In conversation with Peter Andre
Peter Andre, the 1990s pop star-turned-tabloid darling and reality TV star, best known for Flava and Mysterious Girl, headlines the nostalgia fest Mixtape Rewind this weekend.
Welcome back to Dubai – I understand you were stranded here in 2010, during the Icelandic volcano eruption.
What a place to be stranded – I was loving it. Everyone was saying "It must be hard". Hard? Are you kidding? It was beautiful. Places like Dubai really mean a lot to me. What I’m dreaming of is having my own little house here, and I will eventually. I love it there.
You’re here to perform at Mixtape Rewind, a 1990s-themed show. How has your career changed since then?
We were a lot younger in the 90s. I worked with some greats: Coolio and Montell Jordan – that’s like working with Kanye [West] today. I’m moving away from writing R&B tracks because the new generation are so good that you can’t compete with them, so now I’m moving more into swing and blues.
Do you miss those days?
There was a different vibe in the 90s, it was a lot more innocent. Maybe that’s because I was 20 years younger – but I miss those days in a way. The week Flava was number one, we were selling 200,000 records a week – you don’t sell that in two years now. It’s a very different market.
With hits like that, surely you don’t need to ever work again?
You could have that attitude, but honestly, I’m a worker. If I was a bee, I’d be a worker bee. If I was an ant, I’d be a ... what do they call them? Working ants? Soldier ants? I’d be one of those.
Your physique got a lot of attention back then.
At the time I used to get so offended – I trained my socks off and you tell me I’ve got implants? But now, what a compliment that was. They must have thought I looked pretty good. Back in the day I used to train six, seven days a week. I used to do a ridiculous amount of sit-ups a day, a stupid amount. Now I train three days a week to maintain that.
Tell us how you ended up the face of the UK supermarket chain Iceland – it seems like an odd fit?
It did at first. I’m proud to be an ambassador for them. We’ve done a deal where my latest album, White Christmas, is exclusively sold in their 800 stores. We’ve made history in a way because it’s the first time ever that Iceland have sold anyone’s music. Ant and Dec are doing Morrisons [supermarket] at the moment and that’s going well – but obviously our advert is better. We always had great banter – so 20 years ago we were competing in the charts, now we’re competing on commercials.
Congratulations on becoming a father again – how does the birth of Amelia this year affect your work?
It’s made touring harder, because you’re away. You don’t want to be away, but your ultimate job is performing on stage, so it’s a Catch-22.
Your kids must love your work on the Mr Peabody & Sherman film soundtrack. Would you like to do more kids’ movies?
Absolutely – we’re actually forming a great relationship with DreamWorks and there are some very exciting projects. I think it won’t be long before, hopefully, I’ll be doing voice-overs for DreamWorks, which I would love. They like the good old Aussie accent, they said.
Congratulations also on your engagement. I hear there was a lot of negative press about the 16-year age gap between you and [25-year-old] fiancée Emily?
We’ve been together two-and-a-half years and for the first six months, it was all about this age gap. And then they [looked at] Rod Stewart – and probably half the entertainment industry – and it didn’t matter. What people were concerned about at the time was whether she would give up her studies but, as we speak, she’s four weeks away from potentially being a doctor.
Is your career and personal life in a better place now compared to a few years ago?
I’m one of those people who doesn’t really talk about the past and the only reason for that is that I think there is nothing more beautiful than planning for your future. I’m like the next guy – we all have our trials and tribulations in life, none of us are 100 per cent happy all the time. But where I am now is a comfortable place – and hopefully, moving forward, I’ll be even more comfortable.
• Mixtape Rewind is at Dubai’s Emirates Golf Club on Friday from 8pm. Tickets are Dh275 from www.timeouttickets.com
Updated: November 18, 2014 04:00 AM