“The music industry can be very toxic. This is not for humans with heart and soul’

Versions is a project led by women by intention. “The world is still incredibly male-dominated, but I think the currency is changing. There are so many amazing women making amazing music and coming from a very strong place, and we’re changing the things as they go. On the other hand, there’s still an absolute overstatement in the currency of female sexuality, visually. It’s scary, all botox and bikini-waxing, you’re just like, ‘Help me, Lord!’ Since the late 1990s, Cherry’s output has been sporadic and veered away from the mainstream. “I probably ended up going my own way, rather than the way some people thought I should go,” says – her. Her role as a mother of three daughters was at the heart of her career choices. “The essence of the family is in the middle: the space of the house, the space of rooting. This has always come into first.

She doesn’t think the music industry is a particularly healthy environment. “The pressures are enormous. He can be very toxic, very competitive, very ruthless. People compromise their soul to succeed, and if you get it, you can get lost. It’s kind of a thin ice place. It’s not for humans with hearts and souls, you know what I mean? And we are all fragile.

And yet, all of the Cherry kids are making music, and the youngest daughter Mabel has had major pop success at 26, with a Brit Award and a dozen top 20 singles. Indeed, it is at Mabel’s that the interview takes place, Cherry and McVey living nearby in a former public housing (“we move in a simple way”, she says), dividing their time mainly between London and Stockholm.

“Obviously you want your kids to do the things that make them happy and fulfill them. I’m proud of them and I honor what they do. But, of course, sometimes I have the fear of God in me. Because it’s hard. I think with my relationship with music, if you choose to be in the periphery, you can go on and grow. But right in the middle line, where Mabel is, it’s a fucking animal den, it’s still like a 100-meter sprint. So I worry as a mother, but I also think you need to remember what your dreams are. The music industry is like heaven and hell, all in one place. If I had to give them any advice, it’s don’t change who you are for anyone. Own it as much as you can.

‘The Versions’ drops Friday (EMI)

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