Exclusive interview with Rebecca Ferguson about what's ahead in 2017
Rebecca Ferguson, whose albums are a mixture of soul-influenced, jazz and blues, has been carving out a respected career for herself in the music world since 2011. Not only is she an established singer-songwriter but an artist now in her own right.
The UK star is best known for her authentically emotional albums and songs. Each swirling melodically from track to track and lyrically gripping us with their portrayal of the highs and lows of dysfunctional love and relationships.
At the age of 24, her debut record “Heaven,” charted at No.3 on the UK Albums Chart with week one sales of 128,000, making it one of the fastest-selling albums of the decade. It was closely followed by another three top ten albums - the latest being, “Superwoman,” which was released in October of last year.
Today we’re interviewing the platinum-selling vocal sensation about her dreams for 2017.
You were initially signed to Syco, following X Factor, but you’ve managed to distance yourself from the reality TV show. That can’t have been easy? “It’s not been easy, no. X Factor was such an amazing platform for me in the beginning and obviously that's where I came under everyone's radar, so don’t get me wrong, I’ll always be grateful, but it’s something I’m really happy to move on from now, as I'm in such a different place with my whole career."
Aren't Syco a huge part of Sony? Do you think that's had a major affect on how you were moulded as an artist? "Yeah, it was a bit tricky to navigate. When you’re an artist under the X Factor umbrella at Sony, you tend to be grouped amongst the other ex-contestants, which can work for some singers, but I felt there was less scope for my individuality and creativity.
"It served its purpose when I was a novice to the music biz but if you want full autonomous control, which I’ve always been very vocal about wanting since day one, you do need to break free from that, or you can lose yourself completely.”
So what’s in the pipeline for Rebecca Ferguson this year? “I’ve just returned from performing at a private gig for the footballer Rio Ferdinand, as well as doing a charity event for ‘Cash For Kids’. I’m currently working in the studio on the soundtrack for an American drama, which is really exciting, but I can’t give anything away just yet.
“I’ve been offered lots of work. From TV and radio interviews, to a comedy series, so it’s been quite diverse, but I’m focusing solely on my music and am only agreeing to perform right now. I’m mostly just accepting live radio sessions, gigs and television performance work. How I’m perceived as an artist is so important to me. I think music is everything. Improving upon your craft is important. I’m much more interested in being a recording artist, than I ever am on being on telly or radio solely for the exposure. If I do a show, it’s because I want people to hear my voice and my music. I want my career to be about my music. I’m very disciplined about staying true to myself. I think people can pick it up if you’re not being authentic. So yeah, that means a lot to me. Being in full control of my career and my career choices."
You narrowly escaped having to perform at President Donald Trump's Inauguration Cermemony, but haven't elaborated upon it yet? “Yes, I've been approached by various networks about why I refused to perform at Donald Trump’s Inauguration Ceremony unless I could sing "Strange Fruit" at the concert but I want the right platform to share my story on as that matters to me."
You've already released two videos from your "Superwoman" album. Any others planned? "I’m preparing to shoot my music video for “Oceans” soon, which is a protest song in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, Muslims, LGBT community and Women’s March."
Can you give us a hint about things we can look out for this year? "I’ve a lot of things in the pipeline. I’m hugely ambitious and have only touched the surface of what I still want to do in my career. I’ve had some exciting offers in America come in as well, so am really looking forward to this year. I'm not allowed to talk about it just yet, but I’ve never been in such a positive place. It’s refreshing to be where I am in my career."
We may not be hearing Rebecca Ferguson's voice as much in interviews for a while, but don't worry, you'll definitely be hearing her voice still this year - and that’s a promise.
If you haven't heard her latest album, "Superwoman," then you're truly missing out! Check it out now on iTunes or below:
February 3, 2017 11:41am ET by Rebecca Ferguson