­ing the right job!

Anasta­cia’s live al­bum A4App is avail­able to down­load now on iTunes.

Anasta­cia per­formed at the an­nual Global Gift Gala char­ity fundraiser in De­cem­ber dur­ing Dubai In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val

The singer, 48, is pas­sion­ate about work­ing with chil­dren’s char­i­ties; be­low, with Me­lanie Grif­fiths and gala host Eva Lon­go­ria in Dubai

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