For the latest in our WISE WORDS interview series - where stars from a whole range of fields share the important life lessons they’ve learned along the way - we’re posing some of the big questions to musician SHARLEEN SPITERI.
As the frontwoman of Texas, Sharleen has sold more than 40million records, including 13 top ten singles. Following some solo work, Sharleen has rejoined her Texas bandmates for the forthcoming ‘Jump on Board’, out on 21 April.
To mark this exciting arrival and its accompanying tour, Sharleen sat down with HuffPostUK for some Wise Words...
How do you switch off?
Cook. My home is my castle, my sanctuary. I get in the house, my socks and shoes come off, I get in the kitchen, and cook. Then I put some music on, or even better, a Jack Lemmon movie - something familiar and reassuring.
How do you deal with negativity?
I find it hard to keep my mouth shut. I was badly bullied as a kid, so I react badly to, not necessarily bad news, but negativity itself. Negativity can be someone telling you something for a reason to change or make it better, that’s good negativity, but if they’re doing it for kicks, then “fuck off”. I can’t be doing with those people “just saying…” Don’t say, get out of my mouth. I like to think I stop and think about what’s coming out of my mouth, asking what I can achieve with my words. I just want to get to a positive place. Sometimes, I can walk away, sometimes I just can’t.
Saying that, I should stress, I get more love and positivity than anything else, and I’m so grateful for it. It takes balls to go up to a stranger and tell them you admire their work, so I respect it so much.
When and where are you at your happiest?
With my family and friends. The weekends when your mates come over for lunch and it turns into dinner. Nobody goes home. You find kids lying under coats on the bed. And the dog’s lying there, knackered, because she’ s been given too much attention.
What’s been the best piece of advice you’ve received?
Everything is yours to give, and you have to decide when to give it. That was my mum’s big sex education talk.
What’s been the biggest lesson you’ve have to learn?
I’ve always had a very realistic stance from my mum and dad, that you’re not going to get it right all the time, you’re going to get it wrong, but it’s your choice. I feel quite lucky, I’ve been disappointed at some points in my life but the way I was brought up, I was prepared for it. I don’t know if you’re always ready for that kind of reality, but you need it.
What would you like to tell your 13-year-old self?
I would probably turn round and say, you’re going in the right direction. I don’t look back at anything and worry. I know more but I don’t know if I’m any wiser. I was never a miserable kid, I was really happy, but I was circumspect. My mum said I wasn’t that difficult, and I find myself saying exactly the same things now.
What three things are at the top of your wish list?
I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii, ever since Blue Hawaii.
Sustain a career. I’m doing it, but the longer it goes on, the harder it goes on.
Look back at my daughter in 10 years and think, thank god I got it right. It’s only when you have your own children, you look at your parents with different eyes.
What do you think happens when we die?
I’d like to think that I am sitting in a big comfy armchair, with an endless collection of good movies, with some tea on tap. And a pensieve that I can look through to keep an eye on my loved ones.
When or where have you felt in the presence of something larger than ourselves?
Sometimes you do shows, and there’s a connection between you and the audience where it stops being about either of you, but it becomes about one. There’s an energy created in that moment. You look at human beings and realise that it’s possible. It doesn’t need the same language, the same thoughts, but at that moment we are all one and understand the positives and being together and just being in that moment. Hopefully, the energy stays with you forever if you cherish it. I remember going to see the Stone Roses on their very first tour, and there was something special in the air that night, and I’ll always have that with me, no matter how many years pass. You look back and remember the smell, the taste, the people you were with, the colours, and you look back at it, and have that warmth again.
What is the quality you most prize in relationships?
Sharing. Feelings, emotions, the whole physical aspect of being around each other. Sharing each other.
What keeps you grounded?
The idea of my mum slapping me around the head, when I’ve done something stupid. Sometimes I’ve been confused, but she’s normally right.
What was the most recent act of kindness you received?
Last night on the train, it was 1 o clock in the morning and we had still not arrived in London, I was on a train stuck near Preston, and a stranger on the train offered me a sandwich. And I thought, ‘You’re a lovely, kind man and I salute you.’
Texas’s ‘Jump on Board’ is released on 21 April.
Texas play the Isle of Wight Festival this June. Grab tickets here - http://isleofwightfestival.