Home > Lifestyle > Entertainment > Music
Sunday September 29, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Sunday September 29, 2013 MYT 10:10:24 AM
by john j. moser
Sultry appeal: British singer Cher Lloyd has become a mainstream favourite all over the world – in particular the United States, where she spends the majority of her time.
Cher Lloyd, X Factor finalist and pop starlet, is taking charge of her music career.
WHEN an artiste has a massive hit with a first single, as British pop singer Cher Lloyd did with her song Want U Back last year, it can lead to all sorts of hand-wringing about how to follow it up.
“No one wants to be a one-hit wonder,” says Lloyd in a phone call from an undisclosed airport, where she’s just arrived to kick off her first US headlining tour.
Want U Back certainly was a hit. The cheeky, chirpy song about a girl hating her ex’s new girlfriend went double-platinum and Top 10 on the pop chart and pushed Lloyd’s debut album Sticks + Stones to Top 10, as well.
Lloyd is an amazingly independent 20-year-old who gained fame by finishing fourth on the British version of the TV talent show X Factor in 2010, then signed with Simon Cowell and his Syco Records. She says she pushed all the pressure aside for her sophomore album, set for release before the end of the year.
“I am a very positive, optimistic sort of person, and I feel like whenever there’s pressure involved, it sucks the life out of what you’re actually doing,” says Lloyd in an impossibly thick British accent. “And I think as an artiste, I think we should feel no pressure, and have a lot of fun with it.”
That, Lloyd says, is what she did with I Wish, a more bombastic, rap-influenced R&B blast that dropped last week as the new disc’s first single.
“There was no pressure,” says Lloyd. “If it works out, that’s fantastic. If it doesn’t, I can at least say I gave it my best.”
But the song clearly is shooting for success. It features rapper T.I., who in the past decade sold seven million of his seven albums and had chart-topping collaborations with Justin Timberlake and Rihanna.
“I recorded the song, and I didn’t feel like it necessarily needed anything, but I felt it would be good to just have a different take on it,” she says. “And I just felt that T.I. was a great choice. He’s not your predictable rapper.
“I feel like being in the pop world, lots of pop artistes get rappers on their songs, but I just feel like this guy’s a lot cooler.”
Lloyd says she thinks Want U Back was such a success because fans were buying into her personality.
“I honestly think that my fans and the public feel that I’m very honest and open,” she says. “It’s really cheeky and I did some quirky things during the song, but mostly I feel like they got to know me and I liked knowing that people bought into me.
“And I thought the next single is going to clarify that. That’s going to be ... not just buying into a song.”
Lloyd says the rest of her new disc will offer other surprises – “a bit of a shock,” she says – not the least of which will be ballads that show she can sing more than pop.
“The first album was very much pop and vibe-y and very upbeat and there were only one or two songs that were mid-tempo kind of ballad-type songs,” she says. “I feel like I’m actually able to sing, and I think it’s really difficult to prove that you can sing when you’re just singing your typical pop songs.
“I’ve been able to tap into more of the stuff that I’m interested in as opposed to what other people think the people want. And I think it’s a bit of a risk for me, but I’m really proud of it.”
She says the final song recorded for the disc was one that she wrote herself and “I’m completely in love with,” but declines to give details.
In addition to working with T.I., Lloyd previously collaborated with Mike Posner on the song With Ur Love and Ne-Yo on the non-album single It’s All Good. But asked whether there are other featured guests on the new CD, she says there’s not – yet.
“Now that the record’s finished, there is time to listen over it again and get some ideas going,” she says. “I’m not going to say at this moment that there’s not going to be any, but I will say that if there are, they would have to be really good ones.”
Lloyd says the one thing that does make her a bit nervous is the tour.
“I have to play such a long set and I’ve got brand new songs I’m going to be performing, too. So I’m a bit nervous, but I’m feeling quite positive about it and I know that the fans are really excited about it, too,” she says. “They’ve been waiting a long time, so it’s about time I get out there and do what I need to do.”
Asked how, at 20, she’s such a decisive person, she gives much of the credit to her time on X Factor.
“I think it’s because I got to be on a TV show when I was 16 years old, and I kind of felt like everyone had their own opinion of how they wanted my career to go and I’ve always been a very independent person and I’ve always liked to do things my way,” she says.
“Some people may call that a bully, but I call it passionate. And I just feel like, if I’m going to have this crazy lifestyle of working 24 hours a day, then it should be what I want it to be. And I don’t feel that it’s right to have an older guy that sits at their desk telling a 20-year-old girl how to live her life and how to provide for her fans.
“And that’s essentially what I’m doing. It is for my fans, and it is for the public. All of this is to make people happy. And when I make other people happy, that makes me happy.” – The Morning Call/McClatchy-Tribune Information Services
Tags / Keywords:
Entertainment, Cher Lloyd, X Factor, music, British, singer, Want U Back, Sticks + Stones
Copyright © 1995-2013 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)