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Dread Man Walking: An Interview With Busta Rhymes


Olive



It's the phone call all budding rock stars fantasize about: "Hello. You don't know me, but I've just heard a sample of your voice and I'm putting a project together--would you like to sing on it?" In 1994, Ruth-Ann Boyle received such a call from former Simply Red keyboardist Tim Kellett. Kellett had tracked her down after hearing her sampled vocal on a keyboard. Recalls Boyle, "I knew who Tim was because I was a big Simply Red fan. At first, I thought he was one of my friends having a bit of a laugh at my expense. When I realized it was him, I got really excited. At the time, I was working in a bar and my life was going absolutely nowhere. I was thinking about going into nursing just so I'd have something I could be proud of. I had been in bands when I was 18 or 19, but they were less than pleasant experiences that left me a bit wary of band situations. Although this felt different, I didn't think anything would come of it." Needless to say, she was wrong. Within the course of a year, Kellett and Boyle found themselves signed to RCA Records, and in true storybook fashion, their first single, "You're Not Alone," became a huge international hit.

A half-dozen years later, the duo is now signed to Madonna's Maverick label, and about to release Trickle, a creamy and hypnotic collection of bittersweet songs that revolve around matters of the heart. Their sound has been described as a blend of breezy electronic ambience, undulating hip-hop beats and lush, soulful R&B-tinged vocals. "Personally, I don't think we need a label," says Kellett. "Our sound defies categorization and I think this album proves that." As for the disc's somber tone, Kellett says, "I can't write songs that feature lines like, "Oh baby, I love you." "That's completely disallowed," laughs Ruth-Ann. "We're not allowed to have the word "baby' in any songs. This is a "baby-free' record."

Tim and Ruth recently spent Five Minutes with drDrew.com talking about their love of potato chips and dogs. True to form, the word "baby" was never brought up again.

drDrew.com: What's your favorite thing to do when no one else is around?
Ruth-Ann: Reading.
Tim Kellert: Talk to myself.

drDrew.com: Name a guilty pleasure.
RA: Potato chips!
TK: Champagne in the morning.

drDrew.com: What's your greatest fear?
RA: Loneliness.
TK: Being in a plane crash.

drDrew.com: Name your favorite body part.
RA: My shoulders.
TK: My ears.

drDrew.com: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
RA: My laugh.
TK: My skin tone.

drDrew.com: What was your worst day job?
RA: Putting leaflets into cataloguesI kept getting paper cuts on my hands.
TK: I worked in a Fish "N Chips restaurant.

drDrew.com: What's something you're good at that's totally useless?
RA: Pulling my eyelid inside out.
TK: I can do an impression of a phone.

drDrew.com: Name your favorite fictional character.
RA: Jay Gatsby.
TK: Chuckie from the Rugrats.

drDrew.com: What was your most memorable celebrity encounter?
RA: I once stood very near to my two favorite footballers and didn't know what to say. I was completely starstruck.
TK: Jack Nicholson came to a Simply Red gig at the Roxy and we had late night drinks upstairs afterward.

drDrew.com: Who would you like to trade places with for a day?
RA: My six-year-old nephew.
TK: My one-year-old daughter.

drDrew.com: What song best represents the soundtrack of your life?
RA: Mary J. Blige's "Be Happy!"
TK: Al Green's "Take Me To The River" "cause I like fishing.

drDrew.com: If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?
RA: A dog.
TK: A queen bee.

drDrew.com: When you were a kid growing up, who did you imitate when you stood in front of the mirror?
RA: Shirley Bassey.
TK: I didn't imitate anyone, I just made stupid faces.

drDrew.com: What is your motto?
RA: "Never judge a book by its cover."
TK: "Be prepared."

drDrew.com: Name a book you've read recently and liked.
RA: James St. James' Disco Bloodbath.
TK: Nick Hornby's About A Boy.

drDrew.com: Name a film you've seen recently and liked.
RA: Fight Club.
TK: The Matrix.

drDrew.com: Name an album you've heard recently and liked.
RA: Macy Gray's On How Life Is.
TK: Travis' The Man Who

drDrew.com: Finish this line: "If we can send a man to the moon, then why..."
RA: can't we make sure everyone is fed, clothed and housed?
TK: should I finish this sentence?

drDrew.com: What will you remember most about the '90s?
RA: Having a number one single in the U.K.
TK: Having a number one record and four kids.

 
 
 
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