Published On: Fri, Jul 28th, 2017

Martine McCutcheon on comeback ‘I didn't forget music, I was too ill to do it’ (INTERVIEW)

The musician and actress released three albums between 1999 and 2002, and enjoyed a string of hit singles including Perfect Moment, I’m Over You and On The Radio.

However the star fell incredibly ill with ME, effectively drawing her career to a halt. Now, 15 years after her last release, she’s about to bring out Lost And Found, preceded by the single Say I’m Not Alone.

“I never forgot or fell out of love with music, I just couldn’t do it,” she said. “You re-evaluate what matters when you get unwell and hit rock bottom.

“So you focus on getting yourself well, because without that you can’t do anything. So it took a long time, it was years and years of patching things up and getting things better.

“Most importantly, until I knew my body was strong, I wouldn’t be able to have a baby. So that was my priority in that time, and during that time I wrote songs – that’s how Lost And Found kind of came about.”

The record is a personal and honest endeavour for the 41-year-old, but the reaction from listeners has so far been very encouraging.

She added: “I was nervous because I thought, ‘oh God, it’s all out there now’ – but it’s funny because the reaction has been brilliant. You think it’s just you going through hellish times but so many people identify in their own way.”

Having shot to fame on EastEnders and then pulled off a seamless transition into pop, McCutcheon was one of the country’s brightest young stars at the turn of the century, and says now that the “excitement and adrenaline” of that time helped to counterbalance the tougher aspects of enormous fame.

“The excitement and adrenaline and innocence sees you through,” she admitted. “It’s such an exciting time, but you’re in fight or flight mode – you’re constantly on.

“Because you’re so young, they go, ‘oh she can handle the schedule’ – in different time zones, you don’t know if you should be asleep or awake or singing…!

“I look back on it with fond memories. The only thing I wish I’d had was a great, consistent manager who protected me and had my back through a lot of stuff. When you’re young, you need that.”

Say I’m Not Alone recently picked up A-list support from BBC Radio 2, and the one-time Tiffany Mitchell laughed as she recalled the first time she heard it on the air.

She said: “I was in a taxi and I was on my own to do interviews, and I was like, ‘this is my song! This is my song!’, and the cab driver was like, ‘no’. He looked at me like, ‘you’re strange’. 

“And I put my Instagram on and I did a video and I was just trying to play it cool. And he’s looking at me in the rear view mirror like, ‘what the hell are you doing?’. 

“But it’s the funniest thing because you can see I’m dying to burst but I just can’t! It was really a lovely feeling when I first heard it.”

Lost And Found by Martine McCutcheon is out on August 11. She’s also touring later this year.

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