Darren Milby column: Dido hits bring back happy memories

Dido performs during the Mastercard 2002 Brit Awards at Earls Court 2 in Londo. PA photo: Yui Mok.
Dido performs during the Mastercard 2002 Brit Awards at Earls Court 2 in Londo. PA photo: Yui Mok.

Dido rarely gives interviews. As far as celebrities go she is under the radar.

You don’t often see her posing in magazines or being papped by the tabloids in a compromising position.

She gave birth to her son Stanley a few years ago yet he was six months old before the papers even noticed she was a mother.

This is all despite the fact that Dido is one of the biggest selling artists of the century. Her debut album ‘No Angel’ came out in 1999 and sold over 16 million copies. It featured hit singles ‘Thank You’ and ‘Here with Me.’

I noticed she was releasing a Greatest Hits compilation in time for Christmas so I thought I’d ask. To my surprise and delight Dido agreed to come on my show on The Bay.

I was intrigued to know how she can sell so many records and at the same time keep her private life private. “It’s not that difficult,” she told me.

“It’s not really intentional; I just keep it about the music and probably should get out there more. You just think nobody is really interested in me it’s just about the songs.”

After the success of her first album I asked her how much her life changed. “In one way it went completely crazy in another way it stayed exactly the same. I still have the same values and the same friends so nothing really changed.”

I love the fact that she is completely down to earth and normal despite selling over 40 million records.

Dido enjoyed the process of putting together a retrospective album. “White Flag is probably the song I’m most proud of. It brings back great gig memories. ‘Thank You’ just has so many happy memories attached to it.”

Listening back to those tracks must be an odd experience. A life’s work whittled down to an hour. I‘m always keen to know if a songwriter can channel the same emotions when hearing or performing a track they wrote years later. Dido told me: “Putting together this album was like reading through old diaries. It was a real rollercoaster. It was like I went through all of my break ups in one hour.”

Dido last year released only her fourth studio album in a career spanning 14 years. Despite a few years off being a new mum that is still a fairly leisurely work rate. But there is good news for fans.

“It’s my new year’s resolution to work quicker and I’ve already started work on my next album so watch this space.”