by: Susan Riley - Last updated: 2004-06-25
With a catchy comeback single and a fresh new attitude, Rachel Stevens is about to score big time. In a revealing interview, the sexy semite singer talks about her solo life both on stage and off.
Oh my God. Rachel Stevens is about to say the most un-celeb thing ever. âI donât think Iâm fat,â she says as we relax on a sunny roof terrace in east London. âBut being photographed so much does make you aware of your figure. You canât help but look in magazines sometimes and think, âOh no, I look really big there!â The thing is, you canât scrutinise yourself too much - itâs just not important enough.â Well said, the girl in the customised England kit!
This honest and no-nonsense attitude is the first sign that, after six years in pop - five in S Club and one as a solo artist - Rachel is finally finding out what sheâs all about.
Looking chilled, smiley and - grrr - flawlessly gorgeous, she happily fills us in on all the new stuff kicking off in her life. For starters, sheâs just bought a new house in North London âitâs really cuteâ - and is busily hooking up with interior designers. âIâm going to oversee everything,â she tells us excitedly. âI want a stone bath and Iâve seen this brilliant one with little spotlights on the side that change colour.â
Fab new pad aside, the 26-year-old is undergoing a total Rachel Revolution. âIâve got to a stage where I want to learn about everything. And Iâm much more open. I donât bottle things up the way I used to. Before I used to expect people to realise when I was down. Now I talk about my feelings a lot more.â New house, new her and a new single to boot - this girl ainât messing around.
Her new tune Some Girls is a hip-swayingly catchy number. Itâs also the official Sport Relief song - hence her sporty get-up on our cover. âIâm really proud to be part of such a fantastic charity,â she gushes. âThey raised Â£14m last time. Iâm just glad that I can help in any way I can.â Itâs also a sure-fire hit. And letâs face it she had to have a big single as, despite the mega success of Sweet Dreams My LA Ex, Rachelâs last single Funky Dory limped into the charts last December at number 29.
âI was really disappointed with Funky Dory,â Rachel admits. âI thought it was a great track, but it didnât work. Itâs not a bad thing when things donât work, though - itâs how you deal with it.â But didnât that knock her confidence? Especially when these days popstars get dropped quicker than Colin Farrellâs boxer shorts when they donât reach the top spotâ¦ âIt was really scary,â she admits. âBut I know my solo career is going to be different to S Club - Iâm expecting to have highs and lows. I actually think it was good for me. Itâs made me even more determined.âNormally Iâm a real worrier but Iâve surprised myself. Funky Dory did get me down but now Iâm just going to go for it and enjoy it.â Rachel wonât be drawn on whether sheâll be releasing any more tracks from her last album - also called Funky Doryâ¦âWe really donât know yetâ. She just says sheâs writing material for her next album and focusing on promoting Some Girls.
Despite the Sport Relief stuff you wonât be seeing a Rachel Stevens exercise video any time soon. She confesses that - despite having a posh gym in her apartment building - sheâs not very athletic and has been slacking off. âIâve no excuse,â she tells us sheepishly. âBut you know - busy life!â
On footie and the England team
âTheyâve got good legs and itâs fun watching them run round the pitch, but Iâm not a footballer-type girl. âIâm more into the Jude Law type. Heâs sexy.â So what is it that makes her sit up and take notice of a bloke? âI love guysâ shoulders. I think thereâs something very sexy and strong about them. And I like a nice back and neck. Not too beefy though - Freddie Ljungberg in that Calvin Klein undies advert is spot on!â
Youâd have thought that, now sheâs single, Rachel would have guys queuing up round the block. Not so, she says. We reckon thatâs because most lads might feel just a bit intimidated chatting up the girl recently voted the second sexiest woman in the world - and who even beat the bootylicious BeyoncÃ©! Rachel giggles, âMe and my mum have been talking about this and weâve worked out that men arenât how they used to be. Guys donât make the first move any more. I donât know whether itâs because they recognise me or what. But it does make things a lot more difficult. Nowadays girls have to be a lot more forthcoming.â And that isnât her? âIt is now! Iâm having to learn! Iâm not used to being single and going up to guys. Iâve always been in a relationship. But boys can come up to me, OK?!â Not sheâs in any rush to get coupled up. Right now, going out with her girlfriends and having a gossip is exactly where she wants to be. âIt sounds so corny but Iâm enjoying taking time to learn about myself. Now Iâm finding a balance. So itâs a good time for me to be by myself. âWhen the right guy comes along, thatâs fine. But Iâm enjoying going on dates and having fun.â Any good dates? âA few,â she giggles. âBut thatâs all Iâm saying!â
A year ago the only dates she had were with her fiancÃ©, actor Jeremy Edwards. But earlier this year, after three years together, the couple split up. Rachel admits itâs scary being single. âIt gets a bit lonely and I miss him. But we werenât meant to be and weâll learn from it. âThe important thing is that weâre still on good terms as I care about him so much. I really couldnât bear it if it had been a really ugly break-up.â They still see each other occasionally but Rachel isnât dwelling on the past. âEverything in my life is changing but in a really positive way. I donât know what the future holds and thatâs exciting. But Iâm hoping Iâll find my Brad Pitt one day!â
The full interview complete with exclusive photoshoot of Rachel Stevens appears in the August issue of Sugar magazine, out now.