Katie Melua: ‘If I could change my past, I would have partied a little bit harder in my 20s’
Born in Georgia, Katie Melua, 39, came to the UK as a child and attended the Brit School in south London. Her first two albums were UK No 1s and she had hit singles with The Closest Thing to Crazy and Nine Million Bicycles. By the release of her third album, Pictures, in 2007, she was the biggest-selling UK-based female artist in the world. Her ninth studio album, Love & Money, was out in March, and this month she released a 20th anniversary edition of her debut, Call Off the Search. She lives in London with her partner and their baby.
What is your greatest fear?
When I see older generations struggling with technology, I am afraid of it moving so quickly that I can’t use it.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I get distracted by anything and everything, so all my projects finish just before the deadline. Sometimes, it’s a bit too tight.
What was your most embarrassing moment?
Forty-eight hours after giving birth, I sent a picture that someone had sent me of their baby to a WhatsApp group, thinking it was my son (they kind of looked similar). Mortifying.
What is your most treasured possession?
My passport. As a post-Soviet child who immigrated to the UK, the British passport still holds meaning for me.
Describe yourself in three words
Living a fairytale.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
I’d love to have been a bit taller or to have had longer limbs. On every piece of clothing I have to reduce the arms and the legs. I am 155cm (5ft 1in).
If you could bring something extinct back to life, what would you choose?
My old psychiatrist – he took his own life last year. I would love him to come back because he was a fantastic doctor and he saved my life. I was in a mental health hospital for six weeks in 2010.
Who is your celebrity crush?
What is the worst thing anyone’s ever said to you?
“Your lyrics are rubbish.” It was someone I was working with when I was in my early 20s. It turned out well because I then spent a long time studying and learning how to write good lyrics.
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Every quarter, I will go to a dirty burger joint on my own and have a meal.
To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
My grandma, who died a few years ago, because I wasn’t able to see her on my last visit to Georgia.
If you could edit your past, what would you change?
I would have partied a little bit harder in my 20s.
When did you last cry, and why?
I almost cried last night because of the lack of sleep.
How often do you have sex?
Let’s just say that we are both content.
What would you like to leave your children?
A healthy planet.
What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
Knowing everyone I love is always going to be healthy.
What happens when we die?
I am so curious. We had my son christened because there may be a god but, equally, my partner is a science teacher, so I am also completely open to the possibility that nothing happens.
Tell us a secret
I love watching Tiny Cakes on YouTube.