The Guardian FEBRUARY 15, 2013 - by Tim Jonze


Has the singer really been taking music classes since her last album - and is her son Stanley named after the Eminem song?

Hi Dido! You once said: "If I look out of the window, I'll see it in terms of music." What can you hear out of the window right now?

Annoyingly I'm in a room without a proper window, which is freaking me out. I don't like rooms without windows. Actually, there is a stained glass thing made up of little triangles.

OK, what does that sound like?

Oh, I don't know... Alt-J?! [1]

It's been five years since your last album...

Not intentionally! I had it all nearly finished in 2010 and was ready to surprise everyone... then I got pregnant and had a baby boy, Stanley! A lot of people loved the title of the album, Girl Who Got Away [2], because I do keep disappearing for a while between albums. I love the song of that name too... it was the one that Stanley would kick to the most while I was singing it.

Is Stanley a good judge of your music?

He's quite harsh. If he doesn't like something he waves at it vigorously. He's probably going to be a music journalist.

What made you want to, as the Daily Mail recently said, "go dubstep"? [3]

[Under her breath] That was quite annoying. [Laughs] Erm, I don't even know how to answer that. When I wrote Blackbird it was just a country song and then I played it to Rollo [4], who said him and Sister Bliss could have a field day with it.

You worked with Brian Eno on this record. Did he bring out his Oblique Strategies and tell you to make the music "more purple"?

No, I don't get any of that!

You should ask for your money back!

I think the reason he's great is that he facilitates the artist and brings out the best in them without stamping all over him.

Did you go back to doing music classes before this album?

No. No. [Long pause]. Er, should I have done? What are you saying?!

I'd read that you went to UCLA to do music classes before your last album.

I did go to UCLA, but I was doing English literature and mythology...

Oh dear, in that case the previous question must have seemed quite rude!

[Laughs] It did seem a little rude, to be honest! Actually I did study a bit of music - orchestration classes and film scoring. So that was part of it.

The Guardian music desk was collectively "a bit surprised" to find out that Kendrick Lamar was on the new Dido album.

[Laughs] I'm a massive fan of his. Money Trees is probably my favourite song of last year. So I sent the song Let Us Move On to him thinking it would be a long shot but he came back with this amazing verse. He's properly listened to the song and made it his own.

What is the most hip-hop thing about you?

[Laughs] That's a worse question than the one about music classes! I have absolutely no idea.

Well, have you got swag?

What I have got is a brilliant necklace with headphones and a cassette tape on. So that's my main concession to hip-hop.

What about smoking blunts?

Er, no, not right now...

Are you carrying a gun?

Sadly not packing heat today...

This is disappointing. When Eminem first sampled Thank You in Stan, did you worry that he was so controversial it could kill your career?

Not at all, I've always followed my own instincts. He's a brilliant storyteller and he's writing about things that have actually happened. I was always pretty defensive of him in that way.

Everyone will think you named your son Stanley after that song...

They will, won't they? I really didn't think they would! I called Rollo and asked him and he said: "Don't be ridiculous, I didn't even make the connection!" Brilliant advice, again! But it's always been my favourite name. I don't mind people thinking that anyway because it was such a great period in my life.

Does it not worry you that Stan had a few issues? He tied you up and stuffed you in the boot of his car for a start...

True. Hopefully he won't mind that too much when he grows up!

Have you ever thought about sampling Eminem back on your records?

[Laughs] No, but maybe I will now you've given me the idea!

I've been looking at lines that might make a nice fit for a Dido song. How about Under The Influence's "I was high when I wrote this so suck my dick?"

That would be a brilliant chorus for me. How long has it taken you to come up with these questions? Do you sit there chuckling as you write them? Do you run them by your friends saying: "Guess what I'm going to ask"? [5]


1 Dido has just made the most indie joke of 2013!

2 Girl Who Got Away is out on March 4.

3 Dido has not gone dubstep.

4 Brother of Dido, also in Faithless.

5 How did Dido get access to our editorial meetings?