Radio 1 Interview With Whitney Houston
The interview opened with Radio 1 presenter Kevin Greening (also the interviewer) telling us that "The Bodyguard" soundtrack is officially the biggest selling CD of all time! He then told everyone that her new album "My Love Is Your Love" enlists the producing skills of the hottest producers of 1998. He then went on to read some of them out. He said that the result of this is the happiest musical surprise of the year! He then said that 10 days ago he was in New York and led down some damp smelling stairs to a candlelit basement where a banquet was going on. They got everyone to be quiet and he met Whitney Houston! I'll carry on typing the interview with K for Kevin and W for Whitney!
K: "My Love Is Your Love" is Whitney Houston's first proper studio album in eight years. And it's quite a surprise when you hear it, which you will in a moment. My first question, having heard it this morning, is why on earth didn't you do it before, such a good idea.
W: I just don't know. Maybe I just wanted to live my life a little bit. Maybe I just wanted to raise my daughter a little bit. Just have a little regular kind of life, you know?
K: It was almost a happy little accident wasn't it because you didn't go into the studio with a whole album planned? What was the idea when you went in?
W: I don't know. I just wanted to work with certain people which I liked and I accomplished that and made an album in two months.
K: So you went in knowing that you were gonna be working with who?
W: I knew I was gonna work with Babyface, of course. I knew I would work with David Foster. I asked to work with Missy Elliott. I asked to work with Lauryn Hill who is my love. I asked to work with Wyclef, with Rodney Jerkins. I wanted to work with people who I thought had their own distinct sound. And that's what I did.
K: What was the plan behind getting all these young collaborators? Was it to appeal to a new audience deliberately?
K: Wasn't that the kind of thinking behind it?
W: No, no, either you're gonna do it, or you're not. I'm in the industry, I'm a showbiz kid. I can pretty much keep up with what's going on. I come from a background of gospel singing, you know. I can take something and look at it and sing it from here whether it be "Yankee Doodle Dandy" or "I Learned From The Best" you know? That's how it kinda came to me it's like "Yeah, I like this song, it's a great song, got a great hook, let's do it."
K: It sounds like an album from the heart and you said that maybe you couldn't have made it five years ago perhaps? Have you had to go through some suffering to get the inspiration?
W: Oh yes! Suffering, that's me! I love to suffer! It's a good inspiration!
K: Motherhood has obviously made you very happy though, yeah?
W: It has. It is a beautiful thing. It is most rewarding. Far greater than any award that I have ever gotten and she's my heart and soul. So whatever I do, I do it with her in mind. She's my total inspiration at times.
K: So, which is your favorite track on the album?
W: Um, probably.....
K: Well, put it this way. If we were close friends and you'd just taken delivery of the first copy of the CD and we were close enough for you not to need to be modest, which would you rush to the CD player and say "You've gotta hear this one, I'm just so proud of it"?
W: "You'll Never Stand Alone"
K: Can you remember the point when you knew the album was turning into a big project?
W: Yeah, when Clive would call me after every song and go "Yeah! That's a great one!"
K: Clive being?
W: Clive Davis, president of Arista Records.
K: You're still very close then, obviously.
W: Yes (laughter)
K: He's been your mentor.
W: Yes, he's my Dad of the industry.
K: Were the record company aware when you became aware that this was going to be a big 13-track album, or whatever it is because they were in the dark to begin with, they thought they were getting a greatest hits album.
W: They didn't know what they wanted. Neither did I! Clive pretty much knew I think what he was doing. Everything is timing in this industry, you have to have timing, proper timing. And Mr. Davis chose this time to be a perfect time. If I was going to come out, come out now, do it now. I mean, I have a single with Mariah coming out from a great film called "The Prince of Egypt" so go ahead and do a studio album.
K: You must be aware I suppose that the devious press are always looking to....
W: (Interrupts) Are they being devious?
K: They always are, especially the printed press I think, they're always looking for rivalries and they seem to have invented a rivalry between you and Mariah Carey?
W: Isn't it all a wonderful invention, the press, media, ya know?
K: So what's the reality?
W: They have a hell of an imagination, I tell you. If only we did half the things they said we'd be really interesting people. I think. Um, I don't know what they're saying, and if they're saying anything other than Mariah and I made a great record, Mariah and I became good friends, we had a mutual respect for one another. If they're saying anything other than that then they're lying. 'Cause nothing else occurred but great singing and great music.
K: So, can I throw in some oddball questions at the end?
W: OK. What are they?
K: Is there anyone else you'd like to act alongside rather than sing alongside?
W: Not at the moment, nope.
K: So no ambitions to be in Star Trek or anything else?
K: Do you use the Internet? Ever used a chat room or anything?
W: No, I don't use it. I don't mess about with it.
K: Simpsons, King of the Hill, South Park.
W: Love 'em!
K: But which if you had to pick?
W: The Simpsons
K: Yeah, me too.
W: Simpsons. Love them to death.
K: Are you Marge?
W: My husband and I's favourite, yes. Absolutely.
K: And are your feet still on the ground? Are you in touch with the real world, do you know the number of the bus that goes past your home?
W: Um, no bus goes past my home. I know that! That I know! No buses go past my home. I'm very much in touch with Earth because this is where I live so, ya know.
K: Do you live near here in Newark?
W: No, I live about 40 minutes away from Newark.
K: Newark's where you come from.
W: Yeah, I'm from Newark, yeah.
K: And you're still in touch with the community there? Do you still go into the church where you used to sing? Do you still sing there?
W: Yeah, every now and then. If I get enough rest on Saturday I can get up on Sunday!
K: Thank you very much.
W: Bye, see ya!
He said at that point about 20 bouncers leapt forward and said "End of interview." He then played "If I Told You That" from the album. After that he told us that during the interview Whitney held a hand held fan to her face and wouldn't put it down. She kept waving it all over the place looking up at the ceiling, all over the place! She smiled a lot and then at the end she held out her hand behind her, her outstretched palm, and someone ran forward and gave her a jelly baby!