The most important person in a musician’s life could be their managers, bandmates, record label, families, friends, or one of many others, but in Cher Lloyd’s life, it appears as though the most important people to her are her fans.
Cher Lloyd has a lot going on in her life; she recently got married, she’s modeling, doing surprise appearances at Demi Lovato concerts, touring the US, and she’s releasing a new album. Her sophomore album Sorry I’m Late is being released this May features her newest single, “Sirens.” Somehow, in the midst of all of this chaos, she still finds time to connect with her fans in ways that no one else has tried. She is even releasing her album by leaking songs to fans every two weeks.
The X-Factor may have introduced the world to Cher Lloyd but she has made it a point to get up close and personal with the people who support. Her sound is unique and refreshing in a world of pop music that all sounds the same. She was known on the show as a girl who brought together pop, hip-hop, and rap and has continue to evolve and perfect that sound in her career.
Pop-Break managed to catch up with Cher Lloyd despite her busy schedule to talk to her about her fans, where her passion for music comes from, her tour, and, of course, her new music.
Pop-Break: First, I obviously want to talk to you a little bit about the X-Factor. Was it hard to be an aspiring singer and a teenager and a reality TV contestant all at once? Was it difficult for you to find a balance?
Cher Lloyd: I wouldn’t say it was difficult. At times it was a little bit challenging because I was completely alien to it but every day was completely different and I didn’t really know what I was getting myself in for but I think that’s what made my whole experience great. It built me up to be the artist I am today. I learned new things and I learned a lot from other people too like being around a great crew that knows how to make you sound great and just getting used to all those little things that I now really need in my career.
PB: Well your sound is a little bit different than most peoples’ on reality singing competitions. You had that hip hop and that rap aspect. It was phenomenal and refreshing to see. Do you think that affected your time on the show at all?
CL: I think the fact that I am so different definitely helped me in the competition for sure. You need to be different to be able to stand out but that wasn’t a conscious thing for me. It kind of just happened. That’s who I was before I was on the show and that’s who I am now. I’ve never sat down and thought to myself, what do I need to do to be different. It’s just who I am as an artist really.
PB: That’s great. Okay, enough about the past. I hear you’re going to release an album soon. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
CL: Yeah, I’m going to be releasing an album on May 27th and the album is going to be called Sorry I’m Late and my fans seem to be super super excited about it. We’ve actually come up with a really great idea: this time around, we are going to make it so much more fun because we’re going to let the fans release some of the tracks from the album every two weeks.
PB: Oh wow.
CL: Yeah. This is something that has never been done before and I’m the first artist to ever do it which makes it very very exciting. But basically, someone will be picked randomly and then they will get sent a link which will take them to a brand new song that has never been heard before and then the rest of the fans can listen to it too. It’s a great experience. It’s just all about me and my fans having a real connection and letting them come in to something that is normally controlled by a record label. It’s now in their hands so it’s pretty incredible.
PB: Wow, absolutely. Well you’ve been busy. You have the new record, you’re modeling, you just got married, you’re doing a video contest and touring. How do you manage to do all of that at once?
CL: I think the way that I manage to do all the things that I do is that I prioritize. I pick the one thing that I feel is the most important and I let that lead the train. Then everything else, if I have the time to do it, I slot that in too. But the one thing that I will say is that whatever I choose to do, I make sure that I have the tools and the time to make it the best possible. I never like to swerve past something. I always like to do something the right way and that’s why I work so hard and my fans work hard with me too, so it’s a joint effort. It’s my fans too.
PB: That’s a great perspective to have. So what can we expect with your tour that you’ve got going on right now?
CL: Well whenever I perform, it’s very high energy. I like to make the crowd feel like they’re almost on the stage with me. It’s not a separation thing. I want them to feel like we’re kind of at a party and we’re all having a great time together. I think the best thing about the tour that I’m on right now is that I’ve actually picked a few songs from the brand new album that I perform live and they’re songs that no one has ever heard before ever so that makes it real fun too. It’s not every day you can go to a concert and hear an artist’s brand new music that you’ve never heard before from a track or from the album.
PB: How are the audiences responding to the new music?
CL: Amazingly. I mean nowadays, everyone’s got their phones so they’re filming it and they’re putting it on youtube and then the next concert that I go to, it seems like the fans have already listened to it on youtube and they’ve learned the lyrics and that, to me, is amazing. To be able to just sing the song once, let it sit on the internet for a day, go to the next concert and everyone is singing along, i’s amazing.
PB: That sounds awesome. How’s touring the States different than touring in the UK for you?
CL: I get asked this question a lot and my honest answer is that there is no difference. Whenever I go to any country, I feel like I have a similar experience where my fans are so committed and dedicated to what I do, I always feel the same. I always feel very very proud and it’s always a lot of fun for me. That’s what makes this so easy sometimes.
When you know that your fans have got your back, it just makes it so much more enjoyable so whatever country I go to, I have an amazing time and the fans do too.
PB: For the people though who don’t really know you and your music, what do you want to tell them, what should they know about you to kind of entice them to give it a shot?
CL: For the people who have never heard my music before or don’t know about me, I feel that I would like them to know that I am a very committed artist. My album speaks for me, I feel, and if someone was to come to my show and they didn’t know me, they’d leave knowing exactly who I am as a person and as an artist too. I have a lot of fun on stage and when people listen to any of my music, they can hear my personality from one song. It’s going to be a lot of fun when I release this album to see how the people that don’t know me feel about the new music. It’s going to be great.
PB: And again, for those people who are not that familiar with you, what song should the listen to first?
CL: Oh, that’s a good question! From the old record or the new record?
PB: Doesn’t matter.
CL: I think the song that they should listen to to get a feel for who I am is probably my new single, “Sirens.” That definitely is the song for them to listen to just to get a feel for who I am.
PB: Well, speaking of the new song, that’s the song you’re doing a video contest for MTV with right?
PB: Can you tell us a little bit about how that idea kind of came about because that’s a very cool thing.
CL: I always like to be interactive with my fans so this was just an idea that we came up with so that we can use social media in a cool way. Instead of getting people to do something else, we’re like well lets get them moving, lets get them experimenting with video. So we came up with this idea and they can lip sync the song, they can sing it live, they can do whatever they like but I think the main message that I want to put across when asking my fans to do this is that they need to have fun. Just have fun with it and it will go up on the MTV website and that’s pretty cool, to have your video on MTV. So it’s a really fun experience and it gives them an opportunity to really get used to the song as well, even though the fans know every lyric to the song already which is great!
PB: So a little bit more about you and your music, what inspired you to become a singer and to have all of these different genres part of who you are?
CL: I think the main reason why I wanted to do this is that I have such a good time doing it. It just feels right. It’s like that for every person whether you want to be a clothing designer or an artist or a magician or whatever. Just the moment that you get that feeling, that’s when you know that you want to do it and that’s how it was for me.
PB: That’s great. Did you grow up with music all around you or was it something you kind of discovered on your own and realized that’s your niche?
CL: Yeah, it was something like discovering it on my own really. And tried every way to keep on doing it. I’d leave school and then I go practice straight away. It’s something that I felt really passionate about from a really young age so I’ve always done it and I’ve always tried to perfect it too and I’m still trying to perfect it to this very day.
PB: So if you, obviously you’re on tour now, but if you could do a tour with any musician, who would you want to go on tour with?
CL: Probably Dolly Parton.
PB: That’s an interesting choice! Why Dolly?
CL: Just because I feel like I have watched a lot of her videos when she’s been on tour and she has this crazy connection with her fans. I feel like she doesn’t just only perform, she tells a story as well and to be able to do that is so powerful and it would just be amazing to just be on that stage and feel that from her fans and get that experience too.
PB: Just listening to you and the way that you speak, it seems like your number one priority is to have that connection with your fans. It’s wonderful to hear an artist care that much about who supports them. That’s a wonderful thing to hear.
CL: Thank you!
PB: Well I’ve just got one more that I wanted to ask, do you have any message to your fans that you want to say to them to get out there?
CL: Yeah. I just want to say that every show that I put on is just real high energy and if they want a really good night and they want to feel a part of my crew then they should come along and they should come with their friends and savor the moment. Most definitely.
PB: Thank you so much, I appreciate your time and I look forward to seeing you out here in New Jersey.
CL: Thank you so much!
Cher Lloyd performs at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, New Jersey on Friday April 4 along with Jackson Harris. Click here for tickets.