How are you feeling about the release of your second single 'The Last Dance'?
"Excited. My album's just been so long in the making, so it’s kind of surreal seeing myself on iTunes, but I’m happy as well because I think I’ve gained a really good strong fan-base that's really behind me. It’s just really nice."
Are the two singles you've released so far indicative of what to expect from the album?
"They are in that they’re quite big, epic and uplifting - 'The Last Dance' especially. People can expect that, but they should also slightly expect the unexpected. The album also has tracks like 'Sweet Lie', which are a lot more settled-down, and there's a track called 'Freedom' that's quite tribal and has a very light vocal. I guess all of the songs have their own story and their own emotion, so don't expect it to be too much like the two singles because each song is different."
What was your experience like writing the album?
"Really good. I was so involved in writing and co-producing it. I just wanted it to be as honest as possible and I wanted each song to have its own different emotion. I write when I feel something strongly. When I listen back, I think, 'Oh wow, yeah - you can hear what I was thinking about on that day'. It's like a diary!"
How important is it for you to write your own material?
"Really important, but I do still sing other people's songs - if I hear a really good song that I feel is honest to me, I will still sing it. However, because this is my first record, I really wanted to write it, and for it to be as emotive as possible, so people can get to know me a little bit."
What was it like working with Fraser T Smith?
"He's a great producer and he let me be as honest as possible. He wanted it to be all about what I was feeling and what I wanted to get across. He knew how important that was to me, so he really let me be hands on. He’s a great person to be around and I really enjoyed his company too."
How did you find collaborating with Mike Skinner and Chase and Status on their records?
"Loved it! I was so excited to be on both albums. Being in the studio with Mike Skinner was amazing - apparently Mike said to my manager while I was singing, 'Oh I didn’t realise she could write as well!' He took away the chorus I'd come up with it and put his own song around it, which is just insane and brilliant."
And Chase and Status have quite a different sound from your own…
"I wrote that song with Richard X and they took the vocal and produced it themselves for their record. I did that vocal three years ago, so my voice has changed quite drastically since then. I love the Chase and Status track though because I just love electronic music. I’m going back into the studio with them in the next couple of weeks and we’re going to do an electronic/dance kind of song, which I'm really excited about."
How do you find the comparisons between Annie Lennox’s voice and your own?
"I think it's brilliant. New artists are always likened to those that came before them - the same thing happened to Ellie, Marina and Florence last year. You just have to be like, 'Yeah, that’s fine', and hope that in six months' time people will just think that you're like you… mainly because they’ll know you by then. Hopefully!"
What can fans expect from your upcoming tour?
"Expect the unexpected and expect a show! I want it to be visual - not too dramatic, but exciting. I always remember when I lived in Birmingham, I'd go looking under the sofa to find money so I could go to a gig! You have to give people a good night out - you can't be complacent."
How did you find touring with Hurts and Plan B?
"Brilliant. Hurts are great because they're so visual and they always look immaculate and I really love that! Plan B was so much fun. Watching his show every night was the most brilliant thing ever - and being around him and his people was so cool. He's really, really nice."
You had drinks with Jay-Z when visiting the US. Any plans to tour there?
"I was supposed to play a festival there, but my management cancelled it because they want me to stay around Europe for a while. Building a fan-base in the UK is the most important thing for me at the moment."
So, any chance of a Jay-Z feature on any future singles?
"I'll have to make sure I do well and then maybe he will! I’m obsessed with hip-hop music and I do like that quality his music has, so I’d love to do something with him. I also love Q-Tip, Jay Electronica and Kanye West! I love his new record."
Clare Maguire's debut album, Light After Dark, is out Monday.