Sophie Ellis-Bextor explains why, for her, it’s “Murder on the *Daunce* Floor”

Laura Lewis

There are plenty of British pop stars out there, but very few of them actually sing with their normal accents. Think of Dua Lipa or Adele: when they sing, you can’t tell that they’re British. One exception is Sophie Ellis-Bextor, the woman who gave us the viral Saltburn hit “Murder on the Dance Floor.” Or, as she pronounces it in the song, “Murder on the Daunce Floor.” For Sophie, using an American accent would be akin to faking it.

“I’ve never really understood too much why people made a fuss about me singing in a British accent,” she tells ABC Audio. “Because if I put on an accent, that would be once removed from me telling a story. When I sing a song, I’ve got to convey that it’s my story to tell. … So to me, it’s quite natural, really, to do that.”

“And I guess as well I was a Britpop girl,” she notes, referring to the era that brought us bands like Oasis and Blur. “And so, you know, the Britpop era is full of people singing in their own accents.”

Gregg Alexander, the co-writer of “Murder on the Dance Floor,” thinks Sophie’s British accent is what really makes the song. In Variety last year, he praised her “soulful vocals, yet dry delivery subversively singing ‘dance!’ as ‘daunce!'” 

And Sophie says Gregg, the man behind the ’90s band New Radicals of “You Get What You Give” fame, has been just as thrilled as she’s been to see a song that was a global hit more than 20 years ago get its due in America.

“He’s been so sweet, actually, he’s a proper cheerleader,” Sophie says. “We’re like proud parents, really.”

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