She is being dubbed the new AMY WINEHOUSE — not for her lifestyle — and has been compared to legendary Sixties star DUSTY SPRINGFIELD.
Duffy says: “It’s flattering to be compared to Amy. She has done really well. I love the Dusty Springfield sound and to be compared to her is something to be proud of.
“But I want to be known as Duffy, not the new anyone. I think I have worked hard for what I have achieved and want to be known for my talents, not anyone else’s.”
The 23-year-old singer’s debut album, Rockferry, comes out on Monday and should earn her a debut No1, and a Brit nomination next year. She already has a No1 single under her belt with her brilliant track Mercy.
But the singer — full name Aimee Anne Duffy — is proud to be an ordinary girl from North Wales.
At school she was a troublemaker and got kicked out of the choir.
Her parents split up when she was ten and she spent a large part of her teenage years helping her dad out in his working men’s club in Nefyn, Gwynedd — though she says she never recovered from missing out on a job as a bingo caller at the club.
As for her soulful singing style, Duffy says: “I think it’s sexy to be rough. I’m aiming for rough, the rougher the better for me.
“That’s what it’s all about — things that are too polished are boring.”
Nowadays Duffy is happy living in London with her cats. She loves drinking wine with her pals and dancing around her handbag and says: “I like to go out. I love to get rat-ar*ed but I hate the next day, you feel like cr*p.
“I sometimes think I could try to be cool but it would just do my head in. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I can’t shut up, so I just enjoy it.
“Recently I had a really tough week working, cancelled a planned night out and got everyone round to my flat.
“Within minutes I’d fallen asleep on the couch and my sister said to everyone as I started to drool, ‘There she is, the face of 2008!’ It was the first time I realised things might be about to change for me.
“Yesterday I was stood on the doorstep chatting to someone and this lady came over and she acted like an old friend.
“Then, of course, I realised that she had seen my video.”
Duffy landed her record contract with A&M — she is managed by the super-cool Rough Trade records — after being chased by a determined female talent scout.
She brought the then 19-year-old to London for only the second time in her life for a meeting in a pub with her record label colleagues.
And Duffy’s cheeky banter helped her land a bumper deal.
She recalls: “We just chatted and they asked me if I’d been to London, which I hadn’t — only when I was very young. I told them I went to see The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe.
“Then I said, ‘Who’s the witch out of you lot?’ and we had a laugh, I was being really cheeky. But it worked.”
Duffy is a pretty, single girl about to become seriously wealthy and she’ll be a great catch for somebody — though footballers should look out.
She says: “I’ve met a lot of guys who have this mad ambition to be a footballer. I have known a lot of goalkeepers for some reason.
“I dated a couple but goalkeepers are like drummers in a band — the slightly mad ones.
“We didn’t stick it out, they’re kind of fierce, going for the ball, bull by the horns.
“I don’t understand the offside rule so that’s always a bit of problem. I get bored easily. I’m always looking for new challenges.”
But for any fellas fancying their chances, she adds: “I want a man who can build a house with his own hands — he has to be good with his hands.”
Duffy’s musical achievements are coming thick and fast.
She has impressed with two great performances recently — on Radio 2 for JOOLS HOLLANDJONATHAN ROSS on BBC1.
and on Friday Night With
It’s a rare treat to meet a star who is so appreciative of her success. Before she landed her deal she had some tough jobs, which she is delighted to put behind her.
She says: “I was a barmaid and a waitress, I put sheets on hotel beds. I worked in a fish shop for one day — I wasn’t a fishmonger-to-singer though. I could only stomach it for one day.
“I didn’t know kilograms and I’m not mathematical. I took the money from a customer and it went through my fingers and into the squid pot — dead squid.
“I just took the coin out and the fish was contaminated by the dirty money but I didn’t say. It’s not really rock ’n’ roll.
“When I was a waitress I spilled soup on this man and it was really bad. He wanted money off, dry cleaning paid for. It was chaotic so I never went back. I hope I never have to.”
Well, that seems pretty unlikely — Duffy has a bright future ahead of her and can look forward to retirement by 30 if she fancies it.