When she’s supposed to be promoting her new album, singer Dido would much rather talk about her two-year-old sonand rave about her travels to New Zealand.
The 41-year-old is known for baring her soul on chart-topping ballads Here with Me, White Flag and Thank You, but these days the mum of one spends more time reciting nursery rhymes with her gorgeous boy Stanley.
Working on her latest album, a greatest hits collection, allowed Dido to reflect on how far she has come – and the happiness she now feels.
“When I was making [first album] No Angel, I was in the throws of panic attacks and in a much darker place.
“I now realise that singing brings me a huge amount of happiness. Having my family, I can look back and think, ‘Wow what an amazing journey.’”
The singer’s next adventures are a family trip to our shores. When chatting to the Weekly in her only New Zealand interview, she can’t help but quiz us on when is best for a Kiwi holiday.
“I was talking to my husband [novelist Rohan Gavin] about it and saying it would be so fun to bring Stanley there and do the classic campervan trip from the top down to the bottom.”
New Zealand is a place dear to the British pop star’s heart. Our concerts always have the “best crowds” and her last big show before becoming a mum was in Auckland.
Touring and songwriting have taken a back seat over the past two years – Dido says her brain “turned to mush” after Stanley was born. But compiling songs for this latest project ignited her creative side once again.
“It’s 15 years of my life compressed into an album. There are so many real-life moments. My break-ups and my dad dying, and it’s all in those songs. It was like this crazy diary,” she says.
“The best thing about having a kid is you are not conflicted, you are just in love – but you can’t write a song about that. It’s boring and cheesy,” Dido adds with a laugh.
She’s often asked about her odd name, derived from the mythical queen of Carthage, but now it’s her son’s name that brings up questions.
Dido reveals her boy is not named after the troubled youth featured in her 2000 hit song with Eminem – but she’s not worried about explaining this when he’s older.
“We named him after other Stanleys, but we didn’t think that one through.”