SHEILA'S
INDIPOP ALBUMS

   


Steve:

Let's move on to your sabbatical between "Nada Brahma", your fourth album and "Roots and Wings", your fifth. The sabbatical lasted nearly 5 years! - weren't you concerned that your audience would have forgotten you by the time you re-emerged?

 

Sheila:

It was a great research opportunity, musically and personally. The expectations and pressures of the music business can eat you up if you don't find ways of protecting yourself and your musical willingness. After "Nada Brahma" in 1985, I had nothing more to say musically - so I stopped. And anyway if you have the courage to go away for a long time and grow, when you come back you have a 'Lazarus' kind of aura - you've sort of come back from the dead, which I think intrigues people. And it was only through doing that, that I could have developed the seeds of what carried me through the 90s musically. For "Roots and Wings" I used Indipop once more as a firm base to get back to album making after my first sabbatical ended in 1990. But increasingly I felt I had outgrown the very small-scale-ness that first attracted me to Indipop. I felt I could do certain things better myself. My needs and expectations had changed - that's when I decided to go to Real World Records direct. You were very good about it, Steve, but then it did mean less work for you.

 

Steve:

Yes, I could concentrate on just the creative side. What was going to Real World like after the protected confines of Indipop?

 

Sheila:

Well, by that time, the gentle long-term learning curve had led to a good all round understanding of A & R, publishing and the copyright stuff. I had sat in on enough Indipop/MNW contract meetings to feel ready to conduct my own with Real World.

So in 1991, I formed Moonsung Productions and Moonsung Publishing, to make "Weaving my Ancestors' Voices" and so far I've licensed each of the albums as one-offs to Real World. This way I can safeguard the way my music is formatted, promoted and used in other settings such as film and TV etc.

And they wanted things to be fair so they were helpful, although nevertheless my style - the toughness and readiness to say no and walk away are infamous! I haven't needed a manager - partly because Real World don't have any or many prejudices about dealing with the artist or a woman for instance, but also because I revel in the first hand communication with these very skilful people who take my records into the market place for me.