Sinead O’Connor chats with Irish Tatler about her illness, recovery and how she will always rattle the cage of Irish society
(July 10) Grammy award winning singer Sinead O’Connor has be lauded and vilified by the media, loved and loathed by the public is a character that has always refused to play to any female songstress stereotype.
Her latest album How About I Be Me (And You Be You) has been a critical success and she is visibly delighted at the reception the album has received, particularly for those who have picked up on its lighter notes ‘The English music journalists who wear black all the time, they keep telling me it’s an angry record. But I think it’s a really joyous record. I was conscious of wanting to write romantic songs, I had never really written romantic songs before. I’d written the après-relationship songs but never really written love songs so that was good’
The album is dedicated to her ex-partner Frank Bonadio, the father of her youngest child, whom she describes as the muse for the record. She also credits her brother Joseph for his support during the time she recorded it ‘Joe was terribly supportive around the album …I played bits of it as I was making it, which is great because [he] is probably the main reason I wanted to be a musician. As a kid he used to play guitar and I used to steal his guitar case and walk around town with it empty so people would think I was as cool as him. I just wanted to be cool like Joe so it’s great when he likes the stuff, that’s really encouraging’
Her recent appearance on the Late Late Show 50th anniversary show saw her perform dressed in her clergy shirt and collar. However she is quick to admit that she doesn’t dress in that way to create controversy ‘I take my ordination terribly seriously and I see music as priesthood. I don’t make a mockery of the sacraments by carrying them out when I know people come to see me because I am a singer. So I don’t do that but I use music as my priesthood. But equally it’s about stepping in the door of the Vatican and saying ‘we are taking back the church thank you very much and actually that what’s going to happen’
While controversy is never far from Sinead she is quick to point out that she is probably part of a long list of Irish artists that were either exiled or maligned because they were slightly ahead of their times on certain issues ‘In 100 years from now I will probably be seen as part of a long line of Irish artists who always attracted trouble because they were always causing trouble about Irish issues. And also because we are colourful characters, I wouldn’t deny that I’m a colourful character and also a bit of a shit-stirrer’
Her recent step away from the spot light was down to personal struggles and while she is reluctant to discuss her illness she does admit she is on the road to recovery ‘I really wasn’t well, at the moment I’m in recovery mode’
Read her full interview in Irish Tatler on sale now only €2.10