Lisa Scott-Lee: “They call me Miss Lisa, then I get on a plane and I’m a pop star”


In this episode of Interview, we are joined by Lisa Scott Lee, one of the members of the British pop group Steps and one of the founding partners of Dubai Performing Arts. Lisa, thank you so much for joining us today.

Euronews

We are touching your musical career because you just returned to sing with Steps. You’re just off a little tour. How did it go?

Lisa Scott-Lee, Singer, Steps Member and Co-Founder of Dubai Performing Arts

We just released our new album, “What the Future Holds”, which came out last week. And I’m very proud to say that it entered the iTunes charts at number one. Number two on the UK charts, and it was number three in Australia and number five in Indonesia and around the world we had a lot of success with it, so yeah, you do meet me at a time where I feel very lucky and grateful.

We have been together for 23 years. So we took a break a few years ago. And I think what happened to us was that our fan base is very loyal. And they kept asking, when will you return? And I think we really thought that the easy option would be to release other big hits and that would have been going the easy way. But we wanted to give the fans something new and as artists too, it’s great to sing all your old hits, but when you’re performing and touring the world, it’s nice to have new music and fresh music too. So we recorded the new album and the title track, the single was written by Sia: “What the Future Holds”.

I’m a huge Sia fan so it’s wonderful to have a Sia track on the album.

Euronews

Do you think the industry has changed enormously since you started and how has that evolution been for you?

LSL

You know honestly, we’ve seen those changes and it’s evolved a lot since 1997. First of all, there was no internet. We had no social networks. This technology has come a long way and it is a wonderful thing. Obviously, you have the pros and cons of social media, but from our point of view it’s an instant discussion and you get instant feedback from fans; because if you release a single we can immediately hear what they think about it. And also when we go on tour, we look at the streaming sites to see which songs are the most popular. So when we put together our song list, we can see exactly what the audience wants.

Euronews

The Covid has impacted all and all industries, all households, why should we especially support the arts? In some countries they ask people to recycle.

LSL

There are so many talented people and artists in the world … all over the world. They have had the same training as me. I have been singing and dancing since I was three years old, and I achieved all my dance grades and exams, and then I auditioned for Italia Conti, the theater school in London, and that’s where I finished my training, and became a teacher. of dance. I am a certified teacher, which allows me to do this, which we will talk about. And it takes years and years of dedication and passion and there are many people in the same position as me. I feel really lucky that Steps continues to work and we can continue. It’s obviously different at the moment, and we all have to follow the regulations and stay safe. But I think theater, film and music is the entertainment that people need right now.

Euronews

Was it different when you achieved success than how you thought it would be? Because you say acting is a kind of first love. And with that comes fame. That doesn’t always have a nice side. Did that open your eyes to another side of the business?

LSL

Yes, I think it can be very difficult. There are a lot of pressures on pop stars, sports stars, anyone really in our field and in our industries. And I think it’s so difficult because when you’ve trained your whole life for something that comes first, that’s the most important thing and you sure have a natural reason to do it. But obviously when you’re in a successful pop group and we’ve got number one and we’ve been touring the world, which is just wonderful … I think it’s hard when you start to have press intrusion and there’s definitely a negative side of fame. But for me … I never stopped at that.

Euronews

Tell me what brought you to Dubai. And I must point out again, that we are in the Dubai School of Performing Arts, which you helped establish. Tell me about how all that happened.

LSL

If we go back a bit, I think the reason that me, my husband Johnny, and our two children, Jaden and Star Lily, moved here in 2011 … the reason we left was because we came here on vacation and fell in love from Dubai and bought a house at The Palm.

And after a couple of years, we realized that we saw a gap in the market for a performing arts school like DPA. That’s what we call it, DPA. And because I was trained at the Italia Conti Theater in London and Johnny has trained with artists. These are vocational centers, very prestigious. And we felt that there was a niche here and there is a desire for children to act. I think there are a lot of benefits for acting kids too, like building confidence, social skills, and also public speaking. Regardless of the field in which they will enter their career when they are older. They’re just, honestly… they’re life skills.

Euronews

That’s great, but also in the last three years, they’ve been able to expand into their new home.

LSL

We have been very lucky. We have the support of Taaleem who is one of the leading educational providers here within Dubai and Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates. And they love what we do. And that is why they have asked us to go and offer our performing arts classes within their schools. We are very hands on. We are here … we are open six days a week teaching classes for children ages three to 18. And indeed we just launched our BTEC in performing arts here at the school at Dubai British School Jumeirah Park. And it is the first BTEC and level three of the performing arts in the entire Middle East and UAE.

Euronews

What was it like for you when you became a mother and had to balance and juggle that career with your children?

LSL

Is not easy. And as any working parent knows, I’m still trying to find a balance. And if I’m honest, sometimes I find it difficult because I have my DPA director hat here in Dubai and then I get on a plane. For example, I recently flew to London to record the Royal Variety Performance, which is a great honor. It’s an amazing event and performance to be a part of, performing for the royal family in the UK and all the stars that were on the show.

Sometimes it’s weird because I’m here as a director and everyone calls me Miss Lisa. And then I get on a plane and I’m a pop star again.


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