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I hugely admire, like and respect Mike and I think it's important that I know, and people out there know, that [the music] isn't 100 per cent me."Melua was born in Georgia in the former USSR but raised in the UK from the age of eight.She went to the Brit school of Performing Arts in Croydon, where Batt first spotted her."I'm very lucky and I'm grateful and I try not to complain too much, but…" (and it's a big but) "…no one could ever be that sweet."For some, Melua is not so much a national treasure as a national embarrassment.Her music, let's be clear, is far from cutting edge.Tourists do come to see his home and that brings a living to the local people, so yes they can be a bit ambivalent.” We move on to rather more benevolent icon, Bob Dylan, who is Melua’s current obsession, studiously going through his entire oeuvre, album by album.She is still very much a student of music and for reasons as much to do with education as passion.
But, as she prepares to release her third album, Pictures, Melua cannot disguise a certain ambivalence about where her musical career has taken her.
While the easy-listening feel is still there, it is not hard to tell Melua and Batt's songs apart.