Goldfrapp performing at the Royal Festival Hall in 2018
|Birth name||Alison Elizabeth Margaret Goldfrapp|
|Born||13 May 1966|
Enfield, London, England
Alison Goldfrapp was born in 1966 in Enfield, London, the youngest of six children. Her mother was a nurse. Her father, Nick, had been an army officer, and worked in advertising. Goldfrapp's surname is of German origin, and she has German ancestry through her father. While Goldfrapp was growing up, her family moved frequently, eventually settling in Alton, Hampshire, where Goldfrapp attended the independent Alton Convent School. She sang in a choir at the school and has said that she loved being in a school with nuns. However she was forced to leave at age 12 due to failing the senior exam, and attended the local comprehensive school, Amery Hill School. She moved to London aged 16. At 24 years old, she attended Middlesex University where she studied fine art and mixed media.
In 1994 she featured on the Orbital album Snivilisation and also recorded songs "The Good" and "The Bad" with trip reggae outfit Dreadzone, for their 'best of' album The Best of Dreadzone – The Good The Bad and the Dread. Performing with them live resulted in two songs on the limited edition Performance album released in 1994. In the same year Goldfrapp featured on trip hop artist Tricky's 1995 song "Pumpkin" and collaborated with Stefan Girardet on two songs on the soundtrack to the 1995 film The Confessional.
Goldfrapp was introduced to composer Will Gregory in 1999 after he had listened to her vocal contribution for "Pumpkin". Alison Goldfrapp then formed Goldfrapp with Will Gregory in 1999 and subsequently signed to Mute Records.
The pair began recording their debut album over a six-month period, beginning in September 1999, in a rented bungalow in the Wiltshire countryside.. The band's debut album Felt Mountain was released in 2000 and featured Goldfrapp's synthesized vocals over cinematic soundscapes.
Goldfrapp released their second album Black Cherry in 2003. The band recorded the album in Bath, England. The album focused more heavily on dance music and glam rock-inspired synths than its predecessor. Black Cherry peaked at number nineteen on the UK Albums Chart and sold 52,000 copies in the US. Supernature, Goldfrapp's third album, was released in 2005. The album comprises pop and electronic dance music prominently featured on Black Cherry, but focuses more on subtle hooks instead of the large choruses that made up its predecessor. It has sold one million copies worldwide and earned the duo two nominations at the 2007 Grammy Awards for Best Electronic/Dance Album and Best Dance Recording for the song "Ooh La La". Seventh Tree, Goldfrapp's fourth album, was released in 2008 and debuted at number two on the UK Albums Chart. The album is a departure from the pop and electronic dance music featured on Supernature, featuring ambient and downtempo music. The band were inspired by an acoustic radio session they had performed, which led the duo to incorporate acoustic guitars into their music to create "warm" and "delicate" sounds.
Goldfrapp have released seven albums, most recently 'Silver Eye' in 2017. Hits include 'Strict Machine', 'Ooh La La', 'Lovely Head' and 'A&E'. The multi-platinum selling band have been nominated for the Mercury Prize, multiple Grammy Awards and won an Ivor Novello for 'Strict Machine'.
Goldfrapp have also scored the soundtracks to the films 'My Summer of Love' and 'Nowhere Boy'.
In recent years, Alison has dedicated more time to her role as a photographer and director. She created and photographed the album artwork for Silver Eye and directed videos for singles ‘Systemagic’, ‘Everything is Never Enough’ and ‘Ocean’.
Goldfrapp possesses an expansive soprano vocal range. She is also noted for her operatic abilities, particularly on the group's debut album Felt Mountain and prominently on the songs "Utopia" and "Pilots"; her delivery in a more contemporary voice has been described as "breathy", "sultry", "ethereal" and "startling".
Goldfrapp has also been commended for her vocal versatility, morphing her voice to fit various genres such as folk, pop, classical, dance, trip hop and electronica throughout her career. Goldfrapp has also been noted for her use of a vocoder, altering her voice to fit the artistry of the material she is singing, such as in the songs "Lovely Head". Vocally, Goldfrapp has been compared to Marlene Dietrich, Siouxsie Sioux, Björk, Kate Bush and the Cocteau Twins.
Goldfrapp produces and writes most of her material alongside bandmate Will Gregory. She draws inspiration from a range of artists and musical genres. As a teenager she listened to Kate Bush, T. Rex, Donna Summer, Joan Jett, Marc Bolan, David Cassidy, and Iggy Pop and The Stooges, and discovered Serge Gainsbourg while working in Belgium. While travelling through Europe in the early 1990s, she also began listening to Polish disco music and cabaret music from the Weimar Republic. Other media, including film, have influenced Goldfrapp who cites Roman Polanski's 1966 psychological thriller Cul-de-sac, the 1973 cult film The Wicker Man and the James Bond franchise as influences. She also draws inspiration from surrealism and nature, all of which appear in Goldfrapp's album artwork, which she designs in collaboration with Big Active. Goldfrapp believes that "music is a visual experience" and therefore visualises her lyrics before writing them. While writing, Goldfrapp uses her vocals to create melodies and drumbeats. Her songwriting is characterised by its use of animals to describe human emotions and status.
While touring in 2004, sections of the group's stage show featured Goldfrapp in a white dress wearing a horse tail and dancers with deer heads, which were inspired by her interest in animals and mythology.
The artwork for Goldfrapp's album Seventh Tree featured her dressed as a Pierrot. Her new image, inspired by paganism, featured her dressed in white or natural-coloured flowing gowns with loose, curly blond hair.
During 2010, Goldfrapp took on several new images once again, to fit with their then-forthcoming album Head First. The music on this album was more '80s-influenced, reflected in the artwork featured on the album's first single, "Rocket", which features Goldfrapp in a pink jumpsuit. For their live shows, she would wear spangly black leggings and a jacket covered in VHS tape which would be blown about by two electric fans placed at front centre-stage. The shine of the plastic reflected the colourful stage lighting.
In 2013, Alison was invited by The Lowry, Salford to curate an exhibition as part of their ‘Performer as Curator’ annual series. The exhibition was a collection of photography and paintings inspired by ideas of metamorphosis and fairytales
Goldfrapp confirmed she was dating film editor Lisa Gunning in a February 2010 interview with The Sunday Times, but rejected being called a lesbian, saying, "I think of everything as being about a person and a relationship, and I am in a wonderful relationship with a wonderful person. It just happens to be with a lady... It's something I've thought about for a long time and it concurs with my philosophy on life and sexuality. I don't think it can or should be pigeonholed. I've thought about this since I was a teenager. I've always found it claustrophobic to think about having to put things into categories like that. My sexuality is the same as my music and my life. Why does it need a label?" All of Goldfrapp's relationships before her relationship with Gunning were with men. 
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