Shaznay Lewis: ‘I asked my husband to describe me in three words. They were not printable’

Estimated read time 3 min read

Born in London, Shaznay Lewis, 48, founded All Saints with Melanie Blatt in 1993; Nicole and Natalie Appleton joined three years later. The band’s two multiplatinum albums – All Saints and Saints & Sinners – were released in 1997 and 2000, and their five UK No 1 singles include Never Ever and Pure Shores. Their awards include two Brits, a Mobo and an Ivor Novello. In 2004, Lewis made her first solo album, Open; she has just released another, Pages. She is married with two children and lives in Hertfordshire.

When were you happiest?
When my children were small and used to play together, be creative, and were just in that innocent bubble.

What is your earliest memory?
When I was two or three and I got my head trapped in some balcony railings. My parents had to call the fire brigade to set me free.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

What was your most embarrassing moment?
A gazillion years ago I was in Gucci with Melanie Blatt, and I attempted to sit down on a chair that wasn’t there. I did a full-on stuntwoman backward roll, landed in a ball of the floor and laughed so hard I wet myself. Everybody in the shop moved to a different section.

Describe yourself in three words
I asked my husband and his three words were not printable – a bit naughty. Then he said loyal, spiritual and kind.

What would your superpower be?
I have this habit of telling people I’m 20 minutes away when I am not. So my superpower would be if I say 20 minutes, it’s going to be 20 minutes.

What makes you unhappy?
Constantly telling my kids to get off their phones.

What scares you about getting older?
Not having anybody to talk to. My mother is 82 and I feel for her because all her friends have gone.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
An ambulance driver.

Would you choose fame or anonymity?

What do you owe your parents?
My mother was a dinner lady and my father was a bus driver. My mother, especially, taught me a lot about always making sure that I paved my own way instead of relying on somebody else to give me a life.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My children and my husband: we’ve been together since 1998.

Have you ever said ‘I love you’ without meaning it?

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Really” and “amazing”.

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If you could edit your past, what would you change?
Some of those late nights.

What would you like to leave your children?
A sense of how much they were loved. If my mum wasn’t around any more, I’d definitely have a sense of how great her love was for me. I’d love that for my children.

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
Not scrolling on my phone as much as I do.

How would you like to be remembered?
As a great mother, wife and songwriter.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
That things change.

What happens when we die?
I believe our spirits watch over those we love.


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