After two hit albums and racking up millions of view on YouTube we touched down with this multi-talented, simply triumphant singer.
Your live performances are amazing. The songs on the album, did you create them with the live performance in mind?
No! I didn’t and I will tell you why I didn’t. The main goal for this album was to a make an album that touched people. I wanted it to be emotive, I wanted people to feel uplifted. Three’s a song, Hold Me, it’s not an easy sing and you know when I recorded it I was thinking how am I going ot sing this live! It’s a proper belter and you have to belt it out.
You’ve been on a few different shows before X Factor, what kept you going, what was driving you forward?
The only way I can describe it with me is that for me in a way it was a blessing and a curse because I wanted to sing so badly and I couldn’t get away from it. I remember thinking I wish my ambition was something else and I remember just sitting in a class when I was studying law and just feeling like “Please God, nooooo. Pleasee” I’d been to my first round of X Factor auditions but I didn’t have the call back yet and I just remember thinking “something’s got to change. Now!”
So your first album Heaven, went certified platinum and featured the hit, Nothing’s Real But Love, tell us about creative history behind that track?
I went in and had a conversation with my co-writer and I said, “Do you know what’s important, it’s not money, not cars, it’s just love” and that’s all. So literally it was just a conversation and we just turned that into a song. Then it was my concept for the video actually, and the Too Good To Lose video. I just wanted it to be all about people. Families, children, people.
Well let’s get into that a little, the video for Too Good To Lose, that was filmed in Venice Beach right?
It’s my favourite video I’ve ever done really and what you don’t realise is that it’s just all people on the street. We just went to Venice Beach and I just sang it. And as I’m singing it, they’re filming it and all the characters, they are just the people in the street. They did go back and then film each person individually and you know say “do you mind?” but they’re just people that are actually on Venice Beach, some of them actually live on Venice Beach. So when I‘m laughing you’ll see, if you watch the video you’ll see me laughing at moments and I’m genuinely laughing cause they’re doing silly stuff.
What’s your most memorable experience on stage?
It’s actually yesterday. I sang for Goldie Hawn yesterday and she jumped on stage whilst I was singing and hugged me mid song and that’s like the best thing ever! So now that has to be my moment now. That’s what I’m telling the grandkids.
And your second album was another success, with the song I Hope. Tell me about what creative space you were in when you wrote, I Hope?
I Hope was at the end of a time that wasn’t my best. I was just grappling with fame and relationships and relationships within fame so I wasn’t in a good place but I had finally got into a place where I was ready to forgive and let things go so I went into the studio and wrote a song about forgiveness and letting things go and wishing people well cause for me that’s really important.
Your 2015 release, Lady Sings The Blues, that was your re-interpretation of classic Billie Holiday songs, what was your thought process leading to that project?
At first I wasn’t sure because it’s Billie Holiday and it wasn’t songs that I had written but I did demos and I realised I absolutely love jazz and the freedom it gave me on stage, the freedom it gave me in recording was second to none and I feel like helped me write the new album, Superwoman because it taught me a lot working with those pro musicians. Some of them had word with sammy Davis Jr, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles so they’re old school and they kind of put me under their wing and taught me a lot which gave me a lot of confidence.
Talking about the new album, Superwoman, you’ve described it about a very personal album. How have you channeled your emotions into the album?
I just was a bit of a mess really, carrying my daughter alone and going through the emotions of the break up and everything and I found writing Superwoman was a kind of therapy really. It helped me rebuild myself up again and I wanted it to to be empowering for women. It wanted it to be a go to when they’re feeling low or going through a breakup.
Thank you very much, it’s been a pleasure.