Katie Melua, 25, was born in Georgia, then part of the Soviet Union. When Melua was eight, the family left Georgia for Northern Ireland. During her early teens they moved to England, where Melua attended the Brit School for Performing Arts in Croydon. In September 2002, she signed with Mike Batt’s independent record label Dramatico. Her albums, Call Off the Search and Piece by Piece, were international number ones and, by the release of her third album, Pictures, in 2007, Melua was the biggest-selling UK-based female artist in the world. Her new album is called The House. Buy Katie’s album
1. When were you happiest?
Swimming in the sea in Georgia, during the last holiday I had there a couple of years ago.
2. What is your greatest fear?
Dead goldfish in goldfish bowls. My dad took me fishing when I was young and I caught loads of fish and put them in a jar. There were about fifty grey fish swimming around. I wanted to keep them alive but day by day they died. It’s given me a phobia.
3. What is your earliest memory?
Hearing Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata being played on the piano by my mum, after the electricity had gone out in Georgia. I was four.
4. Which living person do you most admire and why?
My gran on my mum’s side. She can invent things – she once invented a shower when we didn’t have any hot water.
5. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Biting my nails and peeling the skin off the side of the nails.
6. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
7. What was your most embarrassing moment?
Probably forgetting the lyrics to The Closest Thing to Crazy at a gig about three years ago. I ended up making them up and substituting verse one for verse two. Suddenly my mouth felt like somebody else’s and I couldn’t control it.
8. Aside from a property, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?
My Su Blackwell art installation. It was £7,000.
9. What is your most treasured possession?
My dolls’ house.
10. Where would you like to live?
Maybe the moon. I live in a really great place so the moon would be the only place that could be better.
11. What would your super power be?
To be able to understand my dog Ripley. It would be lovely to know what she’s barking about.
12. What makes you unhappy?
People mistreating old people.
13. What do you most dislike about your appearance?
Short legs and arms.
15. Who would play you in the film of your life?
16. What is your most unappealing habit?
The nail thing.
17. What is your favourite smell?
Biting into an apple.
18. What is your favourite word?
Namna – I’ve never ridden horses but it’s a great word. I’ve yet to write a song with the word namna in it.
19. What is your favourite book?
Decreation by Anne Carson.
20. What would be your fancy dress costume of choice?
The blue alien singer in The Fifth Element.
21. What is the worst thing anyone’s ever said to you?
Probably something like, “That Nine Million Bicycle song is really annoying.”
22. Cat or dog?
Dog. I used to prefer cats but then I got a dog and I love her. Ripley is a mixture of a Maltese and a Bichon.
23. Is it better to give or to receive?
I think they are both the same. When you give you end up receiving pleasure from giving, and when you receive you end up giving some of your power.
24. What is your guiltiest pleasure?
25. What do you owe your parents?
All the nice memories.
26. To whom would you most like to say sorry and why?
When I was fifteen, I did a ouija board with my best friend from school. I lied to her and I made up that I was possessed by a ghost and she really believed it and it made her turn towards Christianity and it all got quite serious. I did tell her a year afterwards that I had lied and she got so upset, so I’d like to say sorry again.
27. What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Music. A good piece of music gets my heart going.
28. What does love feel like?
Being at peace with everything in life.
29. What was the best kiss of your life?
I think everyone I’ve kissed has been amazing – I don’t think I can pick one.
30. Have you ever said “I love you” without meaning it?
No, but I don’t know that I mean it every time I sing it in a song!
31. Which living person do you most despise and why?
Airport security, for their attitude. I wish they’d be a bit more friendly about the whole thing.
32. Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Beethoven, Einstein, Paris Hilton, Freddie Mercury and Snow White.
34. What is the worst job you’ve ever done?
I worked at T K Maxx and never even got to go on the tills. I had to keep tidying up the floor.
36. If you could edit your past, what would you change?
It would be nice not to have had my scary accident whilst scuba diving in October. My dream is to go diving in the Arctic Circle one day and I dive quite often, but I’d never dived in a dry suit which you use in cold conditions. So I was practising in a lake outside Heathrow and it was really cold, visibility was poor and I had to practise getting rid of the mouthpiece and then putting it back in. Suddenly I couldn’t put it back in and I started choking. It lasted for about a minute. My teacher was there and I wasn’t in any danger but it was horrific. It hasn’t put me off though
37. If you could go back in time, where would you go?
I would like to see how the universe began, so I’d like to go back to just before the Big Bang.
38. When did you last cry, and why?
I can’t remember but I cry really easily, watching films and reading books.
39. How do you relax?
By meditating. I try to meditate every day.
40. How often do you have sex?
Not often enough because I’m single at the moment.
41. What is the closest you’ve ever come to death?
Scuba diving in October.
42. What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
I don’t think anything could. I am not saying everything’s perfect but I think all the imperfections make my life great and I really embrace anything bad that happens because that makes me appreciate all the good.
43. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Sticking it out in the music industry.
44. What keeps you awake at night?
A few years ago I went through this horrific phase where I kept seeing people in my room. I think it was because I was travelling loads and staying in hotels. I would wake up and open my eyes and I’d see someone in the room looking at me; I’d put the lights on and obviously no one would be there. It used to happen really regularly.
45. What song would you like played at your funeral?
Celebration by Kool and the Gang.
46. How would you like to be remembered?
As the first person to do a concert in Space.
47. What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
That you have to learn the lessons yourself and sadly there are very few real life lessons that you can truly pass on to people.
48. Where would you most like to be right now?
Where I am – I am very happy at home in London.
49. Tell us a joke:
It’s a bit naughty. Little Red Riding Hood finally gets caught by the Big Bad Wolf. And the Big Bad Wolf says, “Little Red Riding Hood, take off your top so I can suck on your tits.” And Little Red Riding Hood doesn’t do that, she lifts her skirt up and says, “Eat me like the fucking book says.”
50. Tell us a secret:
After Nine Million Bicycles, I got given loads of free bikes from random people in different countries. I reckon I got about ten. I had to give them away.