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Heather Small on making her family Proud ahead of Newmarket show

PUBLISHED: 15:28 29 July 2019 | UPDATED: 15:28 29 July 2019

Heather Small Credit: KOSHMO PHOTOGRAPHY/Supplied by Chuff Media

Heather Small Credit: KOSHMO PHOTOGRAPHY/Supplied by Chuff Media

KOSHMO PHOTOGRAPHY

Search for the Hero inside yourself and head to Newmarket Nights this summer as soul singer Heather Small takes to the stage.

Heather Small Credit: James Arnold PA Archive/PA ImagesHeather Small Credit: James Arnold PA Archive/PA Images

Heather Small is set to support eighties chart-toppers Banarama when they perform at Newmarket Racecourse summer concert series on Friday, August 9.

Heather first found fame as the lead singer of band the M People who formed in 1990 and had chart success with ten top tens hits including Moving on Up, One Night in Heaven and Search for the Hero.

Heather then went solo and released her debut album Proud in 2000 and the title track has gone on to be one of the biggest songs of the millennium so far and has featured at major sporting events including the London Olympics in 2012.

Ahead of the show at Newmarket, Heather spoke about life after the M People and why she still loves touring 30 years on.

You're coming to Newmarket Nights on August 9 to support Bananarama. Are you looking forward to the show?

I am looking forward to it and am very excited but I always have a bit of trepidation towards shows, but outdoors, singing, dancing with a big audience, it doesn't really get better then that, it's a lot of fun.

Bananarama Credit: Supplied by Chuff MediaBananarama Credit: Supplied by Chuff Media

I'll be playing half an hour of well-known songs, dancing a lot and I'm going to throw myself in to it.

Are you friends with Bananarama, have you played many shows with them before?

I don't know Bananarama personally, I've danced to a few of their tunes before, so it's nice to see them back in the saddle doing what they love and enjoying themselves, and it's nice to see an all female line-up. It'll be fun.

Do you have a favourite artist you've played with live?

One of my favourites was definitely Billy Ocean, he's one of the nicest people I've ever met, inside and outside, in the music industry.

He has a good heart, great stories and he's very dedicated to what he does, is the best entertainer and he's a lovely love man.

READ MORE: Bananarama's Keren on Adnams and razor adverts ahead of Newmarket Nights

Have you been to the races before?

I've not been to Newmarket but I've been to the races before, but I'm not a betting person at all, I don't like to take chances with my money.

I like to get something in return for my money and the fact that my horse may or may not come first is too much for me.

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You've got some fantastic well-known hits with M People and also as a solo artist. How does it compare being a solo artist as opposed to being in a group? Does it give you more creative control?

The best and the worst thing about being solo is it's all on you, it's your vision and at every performance the focus is on you but you do have a measure of control.

Especially as you get older and you have children, with a group you have to take into consideration more then one person's feelings and opinions. With motherhood, I wanted to throw myself all in and I wouldn't have been able to do that in a group setting.

It was difficult because I wanted to put motherhood first and when you're in a group you put the group first and I did that for years when I didn't have a child, but I wanted to be more hands on with my son and watch him grow.

You went on tour earlier this year, how did it feel to get back on stage?

Doing a festival every few weeks, or once a week is different from doing a show three nights in a row, it takes a different kind of mind set and different kind of stamina.

So my tour was to see for myself if I still had that same kind of mindset and stamina to perform and I do, I still absolutely love it.

It was a thank you to the people that have supported me for all these years and I love that there's still an audience that support me.

The last show I did was in London and it just felt like I was performing with friends.

READ MORE: Pete Tong on that famous phrase and packing arenas ahead of Newmarket show

Your track 'Proud' has gone on to become the soundtrack synonymous to a whole host of sporting events including London's 2012 Olympics, England's victory at the Rugby World Cup and many more - did you ever envision 'Proud' would be still so loved after all this time when you first wrote it?

You have no idea what a song will do, but you put your best ideas together and you do it with integrity and that's what I did with Proud because it was the first song I wrote outside of M People.

I wanted to remind people and myself that it's not just about being rich and being famous, my dream was to sing.

I wanted to be in a place that showed it wasn't about all these other factors, it was about the music itself and that enjoyment and love for what I do and that I was thankful to the people around me whether I sang or never sang again.

What does the rest of 2019 hold for you?

I'm doing a lot of shows and festivals and I'm writing and recording and will have a new single out soon.

I have a few songs that I'm really happy with so I want to let one of those new babies out there.

I've played one song live once and it went down really well so I think it needs to get released now.

I wanted to let the fans hear it and see how it went down and it got a really good reception so that was nice.

You can purchase tickets to Bananarama with support from Heather Small at thejockeyclub.co.uk

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