Louise assures fans 'this is just the beginning' as she releases Greatest Hits
In October 1993, Louise claimed her first-ever UK Top 10 single as a member of Eternal alongside Kéllé Bryan and Easther and Vernie Bennett. Since then, across a career spanning almost three decades, Louise has notched-up a further three Top 10 songs with the group, plus nine as a solo artist and three UK Top 10 albums to boot.
Now, it's time to celebrate.
This week, Louise releases her Greatest Hits; a compilation of the biggest tracks from her back catalogue, plus some reimagined Eternal favourites and four brand-new songs.
We catch-up with the singer-songwriter to talk longevity and looking ahead to 'brave' new beginnings.
"This is a real celebration of 30 years," Louise tells us.
"There’s a thread that runs throughout this whole album. Even as a young girl, when I started out doing this, you still put your stamp on the music you create."
Greatest Hits marries Louise's older material with four brand-new tracks; High Hopes, Right Now, Feel and Together Again, alongside 2022 single Super Magic.
"With these new songs, I didn’t want to sound like I was making a mini album," Louise tells us. "I wanted them to have little nods to what my career’s been. I think it’s definitely the route I want to carry on going down with my music; that slightly more [Jimmy] Jam and [Terry] Lewis kind of vibe. A bit electro, soul, old school R&B.
"High Hopes creates that Eternal feel for me, with the big gospel choir, but I actually really love Feel. It’s a very ‘Louise’ record. It’s a sound that sits with me comfortably, I love singing that record.
"It was important for those four records to sit amongst my back catalogue. They needed to fit in with everything I’ve done over the years. Feel sits with that One Kiss From Heaven vibe, 20 years on."
But while the record's mainly retrospective, Louise feels confident about pushing her boundaries musically going forward.
"Looking to the future, I’m excited about being braver than I’ve ever been in music," she teases. "It's time for me to back myself and really go out there."
"I was with [record producer] Steve Anderson recently and said ‘can we get into the studio and go as left as we can possibly go?’ We can always pull it back. He’s super excited about that.
"This is the beginning for me, it’s not the end," she assures us. "Listen, who knows? Never tell the devil your plans, right? But this is definitely about gearing up for the next chapter, rather than finishing a chapter."
Asked if there are any tracks across her career she wishes could've received the single treatment, a couple of favourites spring to mind. "I love a song called Fly Away, which is that slightly more R&B sound that I love," she explains. "There’s also a song called Little Lou that was on an album that never got released; but as a demo it got out somehow.
"I love Little Lou. That’s the song I wish I’d had the opportunity to release."
Listen to Louise's Feel below:
On her fans enduring support, Louise wells up. "It makes me so emotional," she says. "I’ve been in the industry for a long time, and I know that this only works if people go out there and spend their hard-earned money on loving what you do. It’s not possible without the fans’ support.
"Without them, none of this is possible. I get to have a second go at this – if somebody had told me that ten years ago I wouldn’t have even thought it possible. The fact that I’m doing it, 'grateful' doesn’t even do how I feel justice.
"I see the support, I read the comments. I’m really crap on social media, it’s so not my realm because I’m a mum and I’ve got kids, but those people leaving such positive messages probably underestimate the impact they’ve had on me believing in myself. Every kind word has made me think ‘I’m going to fight and move forward with this.'"
Louise's Greatest Hits is out now via BMG.