Q and A with Geri Horner

Multi-award winning singer Geri Horner is set to take BBC Two viewers back to the 90s for the next instalment in the BBC Music: My Generation season. 

What can viewers expect to see in this programme?
It’s a journey looking back on a decade of many different layers. It’s also my personal journey through music, and I reflect on the musical, cultural and political landscape of our country. I feel we evolved as a nation in such a positive way during the Nineties, Britain felt like the centre of the world.

Did you enjoy taking a trip down memory lane?
It was an amazing experience and it stirred up lots of memories that could so easily have been forgotten. It made me realise how far I’ve come in my life. Sometimes we have to look back to move forward so that we can take the best bits from our past, and so the journey filled me with both gratitude and inspiration.

What are your lasting memories of the 90s?
Music is the most evocative memory of the Nineties. It's the soundtrack to all our lives and it was a decade with such a powerful, strong and diverse soundtrack, from rave and hip hop to varied artists such as George Michael, Madonna, Oasis, Soul II Soul and Massive Attack.

What did the decade mean to you?
It was such an open-minded decade - people really did embrace musical diversity. There seemed to be more optimism and greater freedom to develop creatively. It was so inspiring that we all could accept and embrace each other’s tastes and opinions.

What other 90s artists did you listen to?
I listened to a great variety of music and it all inspired my own song writing. At the start of the decade I loved happy house rave music, artists such as Alison Limerick, Lil Louis and Frankie Knuckles, tracks like The Source featuring Candi Staton and Steve Hurley’s remix of Uh Uh Ooh Ooh (Look Out Here It Comes).

Would you go back and do anything differently?
My mother asked me recently if I regretted anything. Wisdom with hindsight can be obnoxious, yet also useful and humbling. I guess it depends on how philosophical I’m feeling. Forgive the cliché but mistakes can be turned into useful lessons. Sometimes they are cringe moments we all want to forget, but we can also develop any awkward experiences into comfortable truths. I think the best way to look back at any regrets is with compassion and humour. One large spoonful of humility can help.

How has the music industry changed since then?
Massively - almost beyond recognition. We didn’t have the internet or World Wide Web at the start of the Nineties, so the online digital takeover has created a different but exciting landscape. On one hand it’s amazing - the vast opportunity it gives to new talent is so empowering. However sometimes it’s overwhelming, with so much information and so much choice to cut through. Everything had changed by the end of the decade.

How as an artist have you changed since then?
I think I’ve gone almost full circle as an artist. I turned 18 in 1990 so, as a young adult, there was a huge bravado and an unconscious spirit that drove me forward with confidence and abandonment. This became clear in the music I was writing. But, as one gets older, gets more life experience and absorbs outside influences, we get more cautious and sometimes over-think things. On reflection, as I create music in this new phase of my life, I’m very aware that my musical taste has evolved, but I do think I went through a period of trying to hold on to what I knew.

Now, in the essence of the music I’m making and the lyrics I’m communicating, I’ve really just gone back to where I started. I’m writing songs instinctively about how I feel rather than trying to be in with the in-crowd. I’ve gone back to move forward and feel I’ve woken up with a passion to express myself with honesty and without caution or self-consciousness. That’s freedom.

March 8, 2017 6:04am ET by BBC TWO  

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