Music Article

Lily Allen: Q&A

The British singer on her controversial song topics, the tabloids, and whether or not she's ''troubled''

The outrageous 23-year-old U.K. pop superstar will release her second album, ''It's Not Me, It's You,'' on Feb. 10. We checked in for a typically sassy chat.

One of your new songs, ''Not Fair,'' is about a boyfriend who isn't very good in bed. Are you saying some men are not just naturally great at sex?
That's what I'm saying. I've witnessed it.

Have you played the song to the gentleman who inspired it?
Yes, but he's far too arrogant to have thought it was about him. He didn't even ask.

Some people will be offended by ''Him,'' in which you ponder whether God has ever ''taken smack or cocaine.''
[Laughs] I really don't care. Until everyone starts being horrible to me — then I'll care. But at the moment, I don't. And if I do eventually regret writing something, that usually means it's good.

There was recently a brouhaha in the U.K. over ''Everyone's at It,'' where you sing that everyone is on drugs of some sort. You can't have been surprised by the ruckus...
It was quite interesting, because the whole song is about that kind of hysteria. I don't advocate the use of drugs at all. But that's what they were insinuating. ''Slow news day, what shall we do? Let's not write about that war in Gaza. No, no, no. Let's f--- up Lily Allen!'' [Laughs] ''Again!''

The British tabloid press do seem obsessed with you. How much of a pain is that on a day-to-day basis?
It's beyond irritating, I can't even tell you. It's got to the point now where I feel like something has to change. I mean, I can see why people like Britney and Amy [Winehouse] go nutty. It's so surreal and invasive and intrusive and weird. If I open the door right now, there's 10 guys with cameras. I'm trapped in my own home!

There have been moments when you did seem troubled, like in May 2007, when you wrote on your blog about feeling fat, ugly, and ''s---ter than Winehouse.''
I've had some pretty tough times, but everyone has. It's just that most people don't have it all over the newspapers. None of my family has ever been worried about me and substances or alcohol. Ever. But then, when you read all that stuff, you think, well, maybe I have got a problem. You start to believe some of it.

Are you ever tempted to give it all up and try another career?
I just bought three books on law from Amazon. I'd quite like to be a probation officer, I think.

Are you on the wagon at the moment?
I'm not drinking now.

Is that because it's two in the afternoon?
Yeah.

Originally posted Jan 23, 2009 Published in issue #1032-1033 Jan 30, 2009 Order article reprints
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