"I want to be known as 'Rebecca who can sing', that's it" – hmv.com talks to Rebecca Ferguson
As she prepares for her biggest UK tour to date, we sat down with Rebecca Ferguson to talk about breaking America and broadening her musical horizons.
How's 2014 been for you so far?
"So far, so good. It's been a transitional year for me, I feel like I've landed on my feet and I can really focus."
Your album Freedom came out at the end of last year, why did you decide to release it then?
"I think December's a great time for me. People who like my music tend to be album buyers, they want the album and it seemed like a good idea to time it with them being in stores for Christmas."
What's the reaction to the album been like?
"It's been good, I've had nothing but good comments. I thought it was a bit of risk, it's a much more modern record than Heaven, so I was a bit worried about how people would be, but everyone's been so positive."
You had to wait a while to put it out didn't you?
"I actually wrote the album really quickly, I was going through so much that I needed to write about it. I think lots of artists get stuck on their second albums, they don't know what to write about. To me, most artists never beat their first album, they never top it. But I had so much crap going on that I had almost too much to write about…"
You're about to head out on a big UK tour, with a big show at Liverpool Arena, are you excited?
"I am! I think it'll be one big party, probably with everyone ending up back at mine. I just like that all my family are there and around me."
How's it going to be bringing the album to life live? Have you got a full band?
"My band have been with me for my whole career, right back to the X-Factor. With this tour I've had a lot more control, I've really been able to plan it all and map out how it's going to be, musically. I'm really excited about it."
Are you going to focus on the new album with the set list?
"New album, a few cool covers, I just want to put on a good show."
What's the plan for after the tour wraps up?
"I'm going to Germany to play and to China, then hopefully to do some more stuff in America and play some shows in Australia."
What are your hopes for America? Would you like to really devote a lot of energy to it on this campaign?
"I think everything's meant to be, if they get it, then they get it. The problem with me and America is because I'm mixed-race when I went over to promote 'Nothing's Real But Love' I was getting taken to R'n'B and hip-hop stations, which didn't suit the song at all. It's a very segregated market, radio-wise, I found it hard, I just wanted to go to the regular pop stations and they wouldn't let me."
"This time, I'll go over and just make it clear that I want to be accepted as a performer, that it doesn't matter what colour I am, I want to be known as 'Rebecca who can sing', that's it."
Are you going to try and tour there more?
"I hope so, I'd love to, I'd love to live in Los Angeles. Leona (Lewis) does it doesn't she? She commutes. I'd love that."
Where are you with the follow-up to Freedom? Are you already thinking about new music?
"I'm writing already, I'm actually recording this week, I'm doing some sessions with some rappers and a couple of cool DJs. I want to broaden, I don't want there to be a limited on what Rebecca should do."
Rebecca Ferguson's new album Freedom is out now. You can preview it by clicking on the icon on the right hand side of the page.