Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

The Magic of Creating My Own Numbers ; Michele Stodart Is Going Country and Now Embraces Her Solo Career

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

The Magic of Creating My Own Numbers ; Michele Stodart Is Going Country and Now Embraces Her Solo Career

Article excerpt

AFFABLE, approachable lady that she is, the singer-songwriter Michele Stodart - The Magic Numbers bassistturned-solo artist - will often stick around after her gigs to meet and chat with fans.

Yet, on more than one occasion, Stodart has found herself explaining to those fans that, outside of her solo career, she's also a member of a more highprofile musical outfit.

"I've had a few people say to me, 'oh, you're in The Magic Numbers? I've never heard of them - what are they like?'" she chuckles.

"I think that's great. It means I'm stepping outside of my comfort zone and meeting different crowds.

"It really feels like I'm at the start of something new and exciting."

Best known as the hypergrooving bass player of the enduring indie- pop band she formed with older brother Romeo in 2002 - Michele Stodart has, since 2012, also been ploughing a lone furrow as a country-infused, acoustic-toting singer songwriter.

Although it's hardly the biggest leap in terms of musical genre, the manner in which Stodart has fully embraced the status of 'new artist'- a true beginner's operation which has seen her relentlessly touring the country, building a fanbase - deserves huge credit.

Now, with only one week to go until the release of her second solo record, Pieces (the follow-up to 2012's low-key but warmlyreceived debut, Wide-Eyed Crossing), she's also having to learn to deal with, away from the protective cloak of The Magic Numbers, the pressures of having your own music judged by the wider world.

"It's been an eye-opener to do it again," she says sincerely.

"Going on the road, trying to establish yourself as a new artist.

"It's sort of exciting and frightening at the same time putting your own music out there - I'm fully aware that some Magic Numbers fans might not get my solo stuff, but I've also made a lot of new fans."

At the weird; putting out there, " Stodart's solo ambitions began long before she found fame with The Magic Numbers.

Michele Born in Trinidad, but forced to flee the country after a military coup, Stodart and her family eventually settled - via a brief stint in New York - in London when she was 10.

Thanks to her mother, a professional opera singer, music played a huge part in her childhood, in particular, she said: "All those classic country singers: Patsy Cline, Emmylou Harris, Hank Williams. …

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