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 actor IMELDA MAY.
After playing and singing for years in her native Dublin, Imelda had her breakthrough with an appearance on ‘Later... With Jools’ in 2008. She’s been described as a “unique vocal talent” and compared with revered jazz musicians such as Billie Holiday.
To mark the arrival of her fifth studio album ‘Life. Love. Flesh. Blood’, Imelda sat down with HuffPostUK to share some Wise Words and lessons learnt along the way...
What do you do to switch off from the world?
Go to sleep! I don’t get much time to switch off at the moment. I like to read, listen to music and get a massage if I have time.
How do you deal with any negativity that comes your way?
When and where are you at your happiest?
When I am Involved in making music. Whether that is writing it or recording or performing it. When I’m with my family and friends and most of all when I am with my daughter.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
“You can do anything you put your mind to”, which my mother said. “I’d rather regret what I do than what I don’t do” and lastly “nobody’s perfect”.
What has been the hardest lesson you’ve learned?
Don’t party too much before a major interview. I had a gig at Ronnie Scotts and then an after-show party that went on 4am in the morning and then I found myself having to do a very serious interview at about 8-9am.. that was not my finest hour. Photoshoots as well. My makeup artist was not happy with me!
What would you tell your 13-year-old self?
It is not the destination that counts but the journey. Go with what life throws at you. Enjoy yourself and don’t really care what people think as you care less as you get older what people think. Do what you feel and do what makes you feel good!
What 3 things are at the top of your bucket list?
I’m going to have to change that B to an F and then it gets way more interesting… haha. I want to do everything! If I lived to 180 I still wouldn’t have enough time. There is so much great stuff to do. Great music to hear, I want to see more plays, to see more gigs. I want to go to Mexico, Cuba, Japan. Read every book that’s been recommended to me. There a lot to do and a lot of great things going on and I want to be a part of it all.
What do you think happens when we die?
I would like to think you get to meet everyone you miss. But just in case you don’t, do everything you wanna do now!
When do you feel a sense that we live in the presence of something bigger than ourselves?
When there are certain terrible things that happen in life, like the atrocities in Westminster last month. Afterwards, when people join together, united against hideous acts like this, that’s when it feels like, there’s something bigger than us. When everyone gets together and there is so much love. It makes you connect in a positive way against something so negative.
What do you try to bring to your relationships?
Support, like they do for me. Love. To be there for them. To Listen when they need it.. Laughter. Joy! To learn from each other!
What keeps you grounded?
My family, my friends and my daughter
What was the last good deed or act of kindness you received?
I was in a hotel the other day, one of the managers gave me a note pad with a message saying: “Hope this inspires your next lyrics.” It was amazing as I had just run out of my last lyric book that I write everything in, as I had filled it up… it was perfect timing… I had literally got to the last page that day, when I got to my room it was there. The Cumberland hotel in London. Thankyou.
Imelda May’s new album Life. Love. Flesh. Blood is out now. She tours the UK in May and June at dates including the London Palladium tonight. For more information please visit: https://imeldamay.co.uk/