Have you ever supported voluntary organisations in Oz?
I’ve performed at some charity events but the thing I like about v is that I am working with people my own age. V makes volunteering fun! And that’s how it should be, cos that keeps you interested. For example if you are interested in music you can pick up rubbish at Glastonbury, listening to your favourite bands for free while you do it.
Do you think V appeals to young people because you have freedom with what you do?
Yeah you can get creative and put forward ideas for your own projects- v will support you!
Have you ever volunteered?
I used to make gnocci (an Italian pasta dish) for school fairs with my nonna (granny).
Do you feel a responsibility being in the public eye to raise awareness of worthy causes?
Things that I am passionate about and support, I want other people to support them too. So if I can inspire other people to get involved that’s great.
Who were your biggest inspirations growing up?
Cat Stevens and Tina Turner. Just this morning I was watching a video of Tina Turner thinking damn she’s sexy!
Did she inspire your outfit!? [Gabriella is wearing a short black fringed dress and heels]
Hell yeah! [gives a little shimmy]And Cat when he played acoustically was just genius. There was a moment when I was a kid sitting on the couch and he was on the TV playing Father and Son- right then I knew that I wanted to make music. It would be great if I could give other people that kind of desire.
You’re currently working on a new album. What can we expect?
I’m taking you guys back! I’ve created a little disco floor in my head and I’m hitting you with a Donna Summer vibe, late 70s style.
Any collaborations on there?
Dallas Austin has been writing with me. I met up with him in Atlanta and was like I wanna write a country/ hip hop record and he was like ‘cool’ so he got out his guitar and wrote some amazing lyrics for this country yodel I had written. So this crazy ditty I’d worked on and this mad idea I had turned into something really cool.
Sounds like you hit it off! Was there a bit of a spark between you guys?
He is one sexy guy but a bit older than me. I don’t think my father would approve!
Who would you love to work with in the future?
Lupe Fiasco. I love what he’s done with Jill Scott. He is so creative.
You said nothings sweet about me in your hit single Sweet About Me. There must be one thing!
Well, I do call my nonna [grandmother] everyday no matter what. Like today I called her from the taxi on the way here and she says [puts on an Italian accent] “I don’t understand why you do this darling. You so busy, have you been eating?” I love it when people ask me if I’ve been eating, I love people who wanna feed me!
What’s your favourite food?
Pasta with aubergines, perfect Italian comfort food
Are you a good cook?
Erm I can make sauce. Does that count?! I’m a saucy chick!
Speaking of saucy chicks, you’re under the Sugababes management. What do you think of the whole line up change?
My favourite line up was definitely the first. But I really love the girls in the group now. Amelle and Jade have great voices. Amelle is one of the nicest people I know; anytime I see her she’s so cool. And Jade has got ridiculously amazing legs!
V, is a volunteer service for people aged 16-24. Get involved, log onto www.vinspired.com to find out more.
Gabriella Cilmi’s album Lessons To Be Learned is out now, her sophomore album will be out in 2010
Words by Mary Bello