It’s very obvious to anyone with a pulse and a set of eyes that a massive British invasion is upon us. Sure, it was a pretty big deal when this happened back in the 1960s, but now there’s the Internet — so we all are a little bit more tuned in than our parent’s generation. Adele, the dapper boys of One Direction and countless others are making their mark in a major way. Now, there’s another sultry chanteuse on the horizon: Rebecca Ferguson.
Rebecca first came to prominence when she was the runner-up on the smash hit series The X Factor. Her unique vocal stylings garnered her a record deal almost immediately, and the British tabloids naturally went crazy for her relationship with a member of One Direction. Since then, she’s been doing what she does best: focusing on her craft. Her album Heaven comes out in the US on May 29. I caught up with Rebecca earlier today and here’s what she had to say.
Spencer Cain: Congratulations on all your recent success. I know you got your start on X Factor, but what are your thoughts on all the singing competition shows that have been popping up and what was so positive about being a part of it?
Rebecca Ferguson: For me, you know, I’d been trying to sing for many years. No one in the industry was that interested. I was sending demo after demo to labels and producers and sound engineers. People always said I had a great voice, and there was a little bit of interest — but no one was willing to invest in me. Then I went on the show and it gave me the platform that I needed. I think talent shows are good. Before you go on them, you have to know who you are as an artist. If you’re going on a talent show, go on and be who you are, sing songs that you want to sing and dress how you want to dress. You just really have to be yourself.
SC: Obviously we’re experiencing a UK invasion, and it’s amazing. How do you feel about being among such a cool group, and what do you think about working with Adele?
RF: I’m just really happy to be a part of it and I’m happy for the artists. I think it’s amazing. Adele always supported me when I was on the show and she always takes the time to support me in interviews. I’ve never worked with Adele but I’d love to!
SC: Who are your dream people to collaborate with?
RF: It sounds strange ’cause I don’t think she has done anything recently, but I’d love to work with Tracy Chapman. (Editor’s note: I love Tracy Chapman so this was amazing.) I love Tracy Chapman and I think she’s brilliant. And Ben Howard, he’s a new British artist and he’s amazing.
SC: What is your signature style?
RF: I love classic clothes! I love floppy hats, I have a ton of big hats. Those are my signature. I like costume clothes, and I don’t think clothes have to be expensive. I think someone can be stylish on a budget and I think you can look expensive without spending a lot of money. Before The X Factor, I used to bargain hunt at a lot of vintage shops. I’m a big fan of Audrey Hepburn. To me, she’s the most stylish woman on earth. All her films, the way she dressed, it was unbelievable. I’d love for that to come back.
SC: Since you’ve taken off, what have been your biggest style splurges?
RF: Oh, gosh! Yeah. I love clothes. I’m bad for buying clothes. I really, really love getting clothes. I’m a big fan of YSL. It’s probably my favorite label. I like the shoes, and I love really, really high heels and YSL heels are incredibly comfortable. I always wear heels.
SC: I know you have two kids — are they excited with all you’re doing?
RF: They love coming to my shows, they love watching me on TV. They really like it and they are really proud.
SC: What’s next for you?
RF: I come to America on Sunday! I’ve got a little tour in Europe, a UK tour, but a lot of my time will be in America this year! I’m just excited to travel the states. I’ve been to L.A. and New York of course, but I’m excited to see the rest.
SC: What are your favorite songs on your album Heaven that will show our readers who you are as an artist?
RF: “Teach Me How to Be Loved” — a lot of people can relate to it if they’ve ever been through a painful relationship. There are plenty of other lighthearted songs too, like “Mr. Bright Eyes.”