From lates 90’s to the 00’s Lolly was a name you would know weather it be from Viva La Radio or hey Mickey she was a big name on the pop circuit, then she turned her hand to tv presenting, 18 years later we get new music, what has Lolly or Anne as she is known being doing with her self and why did it take so long to release new music? find out that and much more as she spoke with Music Promotions, full interview below.
Having began your career back in 1999, what have you learnt in your career along the way?
To be very open and do things when they feel right, go with that gut feeling, if it feels right do it be brave and its been okay for me so far.
What was it like back in the 00’s in your career compared to now?
It was very different back in the late 90’s early oo’s there was a lot more money thrown in the music industry to the labels so we had amazing videos, the budgets were big so it was making money, it was happy but tiring time of my life, there was a lot of excitement, a buzz, where as now I’m not in it as I was before but how I see it is that energy has gone which is such a shame because at the end of the day music is an escapism it gives you memories, it gives you good times, happy times and sadness its much more of emotionless now, don’t get me wrong its great that you have the facilities and the technology to be able to allow more people to create music but then the quality goes, but that said its still giving people that creativity to put music out there its just because there isn’t as much money to be made from it, it is a lot harder so if you try and break an act now its in a totally different way you have to think social media, you think influencers, where as we had the platforms like SMTV and all the kids tv shows we had really good platforms to go on and release our kind of music the fun pop and even now when I speak to a lot of fans on twitter and Instagram straight away they were ‘you was everything when I growing up’ a 9 or 10 year old boy/girl who followed you and loved you, loved the music it was so fresh and its so sad to see the charts now they don’t have the shows that see the pop stars, they are on you tube, they are influencers they are Tik Tok stars its a very different energy but on the other hand it makes for more creativity. There is more digital platforms apposed to the national tv shows like Blue Peter and Top Of The Pops.
Would there be anything you would have liked to have done differently?
Looking back I wanted to transition from Lolly to Anne, Lolly was my stage name which was a really good way to cope with the craziness of it all because when I took the makeup off I would just be Anne and in the public eye doing interviews I could be Lolly so it was easier to cope with.
I should have kept using Lolly because when I decided I didn’t want to continue with the music and go into tv presenting it was really nice that the record label paid for me to get a showreel to send to different agents to push me as an tv artist not a singer artists because that is what I wanted to do, I wanted a new challenge I’d had enough of singing and being asked the same questions I just got bored with it and I wanted to start asking the questions also because I was so sick of being spoken to like a child because I looked so young, in fairness I played a game with the media I wouldn’t tell them my age, I was actually 21 but most people thought I was 16 and people treated me like a child, I remember going to this magazine photoshoot at the zoo and being sat in the car because it was raining and they wanted me to go take some-photos with a baby hippo and the photographer was like ‘look Lolly there is real monkeys in there’ ‘I said I’m just doing my VAT returns give me 5 minutes and I will come and have a look’ (laughs)
it wasn’t their fault how it was portrayed out to the audience, which was as this bubbly young girl so every thought id be this ditzy girl wanted to eat sweets all day, where as I was doing my Vat returns, paying bills, being Anne just being real, so I played a part and thinking about it now I should have kept the name Lolly, Polydor spent like a million pounds getting me to where I was, I wanted to step away from it as I was only young and try new challenges.
You released your first single in 18 years back in 2018 followed by your ultimate collection album last year why did you decide to wait so long to release music again?
The reason I released more music was because in 2018 they released all my music digitally for the first time ever and it just went bananas, it was crazy with the streams I was so overwhelmed to be honest so i did it as a thank you to everyone.
My partner is a record producer so in our garden we have a recording studio we have all the facilities, we were having downtime and we both said lets go into the studio and record, the first song was actually wrote about my daughter she was having a tough time at school and I wanted to basically say don’t grow up to quick, stay young and beautiful.
I was blown away by it all, I hadn’t been that great on social media, I saw the love and it gave me happiness that id brought them happiness and it was really nice.
Last year I did ‘Paper Rain’ that was off the back of awful situation it was about my daughter at school she was being bullied, we came up with this song, we came up with the lyrics but we never finished it off so last year due to the lockdown we had time in the studio as we couldn’t book any artists in so we went and finished it, it wasn’t even going to be released but because id noticed how much people had loved ‘Big boys Don’t Cry’ it was because of that and a sentimental message to my daughter.
We have a track that we are working on that is pure happiness that we need to get finished, we need to get back into the studio and bring some sparkle back with everything that is happening with the world right now.
Do you prefer writing songs now and being in the studio opposed to back in the day?
Absolutely and the only reason is life experience, its very hard. My daughter who is only 14 is very into songwriting its either in you or not.
Back when I was releasing music years ago I wasn’t interested I just wanted to perform and do presenting I didn’t have time to sit and write but now through the twists and turns of life I’ve got stories, I’ve got experience, emotions, feelings, I have a story to tell.
A lot of bands like Westlife and A1 are back now touring ( well will be when its aloud) and all the pop reunion tours would you like to go out on tour again?
I would love to if demand would need it!
I have a lot of gigs that was penciled in and then cancelled because of Covid.
I have a lot of dates which are being set up, but who knows when it will happen, it is all up in the air at the minute.
Are you working on music to be released this year?
I don’t know, it does seem to be going that way at the minute, it is easy to be able to put music out these days and the way I have been doing it just feels right, It is nice to not have the pressure, it is lovely to see the music out there and hopefully perform again when I can.
Will you stick with the pop route?
I think pop is definitely where my voice is. I can’t imagine doing anything else.
Do you think its harder now for artists to release music or easier?
Anyone can release anything now can’t they so the market is flooded so seeing all the music is a lot harder, record labels are like banks you go for a loan so you have to recoup it all somehow, you use their knowledge, their wealth to get you the magazines and radio air time, it is catch 22 because now labels are only taking established artists or artists that have a massive following so you have to do the ground work so you might as just do it your self and don’t borrow from the bank so to speak. It is refreshing that artists can do it for themselves and you don’t have to argue with a board of people.
What music are you currently streaming?
If I get the chance, which is not very often to use my music devices because the kids are on them first! I have one 14 year old saying listen to this and my son is saying lets listen to ‘Shotgun’ thats his favourite song ever, but if I had the chance on my own I would put on Katy Perry, love Katy Perry she lifts my mood I am very much what ever mood I am in I will listen to that genre.
Your also a tv presenter, would you like to move to acting in tv and movies?
I home educate my children so I am very limited with what I can do, I want to be present in my kids life as they grow up so fast so its hard for me to commit to jobs, I am not ready to do that yet maybe when they are older.
I do it all so what ever the lens, if some says would you like to do this or act in this series, if the time is right yeah why not.
What have been some of your career highs over the years?
I have so many random and wonderful highlights.
I met Janet Jackson at Top Of The Pops, I shouted I love you when I was in the audience and she blew me a kiss back, there are so many highlights from being on stage, at one point I was the youngest person to play an adult role at the westend in a musical I was 17 years old.
Getting a record deal, launching on the cbbc channel and playing the typewriter with the London Philharmonic orchestra at Hyde park was amazing.
What do you have coming up?
Everything has been cancelled right now, I will be going back into the studio to finish the music off, I think we all need some positive music this year.