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The singer has got plenty to offer and she spills the beans on how her Scottish roots keep her grounded, why she's avoiding keeping a bucket list and being approached to record her new album, 'Making Life Rhyme', which features only new, original songs...
Lulu, who is celebrating her 50th year as a recording artist
What do you do to switch off from the world?
I meditate. I have been meditating since 1984, it’s a daily routine I have. My meditation tip would be to find a good teacher. I’ve studied with a great master, and I have a guru who I met in 1984. I had been trying since the '60s up until then, but somehow… I don’t know. I just wasn’t ready. But they say when the student is ready, the master appears, and I met her in 1984, and that was just that.
How do you deal with negativity?
If I feel negative myself, I feel heavy. I have to look and see, am I healthy? Am I lonely? Am I tired? Those are the first three things I ask myself. You have to stop and ask yourself a few questions. And then you deal with that accordingly.
With negativity in other people, I just try to remove myself. There are ways of visualising, you know? If you know you’re going to meet someone who is continuously negative - you can protect yourself that way. You can visualise a golden light around you… and you take what you need and leave out what you don’t need.
When and where are you happiest?
I’m happiest when I’m with my grandchildren - either with my grandchildren, or my son and my daughter-in-law. That’s one time when I’m happy - Oor when I’m singing and I’m totally in the zone. When I give myself to the music - writing, performing, singing on stage or singing in the studio - I’m totally happy. So when I’m doing music and I’m in the zone, when I’m lost in it... even when I’m listening to music I’m lost in it! I could die happy, you know?
There’s a piece of music that, if I’m dying or fading out, I want a special piece of music to be played, and that would be the Tedeshi Trucks Band, at the Crossroads festival, performing ‘Midnight In Harlem’.
Lulu performs at the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
To write songs. For many reasons. Because it’s an artistic endeavour, it’s something I love, it’s cathartic, it can be financially lucrative! *laughs* And there can be more.
What’s been the hardest lesson you’ve learned?
Letting go. Letting go of anything you’re attached to. No matter what it is… it could be your children, it could be your husband, it could be your family, it could be your money, it could be your youth, it could be your hair, it could be control. Letting go. It’s a big problem, letting go.
Letting go and letting God, really, is the best way to do it. That’s the way to understand it. That’s a daily practise in my life.
What would you tell your 13-year-old self?
You’re perfect just as you are. Because God knows, I had so many complaints about myself at that age. I just couldn’t help but feel, ‘if only I were like this’, ‘if only I were like that’, ‘if only I had this’, ‘if only I had that’. You’re perfect as you are, so enjoy being in the present!
What three things are at the top of your bucket list?
I don’t have a bucket list - and I don’t want one. I’m trying to live in the present! *laughs*
What do you think happens when we die?
I believe in reincarnation. I follow an Eastern path and that’s what I believe.
When do you feel a sense that we live in the presence of something bigger than ourselves?
I always feel that way. I know it, I know it. I live my life more in the solution than the problem and part of that is, in the morning, getting down on my knees and asking to get out of the way, to do only the will of God. Then in the evening, getting down on my knees and saying thank you for the day. That’s my daily routine.
I feel grateful all of the time. I just did an album where the record company actually said to me: ‘We would like you to do an album of all original songs. Can you write a whole album of all original songs and we will give you a deal?’
And I thought: ‘Are they talking to me? Are they serious? This is insane!' *laughs* And so I’m really grateful for that.
I’m grateful for the fact that I’m here - I’m ticking, and I can still do it. I have two amazing grandchildren. My life is pretty unbelievable, and that’s not to say I don’t have struggles. Everything isn’t perfect every minute, I’m not happy-clappy. But the bottom line is that when it comes down to it, the glass is half-full, not half-empty.
What keeps you grounded?
It''s part of my Scottish nature, I think... My Scottish upbringing, and then my brothers, and my sister. Knowing that it doesn’t all begin and end with me. Sometimes I think it does, but I often get a wake-up call and that’s good. It’s very important to get a little slap, if it’s gonna give you humanity, because that’s the only way to live. Otherwise you’re living in La-La Land, and I don’t just mean LA! *laughs*
What was your last good deed?
I wouldn’t tell you! My belief is that you perform a good deed, and you don’t talk about it. Sometimes you inadvertently talk about something that you did, but I think it’s good to keep it to yourself.
What do you try to bring to your relationships?
Trying to accept someone for who they are, and not trying to change that. But I think what I bring to the relationship, is probably loyalty and hopefully love and I mean that in the big sense. I don’t mean that in the intimate man/woman ‘I’m in love with you’ kind of thing. I mean it in a deeper meaning. So it’s loyalty, friendship, and ultimately love.
Lulu is commemorating 50 years in show business with the release of her brand new album 'Making Life Rhyme', available to buy from 13 April.