Kirsty Bertarelli, a former Miss UK and the songwriter behind All Saints' turn-of-the-millennium hit song 'Black Coffee', is no ordinary beauty queen-turned-musician. In 2000 she married the Italian billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli after a chance holiday romance, turning Kirsty into the UK's richest woman with an estimated combined wealth of CHF 14.3 billion.
After relocating to Switzerland and having three children, Kirsty has returned from her musical hiatus with renewed tenacity, releasing three albums in four years. We caught up with Kirsty to talk about her latest ablum, Indigo Shores, as well her travels, family and life in Switzerland.
Your new album is themed around emotional journeys that echo your own travels through life. What experiences inspired you to write these songs?
Indigo Shores, the title track from my album, started off as a poem I wrote inspired by the magical beauty of Indonesia. It’s really a travelogue of our holiday. Climbing the Rinjani volcano and watching my daughter treading in her fathers footprints with black ashes building around them. I was mesmerized and the magic is captured in the song.
How did Pink Floyd's drummer Nick Mason get involved with the album?
I recorded the album at Britannia Row studios in London and Nick came in one day and asked to listen to some of the songs. Then he asked if he could play on some tracks – I couldn’t believe it!
You have a strong passion for writing music, but also performing, which do you prefer?
I love both and they go hand in hand. I love the creative part of building a song but also the buzz of performing it and being able to put your true feelings behind the words.
Do you get nervous before performing live?
I do get nervous but it’s more a feeling of anticipation and adrenalin. I think it’s a thing as it shows I love and care about what I do.
Will you be performing live anywhere in Switzerland soon?
I hope so! Last year I performed at the Gstaad Country Festival which I loved. I’ve just finished opening for Jools Holland on his UK tour and I also supported Robbie Williams at the Chopard party in Cannes. I’m now in the studio recording my new album with my band but I hope to perform in Switzerland at some point this year. I will let you know!
Is there a limitation on songwriting depending on the lifestyle you live?
This is one of the many things I love about music. That it’s universal, that it helps you experience the whole range of human emotion, and so listeners will draw from songs what they feel at the time, and connect with the stories they tell. Everyone has good and bad times and a song can give inspiration, hope and sometimes support. I write from my heart about my own experiences and also observations of and about others.
Where are some of your favourite places to go to in Switzerland and why?
My favourite restaurant would be Auberge the Dully - it's a weekly must! I love the beauty of the lake. The view is ever changing and you could never be bored from the scenery. The serene beauty on a calm day to the intense colors during a storm, the sunset warming the colors of the Mont Blanc in shades of pink, purple and indigo. The clean air means outdoor pursuits are endless from sailing to skiing and of course tandem biking. The beauty is endless with it sometimes seeming like everywhere could be a manicured garden.
Indigo Shores is available for purchase worldwide.