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Sugababes

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Sugababes
Sugababes have cracked the top 40 a staggering 22 times since delighting us with 'Overload' in 2000. Along the way they've survived two messy lineup changes, built a reputation as a group not to be messed with and endured constant comparisons with Girls Aloud. As they prepare to release new single 'No Can Do', we called Keisha Buchanan - the group's sole original member - to find out what the future holds for Sugababes.

Your new single 'No Can Do' is out just after Christmas - are you excited?
"Yeah, I'm really excited about it. I'm looking forward to people hearing another side to the album. This single has got a kind of Jackson 5 feel to it which I love. The whole album has got a really old-school, laid-back Motown sound, so hopefully 'No Can Do' will get more people interested in the album."

Did you enjoy writhing around with the half-naked men in the video?
"The video was really cool to make but there were a few 'accidents' caused by Amelle. I say 'accidents' because I don't know how many times you can grope someone and call it an accident. Amelle was standing on private parts, touching butts and rubbing abs and saying, 'Oops, sorry I thought that was a leg!' It was hilarious!"

Your boyfriend's in the 'Girls' video. Why didn't he appear this time around?
"I had to drag him onto the video for 'Girls'! He was like, 'There is no way I am dancing in a pop video like that', but I threatened to put my leg over another guy, so he agreed to come. He was kind of forced into it! He's a bit of a lad and I don't think he would have felt comfortable appearing on TV in his undies."

Heidi said recently that she's upset with how the new album's been promoted. Are you disappointed with how it's sold?
"No, she didn't actually say that. Basically I think this is the best album we've done with this lineup. I think I speak on behalf of all of us when I say that we wouldn't change a thing. A top ten album is really good and that's what we got. People put too much emphasis on having a number one - we've done that every year for the past eight years. For us, if we'd got into the top ten with a really crap album it would have been more painful."

What do you think the third single will be?
"I would love to see 'Every Heart Broken' as the third single. I think concept-wise it's something that we've never really spoken about before and again it shows a completely different side to the album."

Are you taking a break before starting the next album?
"We want to start in February and take about a year to write it. But it depends - if everything goes well and we get a massive single, then obviously we'll come back straight away."

What can we expect the next album to sound like?
"We're going to be working with producers who've worked with Beyoncé and Rihanna so we're really looking forward to next year. We'd also love to work with Cee-Lo from Gnarls Barkley - we met him when we were working with [US record producer] Dallas Austin and we'd love to do something with him."

How was it performing with James Morrison on 'Broken Strings'?
"He's such a nice guy and he made me feel so comfortable. It was really weird as I've never sung onstage by myself. It gave me a lot of confidence and made me think, 'Can I actually be by myself?' I think even when you're in a group you need to know that you can hold your own. I know the other girls can, but I was never really sure whether I could, so it gave me a lot of confidence."

Can you imagine having a solo career?
"I can see us all doing other stuff. I think the girls would love to do other things as well. That's what's great about being in this band – you're not stifled. A lot of the time in girl-bands there's one member who's the leader and that can cause a lot of tension. It did with us in the earlier lineups, but now it's kind of equaled out."

So you're all best of friends now?
"Yes, definitely. I think it's really hard when there's one member who doesn't want to be there. That's what we went through before with the previous two lineups. It was difficult because when you came into work in a good mood and that person was in a bad mood, it put your day in a rut. With this lineup we all want the same thing and from an outside perspective people can really see that."

Were you ever tempted to pack it all in?
"Not at all! I left school in Year 8 to join this band and it's more than a group to me. When you sacrifice your schooling for a group, you don't want to give it all up that easily. I've never regretted it since then. Sugababes has been my life."

Sugababes release 'No Can Do' on December 29. Their album, Catfights and Spotlights, is out now.

> Click here for more from Keisha Buchanan in The Sound

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