Between the Lines with … Susan Boyle, Talking Her New Album And New Beau (Well, Sort Of)
Susan Boyle talks celebrity and her new album, Hope
In person, Susan Boyle is about as sweet and down to Earth as you imagine she’d be. She’s polite, modest about her success, and even giggles innocently at the mention her new boyfriend. Just don’t mistake her sweetness for weakness.
For a person who went from church volunteer to overnight best-selling singing sensation at age 48 following a breathtaking performance of “I Dreamed a Dream” on a 2009 edition of the reality show Britain’s Got Talent, she’s shrewd as a show-business vet when it comes to managing her celebrity and the media.
“I met him in America, and that’s all you’re knowing because it’s private,” she says through a laughs when I ask her about her new beau. I prod further, hoping to glean some further information (for the record we know he’s a doctor Boyle met during a stop in Miami). I ask about the difficult balance of maintaining privacy in this day and age.
“It’s a good balance. I like to keep people guessing,” she replies, again with the laugh of someone playing (and winning) a game of catch-me-if-you-can. “It keeps people interested… You have to do that. That’s the psychology.”
In a celebrity culture where sharing the minutiae of your personal life on social media has become the norm, Boyle stands among the few who want to maintain an air of mystery.
On her rise to fame at age 48, and how it might have been different if she’d achieved it earlier in her life:
SUSAN BOYLE: I think if I’d have had it younger, I wouldn’t have been able to handle it. I wouldn’t have had the maturity and the analytical (knowledge) that I have now that I’m older. I don’t think I really had that when I was younger.
The biggest life adjustment she’s had to make since becoming famous:
SB: Probably the [press] want to know more about my private life, and what you’re supposed to say to them regarding privacy and stuff like that. I’ve got to be really careful now [with] what I say to people, but before that it didn’t really affect me.
In light of the fact that her new album is named, and themed, around the idea of hope, where she personally draws her own hope and inspiration from:
SB: Well, I drew my inspiration from my own particular circumstances…and I never gave up when it came to my destiny. I hoped one day that it would actually materialize because I’m a big believer in dreams coming true.
I draw a lot of strength from my faith, and I draw a lot of strength from the fact that I enjoy what I’m doing. I think, to keep going, it’s enthusiasm. It’s infectious.
Why she chose this specific set of songs to record:
SB: [Sarah McLachlan’s] “Angel,” for me, it’s about someone who’s just left you and passed on to a new dimension. They might not be around physically, but they’re around spiritually. And that’s a very emotional song (with) a very strong, spiritual connotation…(“Imagine”) is iconic, and I wanted to see if I could have an interpretation of it. “Wish You Were Here” is Pink Floyd’s, and it was sort of getting away from the ballad thing and getting onto the more abstract work sort of thing. I don’t like to bring up the same thing all the time. I like to surprise people.