Absolutely Mama chats with Myleene Klass about her new album My Lullabies: Motown...
Congratulations on the launch of your new album, My Lullabies: Motown. Could you tell us a little bit about it?
In lockdown, myself and my children did something called Myleene’s Music Klass and we put together lessons that we taught online for free. They were so successful we added to the curriculum, which was just staggering, and we had schools adding them to links, so we decided to take it a bit further.
NCT groups got cancelled and mum and baby groups got cancelled and one of my friends said she was really lonely. So every Wednesday after that, in addition to the classes we were doing, I then started doing lullaby sessions. So I’d pick the genre or the theme of the music and we just did them live and my daughters would man the iPad and shout out whatever the requests were. So I’d say: “Let’s do David Bowie lullabies – I want Life on Mars!” Or “I want Sir Elton John!” To the ’80s – “I want Duran Duran”… And then when we got to Motown it just absolutely blew up.
So did you choose the tracks for the album based on the most popular songs that had been requested?
Yes that’s exactly what we did, except there’s one on there that’s very close to my heart. It’s the second track, What Becomes of the Broken Hearted, which is the one for the angel baby mums. When I recorded it I was so glad that I sat with my back to the studio because there were just tears rolling down my face. It was not from a mourning point of view, it was from a quite cathartic point of view, like there’s still something for us to mark them. Because I think what’s so hurtful is that it all gets lost in the sands of time and it’s really important to still mark that they were here.
I didn’t want it to be really uncomfortable, I just wanted to give people a bit of light and peace and my daughters know the story behind it and they love it. We can talk about it, it sounds beautiful, it’s just a lovely memory and what a beautiful way to remember people through music.
You’re now campaigning to help women going through miscarriage…
There is light at the end of the tunnel because I’m now trying to get a bill passed in parliament that’s going to look after women. I spend a lot of time in parliament at the moment and I’m working alongside Olivia Blake MP and Tommy’s and we’re trying to get a new bill passed, which means that women who’ve experienced miscarriage will have it added to their medical record (at the momet it’s a postcode lottery). So women won’t have to wait for three miscarriages, but will have treatment after the the first miscarriage and also get 24/7 support via a charity they can call and they’ll actually be able to speak to doctors.
Are there any other tracks on the album that are particularly special to you?
It was just a real labour of love. I love Baby Love – at the very beginning of the track it’s Hero playing piano, it’s not me. So that’s her recording debut. It’s my baby playing Baby Love and I absolutely love that. And The Tracks of My Tears – that’s Hero and Ava on trumpet – so these all mean something because they are done by my girls. And My Cherie Amour was also another favourite because I don’t think I really appreciated just how technically difficult the chords are in Motown, they’re quite elaborate. It’s not until you start recording that you really get into the intricacies of Motown.
We can’t not talk about your honorary doctorate. Huge congratulations!
I can’t even begin to put it into words. I feel like I should’ve been more present in the day because I was so blown away and it felt so special that I’d like to go and relive it all again. I’m just going to make restaurant bookings now under Dr Klass!
And your daughter, Ava, is following in your musical footsteps. You must be very proud of her joining The Royal Academy of Music?
It’s just gone from third gear to fifth gear, she’s just suddenly really found her stride. She’ll be joining The Royal Academy of Music from September and she’s just passed her diploma with distinction. Most people, if they even do a diploma, will do it at eighteen or nineteen years old. She’s fourteen and she’s also been doing her school exams, so I’m just blown away. She’s about to do her second diploma in piano in the next few months, so she’s just on another level. She’s so dedicated and so determined, and I’m her biggest cheerleader.
What was it like recording with your daughters for the first time?
It was so much fun but it was quite funny as well because you’re not just there in a recording capacity but you’re still mum. So even though you’re like ‘right let’s do this amazing recording’ and Ava brought her cello and Hero brought her trumpet and Hero played piano and we’re doing all the normal work stuff that you’d expect, and then halfway through you’re back into mum mode again because someone is hungry or someone has a mum question. It’s quite a funny dynamic in the studio. It was so lovely, what a privilege to be able to record with your daughters, who are at the standard that can record it.
Myleene Klass’s new album My Lullabies: Motown is available at Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music as well as other leading streaming services.