It's a big week for you, Alex - how excited are you to be premiering 'Elephant'?
"Oh my God babe, I'm completely over the moon! I've been waiting to for so, so long. I've been recording the album for over a year and I'm now at the point where I need to give my fans the music. As much as I really wanted to get it out there, I needed it to be perfect. First single, I needed to be comfortable with it 100%. I'm positive that, hopefully, you guys are going to love it. What's great is that the remix got played on Pete Tong's show the other day. The reaction to it... well, I didn't expect that reaction!"
How does the official single version compare to the remix we heard?
"Well when you hear the single mix, it all ties in. It all makes sense. But it's different, it's really different to the remix. Everyone has given me such a beautiful reaction to the remix, but I'm like, 'What are they going to think of the actual single?'. It's still nerve-wrecking, but exciting."
We've established what the song is about from some of the lyrics already, but what can you tell us?
"Basically, when everyone heard the title of the track was 'Elephant', it got them talking about London Zoo! I feel like everyone will be able to relate. Everyone has been through something in relationships; whether it be with a loved one, a partner or family members where something needs to be discussed - and I've been through that situation. I thought why not, let's do a song about it - but with a twist! The saying, 'There's an elephant in the room' is very, very American. When I was doing the writing camp earlier this year, it was with a lot of Americans. When that came about, I thought it was really interesting because they say it a lot. So, I thought I can be that girl, that person that brings that saying over here to make it a little bit more UK."
How did the decision to add Erick Morillo to the track come about?
"Well Erick is someone I absolutely adore - he is a fantastic producer and DJ. I think he's someone very, very special. The fact that he heard 'Elephant' and thought 'I'm going to get on board' - my label, my A&R made it happen! The fact he said yes... I was like, 'Oh my God!'. So it's such a cool thing to do. It's a pleasure to have him be part of it. I've spoken to him on email - I've not got to meet him yet, but he seems like a lovely, lovely guy. I can't wait to give him a hug and say, 'Thank you so much for being a part of the single'."
You've confirmed that the new release date is March 11 - what prompted the two-week pushback?
"You know, the remix was meant to be in the clubs from December - that never happened. So for me, I wanted it to be perfect. I wanted to start off with it being the other way round; the remix goes out to clubs, bars etc to have the DJs play it, then have the single out. I thought, 'Well it didn't go according to plan with how I wanted for December, it's only gone out last week'. So with RCA and management, we came to a mutual decision to push it two weeks."
What can you tell us about the video?
"The video is actually going to be filmed next week! It's gearing up to be a special event. And the video itself is going to be very, very special. And I want to bring some fans down as well. I want to have them on set, see how the video works and to be behind the scenes."
And you're going to be performing the track live for the first time at the Tickled Pink concert on Thursday night.
"It's my first gig in a long time and it's for such a wonderful cause! I'm the ambassador for Breast Cancer Care and Asda have this Tickled Pink concert - it's kind of like Alexandra and Friends. We've got Little Mix opening, we've got Dionne Bromfield, Chipmunk and The Saturdays. We want to raise more money for Breast Cancer Care. And I thought, why not at the same - for such a special cause - do the single for the first time! I've got my band down, we're going to rehearse it for the first time this week - we're all very excited. I'm rehearsing the new dance routine tomorrow. We're chucking it all in in one show, but we're so excited to do the new single."
Have you finished recording the album?
"I'm not completely finished yet; there are still final touches to the album to be done, like collaborations and stuff. So not 100% - but about 99%!"
So we're probably going to get it after the next single?
"I think it will be two or three before the album drops. But we will see what happens. I can plan ahead, but I know that every day something will change. But definitely two singles before the album."
How representative of the album's sound is 'Elephant'?
"'Elephant' is just the beginning of what you guys are hearing for what the rest of the album will sound like. It's really upbeat. It's going to make you want to get up and dance. It's colourful, it's loud, it's bright - it's everything my personality is and more! I really wanted it to be... you know, there are some serious songs on there, but at the same time there are silly songs - they'll not just make you feel it, they'll make you get up and go out for a great night out. And that's who I am and what I'm about! I'm the girl who is positive, loves life, loves to go out, loves to have a bit of a boogie - and that's what I want my album to portray. "
Will there be any big ballads on there?
"Absolutely! Oh absolutely - for sure! But the majority of the album is very much uptempo."
Do you have a title for the album yet?
"I haven't got a title yet actually! I'm in between a few options. Once I do a tracklisting for it in the next couple of weeks, that's when I'll be able to know exactly what the title is."
How would you say you and your music have grown since Overcome?
"I would definitely say that I've completely... every day I'm growing, every day I'm learning something new, every day I'm trying to discover something new about myself. And it's the same with my music. I'm executive producer on this album, I've been doing a lot of writing on this album; I really want to connect more with myself, my music, my lyrics. Not that I didn't do that on the first album, but it's a good thing for an artist to always want to keep connecting. It's very important to be able to tell a story when performing, tell a story when writing and to make sure you know what you are talking about. One thing that I wouldn't like is to be given a song that I have no idea what it is about, and it doesn't relate to me and who I am. I want to be able to, in 10 years, perform my songs and still love them."
Your American fans are also eagerly awaiting your arrival over there - are there any plans to release there yet?
"Well you know, hopefully they won't be waiting much longer. We're hoping that this new campaign and album goes over to the States. I'm really looking forward to hopefully one day launching myself over in the States - and doing some promotion over there!"
Going back to this Thursday's event - you spoke recently about losing your aunt to breast cancer. Does this make working with Breast Cancer Care extra important for you?
"I think Breast Cancer Care do so many wonderful things. It's such an honour to be an ambassador for them. I've got friends who have had their mums experience breast cancer, or just know people who have been through it - not only my aunt, but she has been one of the main reasons as to why I wanted to be part of Breast Cancer Care and help them raise money - they've raised so much so far. This concert is only going to help and contribute to that. Every time I do something for charity, it's always got a meaning behind it. I don't just do it for the sake of doing it. Breast Cancer Care is very, very close to my heart and it's an honour to help them."
With your charity work, you also had the trip to Haiti - these experiences must be life-changing for you?
"It is, it really, really is life-changing. I can't only give thanks to those who help me part of charities and give thanks to my fans for supporting me. This year, not only did I record and tour, I did a lot of charity work and stuff. I'm in the process of still building my foundation. Giving back to charity is something that is so close to my heart and will never leave me. It's something I really can't describe how happy it makes me feel."
To celebrate 15 years of Tickled Pink, Asda announces the exclusive 'Girls' Night Out' concert on January 12, 2012 in London starring Alexandra Burke and friends, with performances from The Saturdays, Little Mix, Chipmunk and Dionne Bromfield. Tickets available now from Ticketmaster.co.uk
Listen to Alexandra Burke's 'Elephant' (Morillo, Romero and Nunez remix) below: