”I've got my own album to do”

"SINGING WAS THE PROBLEM. IT CAME from my dad: if you weren't Mario Lanza or Nat Cole you were no good. So I went into myself and wrote songs for other people - usually women because my parents had wanted me to be a girl and I was trying to repair something I thought was wrong with me.

"Then, four years ago, Eddi Reader and me were getting Fairground Attraction back together when I suddenly realised, I don't want to do this. There was something unhealthy about borrowing women singers to express my feelings. A weird transvestism.

"I started writing for myself - and singing, the thing that most freightened me. The first time I went into the studio I had to have the lights off. But within months I was supporting Mike Oldfield at Wembley Arena. I came off-stage weeping with happiness.

"Raresong is my own label [website: www.marknevin.com]. I'm making another album already, financing myself from writing royalties...this time with no voice in my head saying, You're going to make a prat of yourself."

from Mojo January/2000 号