Entertainment » Music

Sophie Who? (Re-)Introducing ’Groovejet’ Gal Ellis-Bextor

by Mark Russo
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Jul 6, 2010

Sophie who? That might have been the question you asked if you ventured over to the NYC's 2010 pride Pier Dance. Sophie Ellis Bextor was one of two featured performers, along with Ultra Naté.

Don't ask "Who," because if you have been on a dance floor for the past 10 years, you're as intimate with her as with any dance diva out there. Sophie had genuine mega-hits in the early '90s, "Murder on the Dance Floor" and "Groovejet" - songs that kept you dancing to the wee hours of the morning. I was interested to meet Sophie to finally put a face to the songs I have dance the night away to for years.

Sophie is a well-known pop star in the United Kingdom, but is less well known on these shores, even though she has some well-charted singles here. Her debut appearance in the U.S., in fact, happened at the June Gay Pride Pier Dance.

Sophie's says she "never had a master plan" and is a believer in "serendipity," which, she believes, led her to sing to the many thousands amassed on a Hudson River pier. Now she is looking forward to her next album in the US as a chance to break wide in the huge U.S. market.

For Sophie's next album, she is working with several of the world's top DJs, including the Freemasons, Armin van Buuren and Calvin Harris. Her singles with these DJ will be compiled on her own album and included in the DJ's own projects.

Sophie worries that she might get lost behind some of these big names, but is excited to release a new dance pop album. It's no surprise superstar DJs are working with Sophie. She has a tone to her voice that works very well with dance beats - distinct while not being overpowering.

Her first release off the upcoming album is "Heartbreak," a song she did in collaboration with the Freemasons. It's catchy and upbeat, a song that will be certainly be a contender for the song of the summer. But forget Sophie being an artist who feels she has to have the "outrageous" factor, like running around at a Yankees games in a bra and panties kissing girls like a certained titled singer.

Outrageousness might be a challenge for Sophie: She is 31 years old, happily married to The Feeling guitarist Richard Jones and the mother of two young boys. But don't count her out when it comes to outrageousness; when she was a teenager she admits that she had kissed many girls and she felt "it was an absolutely fine experience."

Would she try it again? Laughingly, she responded, "I never met the right woman." According to Sophie, her (cute!) husband wouldn't be into her kissing other women for fidelity reasons. (Maybe Sophie should give Sandra Bullock tips on finding a man - along with every other woman in America.)

Not that Sophie can't be sexy. Sophie likes to vamp it up for her videos throwing on a pair of stilettos and a mini skirt. Oddly enough, the British tabloids tag her look as being unconventional. Looking at her, you would never know why she would be considered unconventional looking. She's quite pretty and extremely charming.

So I had to ask her, "Why is your look so unconventional?" Because, she says, "I have been told on many, many occasion that I have and odd face and it looks like an alien." Sophie is confident with her look and tells the tabloids to "bring it on."

Screw the tabloids. She is on track to be one hot MILF, infidelity be damned. She was quite familiar with the term and calls it "charming." On a larger note, she wants to break the stereotype of having children and being considered "a frumpy and unsexy mother." Well, she is far from frumpy and unsexy, and I think her sons are going to be very popular during their high school years. Sophie better be prepare for a lot of sleepovers.

Sophie is a former poster girl for PETA and feels terribly about what is happening in the gulf and the effects on marine life. Sophie says "sometimes it feels like a scary time to be alive full stop with all the enormity of the things we are dealing with." Sophie is glad music and other forms of entertainment can provide some sort of escapism.

Although the Pier Dance was her first big gig in the States, Sophie recalled her New York gay club=hopping days with her buds, Fred Schneider from the B52s and Jake Shears from the Scissor Sisters. She quite fondly remembers hitting the former Beauty Bar with Jake, and Bungalow 8 and some other nameless bar with half naked men and Fred.

She told me she might even have been planning to hit some of the hot spots with the Freemasons after the Pier Dance. The kids are safe at home and Sophie is ready to party.

Mark Russo is a part-time computer software engineer and full-time pop-culture maven.


  • , 2010-07-09 08:03:53

    Wow. I don’t mean to be harsh, but Mark Russo needs to learn how to write. Or someone needs to edit his stuff.

  • , 2010-07-13 02:42:29

    Oops. Groovejet and Murder On The Dancefloor are from the early ’00s (not the early ’90s).

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