Exclusive Interview with Northern Treasure Rebecca Ferguson
by Chloe McLaughlin
A shy, working class girl from Liverpool, Rebecca Ferguson first burst onto our screens in 2010 when she became the runner-up on The X Factor. Now she’s an international superstar. She released her first album which she co-wrote, Heaven, in 2011 selling 128,000 copies in the first week making her the fastestselling debut solo artist of the past decade. Since then, she’s released three more albums, been on countless tours and possibly most exciting for the foodies amongst you, and been the face of Walkers crisps!
It’s been a turbulent seven years for Rebecca full of ups and downs in her personal life. From her brief relationship with One Direction’s Zayn Malik which she has since described as a ‘four month blip’ to living it up in ‘gay Pa-ree’ to adding to her brood with the birth of her daughter, there’s been plenty going on. It’s not been an easy journey for Ferguson, 31, yet in true Northern spirit she’s battled on. Now things are looking on the up for our Northern treasure. She’s back living on home soil with her three children (Karl, Lillie and Arabella) and recently worked with producer AFSHeeN to release a new single, Uncrazy in November 2017 to great critical acclaim. Not one to slow down, she’s now embarking on a UK Tour. I caught up with Rebecca to find out what we can expect and why growing up in poverty has helped her find success…
You lived in Paris for a while… how’s your French? Can you say ‘someone’s gorra gob on’ in the language of love?
Oh God no! If I’m honest I moved to a really English part so everyone spoke English. I did learn a few words. I was polite I could say ‘bonjour’, ‘bonsoir’ and ask for milk. I made the effort when I went in the shop but other than that I’d just look at them as if to say ‘what you on about?’
What else have you been up to since The X Factor?
Oh God, what haven’t I been up to? I’ve been everywhere! I’ve released four albums and toured the world. I went to the US and performed a lot in Germany. I also got involved in a lot of orchestral based things and then last year I took a year out to have some ‘self love’. I’m back now but I’m feeling it. I’m so tired!
2018 northern Tour Dates…
I’m really looking forward to the tour… it’s going to be fun! I’m just about having a laugh now and I’m in control of my career which is a really good place to be. Everything that you see is me. I’ll be performing a mixture of songs from the albums. I’ll also be singing covers; I’ll be covering a Stormzy and an Ed Sheeran song. I’m also considering doing an acoustic version of Uncrazy. It’s like Jeremy Kyle when you come to my concerts… you hear it all! Well that
might be a slight exaggeration! I just want people to come and have a laugh, have fun and leave feeling better. Manchester and Liverpool are rowdy bunches! If you get a Saturday night gig in Liverpool it’s the best gig ever, it’s so good!
I’ve been listening to Uncrazy this morning. It’s quite different to your usual sound – much more electronic…
Yes. It’s not my usual style of music. It’s very niche. It’s very separate to what I normally do. That’s why I want to do the acoustic version on the tour – it’s really nice.
Does your music define you?
That’s a strong thing to say! I think part of my personality yes, but I don’t think it defines me completely. I think it’s a percentage of who I am and I think it’s definitely the sensitive side of me that comes out. It isn’t the whole package. There are so many different sides to me.
How do you strike a work/life balance?
When the kids were younger they came with me but they can’t as much now they’re settled at school. I might bring my three-year old with me. It’s just about balance and making sure I get home as much as possible.
You had a tough upbringing, spending time in a children’s home, has that influenced your music?
A tough life affects your voice, it really does. It gives you character and puts soul in your voice. It’s made me a deep thinking person… I’m a bit of worrier.
Did growing up in Liverpool with its rich musical heritage, influence you?
I think ‘Scousers’ are very ambitious! It’s a big part of the culture. People are enrolling their kids in dance schools and drama clubs and things straight away! I had to really push myself and be my own driving force.
What are your plans for after the tour?
I’ll be recording a new album for 2019 and I’m going to take my time as it’s got to be right. I don’t want to rush anything. It’s so easy to rush things for the sake of it. I listen to songs, including my own, and think hang on a minute, you could have taken more care but the pace of life is so fast you end up rushing. I think quality is really important.
I’ve heard you’re keen to write children’s books. What will they be about?
I don’t want to give it away. They’re just funny and make my kids giggle but every time I go to write them I’ve got too much music going on! It’s coming definitely… I just need a quiet
QUICK FIRE ROUND…
What was your favourite story as a child? James and the Giant Peach and The Twits.
Yorkshire puddings or Lancashire hotpot? Yorkshire puds!
Everton or Liverpool? Liverpool.
Tina Turner or Aretha Franklin? Oh wow, that’s a tough one. I’d say Aretha for voice and Tina for performance. I love a Tina leg!
Walkers or Seabrooks? I’ve got to say Walkers!
What’s your favourite flavour? Cheese and onion!