JOAN Armatrading is one of this country’s most acclaimed singer-songwriters.

Known for her finely crafted lyrics and distinctive vocals, her career has spanned over four decades

Ahead of tonight's show at Lighthouse, Poole (limited tickets still available) she talks to Leisure Live about why she feels she was born to write songs.

Some musicians fall in love with music after hearing a particular song, or seeing their hero up on stage. But Joan Armatrading believes she was always destined to be a songwriter. “I was born to write and this is why I’m here,” she says.

“I know that because it all feels very natural. Nobody taught me how to do it.”

The acclaimed singer-songwriter has been in the public eye ever since her debut album, Whatever’s For Us, came out in 1972, and tongith she will be performing tracks from her latest album, Not Too Far Away, the 21st of her career, as well as some of those from her extensive back catalogue.

The multi-instrumentalist has been a musician and songwriter for “a very long time”, as she puts it, and has ploughed her own furrow. “Some people are very political and write about that but that’s not how I see myself,” she says. “I was never going to be a punk or write disco music just to fit in. I’ve always written about what I want to write about, which is this thing we call love.”

One of her favourite new tracks is 'Invisible,' I love the instrumentation of it, the guitar of it, and I love the words of it. "I'm kind of talking-singing on there, it's not rap but talking-singing, and then the chorus comes in and I sing.

"I like the idea of what that song is saying is, don't hide yourself away from me, I know that really we should be together, but if you go about things in a certain way, you're going to just kind of cloak yourself and I'm not going to see you.

There's a line in it that says 'The thing that you're running from is what you leave behind.' And sometimes people will run away from something that they actually really want. So it was trying to say just don't make yourself invisible, this is something that could be really good for both of us. Not necessarily about me, but it could be for the people that are involved.

"I love reading problem pages [and there's always somebody in the problem page saying 'Oh, I really fancy this guy, or I really fancy this girl, and I don't know how to approach them, and I've said to my friends, this is the person I need to marry...' But they're never saying it to that person, and the advice quite often is, just pluck up the courage and talk to that person. And this song is kind of the same thing - if you have somebody you really want to connect with, you can't really afford to mess about, you've just got to get on with it!"