We speak to the pop songstress ahead of her concert for the 23rd Bahrain Music Festival
You’re back in the Middle East! How many times have you visited us out here now? I’ve visited the Middle East quite often to perform and also on holiday. I’ve always enjoyed the crowd here and have lots of support so it’s always good to come back.
We hear a lot about how you’re really nice and down-to-earth. How did you manage to remain grounded despite your international fame? I’m just very aware of where I started and how much I’ve put into my music. I have good people around me and I remain thankful and remember where I came from.
It has been reported you said your split from Syco Entertainment [Simon Cowell’s record label] was because you were being asked to perform music that wasn’t true to you. What do you think of as being true to you? Music that speaks to my heart and music that moves me. I only want to continue music that has meaning, substance and feels genuine to who I am.
Where do you find your musical and lyrical inspiration from on a daily basis? I draw from many sources – books, film, my life and my relationships. I am drawing a lot from what I have been through the past few years and it is making a heartfelt record.
What do you love to do in your spare time? In my spare time I like to ride my horse, go to spiritual lectures and I’ve started doing lots of yoga. It’s just good to be still and quiet sometimes.
What is your favourite song to perform? It always changes depending on how I’m feeling in the moment. When I’ve had a tough period, I like singing songs like ‘Collide’ or ‘Better in Time’. If I’m feeling more melancholy then I like performing ‘I To You’ or ‘Trouble’. It’s always changing.
What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you while performing on-stage? My dress ripped open at the front seam while I was performing at a big show in London. Luckily no one saw my knickers! I also had a bad fall down a lift shaft when I performed on my Labyrinth tour. So lucky my boyfriend caught me! I think that’s when I fell for him!
When did you know this is what you wanted to do for a living? Did you ever want to be anything else? I have always loved singing and actually wanted to pursue a career in opera. If I wasn’t in music, then I’m sure I would be doing something with animals.
What do you have coming up that we can look forward to? Currently I’m recording. It’s exciting, scary and a new time for me. I’m with a different label and making the album I’ve always wanted which is both invigorating and terrifying. I’m no longer fixated on what may happen but focusing on staying in the moment. For more on the 23rd Bahrain Music Festival, check out the schedule here