Duffy, 24, was born in Bangor in North Wales. She now lives in London and has been nominated for four Brit Awards, including Best British Female Solo Artist, for her album Rockferry.
When I first met Jeanette Lee I was a nervous 19-year-old, stuck between a rock and a hard place. She helped me to gain confidence, became my best friend and gave me enough money to move to London. Without her I might never have made a record at all, though she tends to have no idea what we are doing from one day to the next. We look at the diary and jump in a cab – 99 per cent of the time we don’t actually know where the cab is taking us.
Since moving to London, I don’t see my family often, so I make about five phone calls everyday to the same people, just to check in – especially to my mum, who worries. I am a very good talker, though, so my phone bills are quite high. Luckily my sisters [twin Kelly and older sister Katy] live in London as well now, so I see them every day when I am in town.
I started working with Bernard Butler, and he gave me the room to learn. He never shoved lyrics in front of me, he allowed me to say what I wanted to say. That freedom to have your own creative direction is so important.
When I was 16, my teacher, Mair Grussurdd, was the first person to realise that my heart just wasn’t in any of the academic stuff. She told me to leave and fulfil my dream – the first person ever to suggest I could do it. My family were quite traditional. They wanted me to get an education, otherwise my life would be considered a major bum-out. I did eventually drop out, but only when I was at college. I realised there was no point in continuing my studies if I wasn’t going to do it well.
My make-up artist
I work with Amanda Grossman all the time because she really understands my identity and helps me protect it – she isn’t scared to say, “She isn’t wearing that pink wig – it’s not for her,” because I am quite a silent person and I don’t like getting frustrated or argumentative.
Soon after I moved to London one of my friends got dumped and it was a prime opportunity to cheer her up and buy some kittens. When I first got Cindy and Felix it was difficult to leave them on their own, but now they roam around and do their own thing – although one of them caught a mouse last night and that was a bit of a nightmare. It’s OK – the mouse survived.