IT IS more common nowadays to be a jack-of-all-trades than it was 20 years ago, but those who came to their trades 20 years ago are better at being the jack. Look at Louise Redknapp: member of the first girl band to sell more than a million copies of a debut album, Eternal; solo artist; TV presenter; actress and Dolly Parton aficionado; Strictly Come Dancing finalist; mother, girlfriend, wife, divorcee. The 45-year-old has been them all.

Back with her first release in 20 years since Elbow Beach, Redknapp is taking Heavy Love on an 11-date tour, with a stop off at Glasgow’s SWG3 on 22 March.

“Making this new album has been a real emotional and honest process for me,” said Redknapp. “I love performing live and touring and I can’t wait to take the new album on tour and perform all these new songs for everyone.”

Her return to music coincided with big changes in her life, all of which influenced the writing in Heavy Love. Fans were teased in 2017 when Redknapp posted a picture of herself in the recording studio amid divorcing her husband of 19 years, footballer Jamie Redknapp.

In late 2017 and early 2018, Redknapp made her live comeback, with her first shows in 15 years – the Intimate & Live tour was a sellout success, getting cogs turning that resulted in her signing a global publishing deal with Warner/Chapell Music.

Now, the result is finally here – Heavy Love. As Redknapp herself describes, it is an album with “something to say”.

“Music has always been a massive part of my life. It’s what I do and what I know. I stopped for a number of years but it’s nice to be back doing it.

“With music, everything is about timing and timing has been key to this album. I think it makes such a difference with the circumstances and it makes it sound … different.

“I was making it, writing it and recording it when I had something to say. I think, 10 years ago the kids were young and I was based around the home. Musically, it makes sense to write when you’ve got something to write about.”

Having something to write about when it comes to Redknapp has never been an issue for many, as her private life after her marriage was consistently written about over the years.

Her sons Charley and Beau are in full support of her return to music – and taking ownership back of her story that she wants to share. “The boys have never seen me do music, so it’s been lovely for them,” Redknapp said. “They’re super-proud and they embrace it.”

Heavy Love is an album that is both a throwback and a look forward. Recorded in Sweden, London and LA, it features age-old Eternal-style features alongside guest appearances from the likes of Clean Bandit, Jojo, RAYE, EG White, Sinead Harnett and Karen Poole.

“I wanted the tour to be a mixture of a trip down memory lane and creating new memories,” said Redknapp. “The music on the album is so current, it’s like a party.

“We were so lucky to get musicians on the album who are so brilliant and current. That’s why it has a good credible feel.

“The album is so perfect for this moment because it is relevant in today’s music industry. The people I’ve worked with are current and are growing in the industry every day. By mixing my old school stuff and what they brought, it sounds so up to date.”

And having been in the industry for more than 20 years, has it changed?

“The industry has changed massively.

“Streaming is so different. It still blows my mind now, the numbers of people streaming and what you can hear, but you have to move with the times and get on with it.

“We were really fortunate with Eternal, and it happened at the right time for us. We released music when it happened at an organic time for us. I think that girl bands have changed the industry, but so has sspopular culture. Longevity is what matters. Regardless of how you’re put together, the testament of how long a band stays together and sells records for is when you know you have the power, or whether you feel like a good artist.”

Her favourites are artists like Kelahni, who “wear their hearts on the sleeve. I love her lyrics. I think she’s real and relatable. We’ve all been there and felt that way. She brought a lot out of me with her lyrics.”

It has been a big break since she left the studio, but Redknapp insists her return is more a homecoming.

“I never felt like it was a comeback. I just felt like I was doing it again. Music was always in my heart. It is about the opportunity and whether the time was right and, in this case, it was.”

It wasn’t long ago that Louise was in Glasgow with 9 to 5, where she played Violet Plumstead.

“I’ve always played in Glasgow. Even when we were there with 9 to 5, the audiences are the same – they’re loud and very much with you.”

It might have been 20 years since we heard her last, but if Heavy Love proves anything it’s that Redknapp’s fans have never left – they’re very much with her.

Louise Redknapp plays at SWG3 on March 22.