Alesha Dixon refuses to put a foot wrong. Self-assured, smart, stylish and focused, Dixon grew up looking for energy and inspiration in the popstars she idolised and in 2008 she's paying it forward with a scorching album as rewarding to extended home listening as it is to high octane blasts of pleasure during a night out on the tiles. With an effortlessness rare in superstars on either side of the Atlantic Dixon skips her way though world class ballads, frenetic dance tracks, loopy party numbers and instantly hummable hits-to-be. Ladies and gentlemen, please take your seats: the curtain's coming up on The Alesha Show…
At three years old Alesha Dixon was chatty, independent and creative. At 13 she was bunking off school to go and see pop groups in concert, and by her 20's she was one third of Mis-teeq, hurling hits in the direction of the Top 10 with alarming frequency. Now nearly 30, and having spent much of the decade in the charts, Alesha Dixon is back in the driving seat with her incredible debut album release. ‘The Alesha Show' is Alesha through and through: stylish, fun, bright, chatty and reflective, held together with that unique voice, a wicked sense of humour and a dirty laugh that would put Sid James to shame.
Alesha's been a busy woman since signing to Asylum Records earlier this year and is blasting back with ‘The Boy Does Nothing', an irresistible, undulating smash-in-waiting which ranks at 5.5 on the mambo Richter scale and is simultaneously one of the most unabashed and most perfect pop singles for years. It's certainly one of the few whose lyrics reference both washing up and sweeping the floor. At the centre of the song is an inept, two-left-footed fella whose experience of rug-cutting begins and ends with a Saturday job at Allied Carpets. "I adore the line ‘if the man can't dance, he gets no second chance'," Alesha says. "I love to be impressed by somebody's dance skills." Alesha describes the song as "bottled happiness"."The song is super sassy and uplifting. I think some people thought I might come back with a song that was moodier, but that's just not me." It's the sort of excitable jamboree we've come to expect not just from Alesha but from the song's producer Brian Higgins and his Xenomania team - pop maestros behind artists like Girls Aloud ,Gabriella Cilmi and The Sugababes - but while it hits the pop bullseye it's also a brilliantly left of centre, effervescent introduction to an album which dips its toe effortlessly across a plethora of music styles from 60s R&B and perfect pop, right through to classic ballad, while documenting life's ups, life's downs and life's sideways bits.
Alesha grew up in Welwyn Garden City, a prototype new town famed, Dixon notes, for Shredded Wheat and Nick Faldo. Down the road from London but surrounded by Hertfordshire hills this was the perfect stomping ground for a girl who'd end up making an organic, modern but classic sounding album like ‘The Alesha Show'. Back before having quite a nice barnet played a part in making her one of pop's most stylish singers Alesha's hairbrush would be a microphone as she sang along to Madonna, Janet Jackson and a pre-American Idol wobbliness Paula Abdul. "I was fascinated by this fantasy world," Alesha recalls. "To see women like that back then was huge - it was a big deal, and I wanted to be like them. Neneh Cherry was a massive influence for me. I remember seeing her on Top Of The Pops - that ‘Buffalo Stance' appearance everyone remembers - and turning to my mum and saying, ‘she looks like me!' I had never seen a mixed race singer from the UK before her - it was important to have someone like her that I could identify with as a kid."
By the time she was 19 Alesha had formed Mis-teeq with friend Sabrina Washington; eventually a three-piece they scored seven Top 10 singles, released two albums and even had US success with their signature hit, ‘Scandalous'. When the band split in 2005 it wasn't long before Alesha was invited to appear in N.E.R.D's "She Wants To Move" video, and by God did she pull it off. Choreographed…
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The Boy Does Nothing
Every Little Part Of Me
To Love Again
Do It Our Way Play
Italians Do It Better
Let's Get Excited
Ooh Baby I Like It Like That
Hand It Over