The ‘Dreams’ singer was invited to take part in songwriting sessions for one of Cheryl’s solo albums along with hitmakers Fraser T. Smith – who has worked with the likes of Adele, James Morrison and Stormzy – and Guy Chambers, who is Robbie Williams’ long-term collaborator.
However, Gabrielle never ended up penning a track for the former Girls Aloud star, because she didn’t connect with co-writers.
Speaking exclusively to BANG Showbiz, she recalled: “Years ago they wanted me to go in an write for Cheryl. I actually went in to work with Fraser T. Smith, and I did a day with Guy Chambers. That was all with the view to writing for Cheryl. It didn’t quite work out.
“I did that and it didn’t quite happen, someone like Guy Chambers is such a big character I think I ran off! The thing is you’ve got these amazing people, like Guy Chambers, and he’s done stuff with Robbie, it was a case of me thinking, ‘I’m Gabrielle, I haven’t worked with him before, he’s incredible…’ together it didn’t work. You’ve got to have that rapport, and if you haven’t got that rapport with someone then it’s not that they’re not great at what they do, it’s just that sometimes things just don’t work out. It’s just different songwriting styles, and stuff like that.”
Gabrielle, 51, works with the same group of collaborators on all her records and she prefers writing and recording with musicians she knows and has a bond with.
On being more comfortable working with the same gang, she continued: “I think now, in my lifetime, I have found people that I write with and have so much fun with because you build a rapport. If you go in cold with someone you haven’t worked with before that’s a hard thing to do. I realise I’m out of my comfort zone working with people I’ve never spoken to before in my life, never crossed paths with. I realised I can never do that again. When I go to write with people now, it’s people I’ve worked with before, I have a laugh with, we have banter, we share meals, and that’s when I’m at my best as opposed to working with someone who is a big writer. It can be quite intimidating if they’ve sold a lot.
Despite this, Gabrielle – who recently made the semi-finals of ‘The Masked Singer’ as Harlequin – would love the challenge of writing a song for a male singer.
She said: “I like the idea of putting myself in a guy’s brain, a different perspective, not just a woman’s perspective but writing from a man’s perspective. When it comes to love I don’t even know if there is a gender perspective, love is love and it knows no boundaries.”
On being too shy to work with other artists early on in her career, she added: “There have been times over the years where I’ve been approached. But I’m very insecure, I remember a couple of times where I’ve gone in the studio and gone, ‘I can’t do this, because what if…’
“Me, writing for myself, is hard enough. So I have been approached but I haven’t done it because of my insecurities, but I wouldn’t rule it out in the future. But I am really happy and content writing for me right now.”
Gabrielle’s new album ‘Do It Again’ – which features the covers she performed on ‘The Masked Singer’, including Tracy Chapman’s ‘Fast Car’, ‘Falling’ by Harry Styles and Rihanna’s ‘Diamonds’ – is out now and tickets are currently on sale at Gabrielle.co.uk/tour/ for her ‘Rise Again Tour 2021’ which takes place in November.