As GLAMOUR's Entertainment Editor, I've interviewed lots of celebrities. Some were newly famous, some are no longer famous, and there's been the odd perpetual A-lister. But I have never interviewed Kylie. So when I was invited to, it had special significance.
You see, her 1988 Kylie album was the first I ever bought (on cassette, natch), and as a fully paid up member of the official Kylie Minogue fan club, my world was shattered when I left my membership pack on a bus in Chesterfield. I sobbed as my mum called the depot, but alas it was gone forever. How quickly my tears would have dried if someone had told me that 25 years later I would sit down with the woman herself. (Granted, explaining the concept of where we are - Google HQ in London - would have been difficult to explain to a kid in the 1980s, whose idea of cutting edge technology was a Walkman. But still.)
We're here because today Kylie is an Artist in Residence at Google, collaborating with YouTube's rising stars [creators who have in excess of 5000 subscribers] and generating video content with them, as well as giving a talk on how to build a lasting brand. Which after 70 million record sales, countless reinventions (and her tongue firmly in cheek about the fact that her name will be forever synonymous with gold hotpants), is something Kylie, 45, knows a thing or two about.
Your career has so far spanned 25 years. What has changed about the pop landscape?"I think everything has changed except the guts of it, which is the most basic thing that you need to connect to music, make a good record and get played on radio. Now radio is not the [analogue] dial you used to have in your kitchen, but it's still radio just in other forms."
We've had Indie Kylie, Sex Kylie, Dance Kylie… You've now signed with [Jay Z's record label] Roc Nation. What Kylie can we expect from your new album?
[Looks genuinely stricken] "I don't know what the 'Kylie' is yet! Some people might say it's Sex Kylie again but I don't know if you can have two. So it might have to be something else. I don't know, Hot Kylie? There's quite a lot of hotness around!"
[laughs] "That's always been the case. New Era Kylie? Honestly, I'm just making this up as I go along."
You're also Mentor Kylie on The Voice. Is your coaching style as you thought it would be before the show began?
"I'm pretty much how I thought I would be. I'm not naturally very bossy, I'm kind of grounded, and I'll get my point across but I can only do it in my way, and hopefully the acts will understand. Mostly, I try to be supportive and understanding because I know what it is to be an artist - there's a lot of insecurity with being an artist."
Do you think it's harder for women in music today or do you think pressures are similar to when you started? I'm thinking of someone like Miley Cyrus who is getting a lot of stick for transitioning from child star to grown woman.
"Miley is, what, 21? I was going my own kind of crazy at that point in time as well, but maybe it wasn't as big, or maybe there wasn't as much scrutiny then. You could go down to the club and do what you wanted. There weren't so many people with mobile phones following you."
I'm sure you got slated for wearing fishnet tights to the Smash Hits Poll Winners' Party one year.
[Cackles] "Oh probably. [People would say] 'she's wearing hot pants and ankle boots? To a club?' I mean, I was going out with Michael [Hutchence], and we would go clubbing and I had whacked out outfits on."
Does it make you cross that guys can be as rock and roll as they like, whereas women in music have to be role models?
"This is true, yeah it's a little unfair. I'm trying to think how different it is now to a long time ago. Maybe the gap's getting a little smaller, but we still have a different perception, men and women in this industry. But look at Beyonce, I love what she did [in releasing her album]. 'Here's my album I'm doing it my own way.' [Adopts lofty tone] And if you look at the charts it's the girls who are doing really well so…"
Did Dannii give you any coaching tips for The Voice?
"Not specific tips. I spoke with her a bit before I agreed to The Voice, and she just said 'I think you're going to love this experience'. She didn't have to warn me about the hard work because I've seen her go through it time and time again, trying to find a space in your brain that's not related to the show you're working on. She knew I would be fine, maybe more so than I knew I would be fine, because I was really anxious about it."
Are you going to be touring the new album this year?
"I don't know, the end of this year, maybe."
We expect big things from a Kylie tour.
"I know - no pressure!"
Have you got as far as thinking of concepts or outfits?
"Yeah, my general feeling is stripping it back, certainly from the last show. Aphrodite was fountains and angels, which worked, but it reaches a point where you can't - and I also don't feel like it should - get bigger. Bigger doesn't mean better, so I'm going to take a right turn, and I just feel like stripping it back a little bit. It's not going to be me and a banjo that's for sure but… just streamlining a little bit."