The music industry has hit out at X Factor contestants in the past for being wannabes who take the easy route. Last year’s runner up Fleur East, certainly doesn’t fall into that category. In between her first appearance on the show in 2005 as part of fiery girl group Addictiv Ladies and her show- stopping finale performance of ‘Uptown Funk’ last year, Fleur has been chasing her dreams hard.
With nothing to apologise for, Fleur is taking the first and (arguably) the hardest steps of her career as she attempts to put X-Factor defeat behind her and reach for the stars! We caught up with Fleur in an exclusive photoshoot and interview! Pre-Orders for FAULT Magazine – The Unapologetic Issue are available here.
In the mean-time, enjoy this preview below!
What made you go back to X Factor a second time?
To be honest with you, I felt like I’d tried everything else. I got to the point where I’d featured on songs, I’d done backing singing for major artists, I’d done all these shows but it was always for other people. At this point I thought ‘What do I do now?’ I either go, just get a job doing something else, but that terrified me because all I know and all I love is music. My friends and family were saying to go on X Factor. I was dreading it and I didn’t really want to, I just knew how much pressure it was and how much of a risk it would be but I thought, I’ve got nothing to lose.
What is it actually like going through the X Factor process?
It’s a lot less glamorous than it appears. It’s a lot of hard work. It’s probably the most stressful thing I’ve ever done. There’s so much pressure but I think if you really love it, if you truly love it and it’s your passion to sing, then that’s what will get through. I think if you don’t have that, you’ll realise quickly.
Was there are any part of you that wanted to be a runner up because in the past they’ve had more success?
A lot of people were saying that to me when I joined the process but I never really thought that because, how do I go into a competition and not want to win? That doesn’t even make sense. I was a little scared afterwards to be honest because I was thinking, ‘a contract is only guaranteed for the winner and I’ve come second, it’s not guaranteed for me.’
Is there a theme to the new album?
It’s all very positive, very uplifting. I think that music can sometimes be taken too seriously. I enjoy what I do and I want people to feel that. I’ve put a lot of time and a lot of love into it and I hope that people really get behind me and enjoy the music as much as I do.
What do you want people’s reaction to be?
I just want people to react to it as though it’s a breath of fresh air. It’s sort of old school meets new school. It’s got a lot of old school influences, old school funk, old school hip hop, sounds that people miss. Influences like Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross, proper good music that we all love.
Simon (Cowell) has said that with this album you ‘discovered who you wanted to be’, who is that?
I was fortunate enough that on the show, the songs that I was given represented the sort of direction that I wanted to go in. It’s basically really strong, sassy, full of attitude, really confident, vibrant and energetic.
What would you never apologise for?
I would never apologise for being myself and doing what I believe in. I think for years I was always like that. I was really shy. I’ve got to the point where I know, you’re not going to get anywhere if you think like that.