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Shaznay Lewis struggled to be a 'shiny' pop star

Shaznay Lewis struggled to be a 'shiny' pop star at the height of All Saints' fame credit:Bang Showbiz
Shaznay Lewis struggled to be a 'shiny' pop star at the height of All Saints' fame credit:Bang Showbiz

Shaznay Lewis struggled to be a "shiny" pop star at the height of All Saints' fame.

The singer/songwriter shot to stardom as a member of the girl band back in 1997 and they enjoyed chart success throughout the late 1990s and 2000s, but Shaznay found it difficult to be "bouncy and smiley" all the time when they were in front of the cameras and she just wanted to hit the studio to write songs.

She told The Sunday Times: "Being in a pop band, a girl band, the songwriting is't the main criterion. (Bandmate) Melanie (Blatt) and I were quite naive about that when we were trying to make it.

"We were rubbing shoulders with all these talented musicians... then coming into the world of pop, it became something else. And it ran away with itself – and away from us."

She added about her pop persona: "When you're in that pop set-up, you have to constantly be: 'Ta-da!' You walk into a room and you're required to be really bouncy and smiley. I struggled with the whole 'shiny' thing.

"None of that is me at all. I just wanted to write my songs and have people enjoy them."

Shaznay insisted she ended up finding solace in the studio, adding: "It's not just about the songs, you're having to live up to this poster person that's come out of one of the teen magazines. So the studio becomes home, safety."

The 'Never Ever' hitmaker previously opened up about experiencing casual racism as a pop star in the 90s, admitting she could relate to Little Mix member Leigh-Anne Pinnock's past comments in which she shared her experience as the only black member of the girl group.

Leigh-Anne, 32, confessed she felt "invisible" and would often cry because she was the least popular member of the band.

Shaznay was also the only member of All Saints who was black and she was able to pick up on the subtle discrimination aimed towards her during the band's hey day.

Speaking to Music Week, she explained: "When I saw Leigh-Anne Pinnock's video (discussing racism) it felt as though she was talking about me. When she spoke about Little Mix travelling to different countries and how she was perceived just walking into a room, I felt like that a lot.

"It's not as though anybody was horrible or rude, you could just notice a difference in where people would point the conversation, little things. I'm lucky because of my character, nothing like that would have ever affected me [enough] to speak out, but we're in different times now."