Dido was five when she stole her first recorder. This didn't lead to prison, but rather to her entrance one year later to the Guildhall School of Music in London. A bit of a child prodigy, by the time she was 10 she played piano, violin, and the aforementioned recorder. Her teenage years were an interesting mixture of stealing her brother's record collection (from the Clash to Gregory Isaacs to Duran Duran) and touring the UK with her classical music ensemble.
And the, at 16, she finally fell in love... with Ella Fitzgerald. So began a passion that eventually led Dido from listener to participator: she started singing with various bands in and around London, and despite the fact that her brohter, Rollo, told her not to give up her day job, she eventually appeared on the debut album of a band that Rollo formed in 1995. This band was Faithless, and they went on to sell five million records. Over the next two years, Dido toured with Faithless (a very different experience from her classical days) and, whenever she was back in London, also recorded demos of her own songs.
On Faithless's current
release Dido appears on two songs, one of which incorporates her own My Lover's Gone. So began the recording of Dido's debut album,
No Angel. The album was produced by Dido, her brother, Rollo (obviously now deciding she should give up her day job), Rick Nowels and Youth and what a beautiful album it is. Unified by both Dido's stunning voice and lyrical acuteness, the album travels through various and diverse styles ranging from the impassioned magnificence of Here With Me, the gentle soulfulness of Thankyou (featured in the recent Gwyneth Paltrow movie Sliding Doors), the deep dubbiness of Honestly OK, to the lyrical perversity of Don't Think of Me, Combining Dido's love for warm acoustic sounds and her brother's fascination for beats and all things electronic, the album is both new and classic at the same time. Above all, it is the quality of the songs that will make this album both durable and successful.