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Music Interview

Cher Lloyd interview: 'I won't let myself be a one-hit wonder'

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Cher Lloyd album cover
It's been a whirlwind 12 months for 18-year-old Cher Lloyd. After being dubbed the 'Marmite act' on last year's X Factor, the Malvern-born singer-cum-rapper topped the charts after squaring up to her haterzz on debut single 'Swagger Jagger'.

Back with new cut 'With Ur Love' and readying the release of her debut album Sticks + Stones, Digital Spy caught up with the self-confessed brat to chat about achieving credibility, first album nerves and what she makes of this year's X Factor lineup.

Are you happier with the public's reaction to 'With Ur Love' compared to 'Swagger Jagger'?
"I haven't had much chance to do my research and see how it's all going, but from what I've heard people are really happy with it. People keep saying they have got it on repeat, which is really good."

There was a lot of hate for 'Swagger Jagger', wasn't there?
"It's very different. The two songs are miles apart. My first single showed my attitude and aggressive style, while this one is more stripped-back with me being me. It basically gives you a good insight into what the album is going to be like, so I think it was a good choice."

Would you say both songs are a good representation of Sticks + Stones?
"Definitely, because they're both so different. That's what the album is all about - being different. I experimented a lot with the tracks and got very stuck in. I wrote and helped with a lot of stuff for this album. I want to get me across. I want to get my different personalities across and to be more approachable. I think I've achieved that, but I'm going to let people decide for themselves."

Are you nervous about what people will make of it?
"Yeah, I'm s**ting it! I'm really scared. Who wouldn't be? This is my first album. It's completely new and no-one has ever heard so much from me. I think I'm going to be really nervous on the day it's released."

How would you describe the album?
"It's like a jukebox. Everything is very different. Me and my team created this album for one purpose and that is for people to be able to listen to the whole thing without skipping a track. I've done it myself with albums in the past - there has only been one song I've enjoyed on an album I've been listening to. With mine, my aim was to make every song as strong as the one before it."

Is there a particular track on the album you're excited for fans to hear?
"I'm excited for a few. 'Grow Up' featuring Busta Rhymes and 'Dub On The Track' are so different and I think they're going to shock a lot of people. It's going to get everyone talking as well; it's dubstep. It's difficult to go into the world of dubstep when you come from a TV show like me. You are branded as a particular thing. With this album I don't think anyone can brand me."

Artists from talent shows are usually criticised for a lack of credibility - is that something you're working to rectify?
"Oh I think we're more than halfway there. Just let this album get out and I think a lot of people's opinions will change."

Cher Lloyd


How did you find the experience making the album?
"At times it was tiring. I'm not going to lie, it was a really tiring process. I always want to get better, so for me it was a situation of beating myself up before I'd get to point where I thought the song was amazing. I'd do so many takes and then say, 'It's not good enough'. Then I'd do it again. I just kept bettering and bettering it. I've spent a lot of time on this album."

So you're a bit of a perfectionist?
"Yeah, I don't do things by half-measure. It's got to be perfect."

When you were making the album did you consider that this could be your only shot at a music career?
"No, I'm quite a positive person. This whole X Factor thing with people assuming I'm going to be a one-hit wonder - that won't happen with me. I'll make sure it doesn't happen to me."

You started recording the album very quickly after the show. At what point during the competition did you realise you'd make an album regardless of winning or losing?
"I never did. I didn't want to run before I could walk. I was still in the competition and still fighting to get as close as I could to winning. What I'd say to the contestants now is to just try and do their very best. Just try and get as far as you can. If you can win it; brilliant. But do you know what? I came fourth and I did okay."

There seems to be quite a clear meaning behind the album's title...
"D'you know what? A lot of things have been said about me. People are going to talk and that's a good thing; I want people to talk. I don't want people to say, 'So, what do you think about that Cher?' and for them to reply, 'She's okay'. Okay is not good enough. I want them to either love me or to completely despise me - I mean call me all the names under the sun. I love it. It makes me better and for that reason I called the album Sticks + Stones. It's just a little saying my mum used to say."

Where has the track you recorded with will.i.am disappeared to?
"You know as much as I know. But the album isn't missing a spark without it."

If you had to have one of the current X Factor contestants feature on your next single, who would it be?
"Johnny. I love a bit of Johnny, me. I've never seen someone on the TV come across as nice and genuine as Johnny does. I love his attitude and the way he is so quick and on his feet. He knows what he is doing and he just makes everyone smile. He makes me feel really happy and that's why I'd love to do stuff with him. I'd actually like to take him on tour with me."

What would a Cher Lloyd feat. Johnny Robinson track sound like?
"Very camp and over the top. It'd be as if a firework had just gone off. I'm not saying it's ever going to happen, but that's just my little dream world. I get too over-excited!"

What advice would you give to the current contestants like Kitty and Mischa B who are being given a hard time by the press?
"I would say to them that they can't help what people are going to say about them. It's out of their hands and they put themselves in that situation. They turned up to audition. It is my fault and on my behalf that people can have an opinion on me. So I'd say to them, 'Prepare yourself, because if this is the life you want, you've got to take a bit of the s**tness with it too'."

Do you think it was right for Tulisa to bring up Misha B's backstage antics on the show?
"I'm not one to judge. I can't say if it was the right or wrong thing to do. Let the public do what they want with that little bit of information. It's great telly. I enjoyed watching it, but you have to remember that those people have feelings too. We have to keep that in mind. Whether we know if it's true or not, that's another matter. I don't think people should judge Misha on that until they know what the circumstances are like, because it happened to me."

We've had two big music reunions recently - Steps and The Stone Roses - who would you rather go see?
"Steps! I love a bit of 'Tragedy'. I really enjoy them. I just saw them downstairs in the canteen! It's exciting, but whether it will work or not, I don't know. But good luck to them."

What does 2012 have in store for you?
"I plan for it to be massive. To hopefully succeed and get more experience. I want to be very hands-on and learn new things, so then in the future I can be bigger and better."

Any US plans in store?
"I want to try and break it here first before I start running away. Like I keep saying, I can't run before I can walk. We'll see. Only time can tell."

Cher Lloyd's new single 'With Ur Love' is available to download now, while her debut album Sticks + Stones will be released on November 7.

Watch the music video for 'With Ur Love' below:

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