'I just feel really positive and upbeat': Rebecca Ferguson talks ahead of Birmingham show
One newspaper described her as being in the same league as Aretha Franklin.
Another said Rebecca Ferguson was easily the greatest talent to emerge from The X Factor. Others described her talent as being “undeniable”.
Now, 10 years after losing out to Matt Cardle on the seventh series of X Factor, Rebecca Ferguson is finally starting to accept that the critics might be onto something.
Not that she’s letting herself get carried away.
Though she’s enjoyed four consecutive Top Ten albums, secured two platinum discs and won a slew of award nominations, she’s as rooted as an oak tree. Not for her the sort of pop star life that others chase; Ferguson is too busy being an exceptional mother to worry about anything starry.
Family is far more important than any notions of stardom or success.
Ferguson is back for the first time since a sell-out tour in 2018 for four shows, including a headline at Birmingham Town Hall on February 25. She will be performing all her greatest hits and songs from her forthcoming album.
“I’m happy to be back out singing for my fans,” says Rebecca. “I can’t wait to tour again, it’s been so long.”
Rebecca has teamed up with the legendary Nile Rodgers to work on her new upbeat single, and now, after two dance singles with producer Afsheen, Rebecca has also collaborated with Rogerseventytwo (and co-writer Mike Mago) to release the dance tune I’ll Be There. The track is a piano driven house anthem.
“I’ve got a busy month because I’m touring,” she continues. “ I’ve done loads of shows. For me, it feels like I’ve done loads, but for the fans I realise this is the first headline for a while.
“I just feel really positive and upbeat, it’ll be a fun show. I feel like everyone’s a bit down because the news has been heavy and miserable. I’ve looked at the set list and I want people dancing and moving in the aisles.”
Ferguson has been busy recording new material with Rogers at Abbey Road. It’s been a dream come true.
“The recording with Nile was amazing,” she says. “I feel very lucky.
“Abbey Road is a really nice studio. I feel like there’s something magic about that place. Whenever you’re in there, it’s so easy to write. It’s one of those studios that has a lot of history and I feel really great when I’m there. I can’t describe it. It’s just whenever I’ve been there, the writing’s just better. I wouldn’t know why that is. It’s just an energy about the place. I feel I write better, I couldn’t be happier.
“And Nile allows you to be yourself. He’s great. He will let the artist lead, which is so rare, especially for people who are so well established. Then he’ll come over and say ‘listen to this, what do you think of this’. He really respects artists. He doesn’t try and take over. He’s got a lovely way about him.”
Though recording is fun, Ferguson has more important priorities – her family.
“I love being a mom, I really do, I’ve been a mom since I was 18. It’s all I really know and I just love being a mom. It’s part of me and I really enjoy it.
“My kids put a smile on my face. I could be feeling ill or down they pick me up all the time. It’s really important for me to be there and to teach them good stuff. I don’t get lost in the industry for that reason, they keep me grounded. They are so used to it, Lily and Carl were only 3 and 4 when I started and Arabella has literally only ever known mommy going to sing. They are really good I’ll tell them mommy has to go and work and make money. And Arabella asks if that’s so I can buy her sweeties. Then she’s okay, bye.”
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