In the strange world of celeb-dom,
the fact that Saffron bumped into Courtney Love backstage at a Versace fashion show is
part of the course.
"She came in screaming like a crazy woman. She's totally overpowering, but I love
that," laughs Saffron. "She gave me some matriarchal rock-chick advice and told
me where I was going wrong, but she meant it in a good way. She looks fab and although
she's now this big Hollywood star she's still into her music. I thought she was
Saffron laid-back response to encountering Courtney just about sums up the character of
this petite pop phenomenom. Although she looks like a scary cross between punk icon
Siouxsie Sioux (her idol) and Morticia from The Addams Family she's actually a softly
spoken home girl, who likes to have a laugh with her mates - and write great pop songs.
Not only that, this role model to a new generation of girrrrls with attitude is on a big
love vibe. After a number of disastrous love affairs, Saffron's bagged a goodie. She's
been seeing Fast, bass-player with the Fun Lovin' Criminals, since January, and it's all
hunky dory, she says, grinning like a Cheshire cat.
"It's a really weird story. I met him when we were touring America last summer. He
remembered me from a gig I'd done in New York in 1991 and said he'd got all my records. I
thought he was spinning me a line, but he actually has! He bought them all on
When they met, Saffron was in a "terrible relationship". "I know that this
sounds crap, but I consider Fast to be my first real boyfiend. I've had a catalogue of
disasters, one of them culminating in Drop Dead Gorgeous, so at least I've learned from my
mistakes," she says. "But I feel very lucky that I've found a good man."
The couple started off as friends. "I didn't realise I was in such a bad relationship
until I met someone nice," Saffron says. "I'd sit there thinking 'I wish I could
meet someone like Fast', and then it all happened."
So what does she look for in a man? "My boyfriend is so honest and well-mannered, and
that's really important," she says. "I don't think girls should stand for less.
Women put up with too much crap from men, when they shouldn't have to."
Now that's girl power for you. But then Saffron has always gone after what she wants. She
was born in Nigeria. Her mum is from Hong Kong and her dad is English. She lived in
Brighton, studying ballet, until her late teens, when she moved to London to pursue her
music career. In the early Nineties she tasted chart success with a dance act called
N-Joi, but struck out on her own in 1993.
"I went to DeConstruction, the record company, ant told them to give me a deal. They
said 'Get a band together and we'll see', so I did."
Republica are songwriter Tim Dorney, who founded Flowered Up; keyboard player Andy Todd,
who's worked with Bjork; guitarist Johnny Male and drummer Dave Barborossa, who was with
Adam And The Ants back in the Eighties.
Saffron explains, "They were looking for a singer when I met them. But I didn't want
us to be like all the girly dance band rubbish. They agreed and that's how we
Since then, Republica have broken America big time, and have make their mark over here
with Ready To Go and Drop Dead Gorgeous, which was used on the soundtrack of Wes Craven's
"Making it in the US was great, but what's important for us is to be in the British
charts," Saffron says, "We all live here and have grown up here. It's all very
well doing big things in America - but we wanted to be on Top Of The Pops!"
That doesn't mean to say that Republica aren't getting used for the fame game. Earlier
this year they playedat at one of Donatella Versace's fashion shows, after the designer
spotted them on TV.
"She liked us, so she asked us to play a gig at a show and there we were on the
catwalk with Naomi and all the other supermodels," laughs Saffron. "I looked at
the front row and there was Leonardo DiCaprio, Courtney Love, Prince and The Fugees. I
just thought 'Aaaaaaaah!'."