Last week Cheryl Cole was in Paris to promote her new album – A Million Lights – out today. The first single – Call My Name – is already number on UK charts. The singer answered all of my questions straightforwardly with this cheeky smile and this lovely northern accent. There is something about Cheryl…
Funlifemusic – Hello Cheryl. So here we are in sunny Paris for the promotion of your third album. How do you feel about it?
Cheryl – I’m good. I’m excited! I wish the album was out already. I can’t wait. And it feels good too, to be in sunny Paris. It’s extra nice and I even went to the Eiffel Tower for the first time yesterday that was good.
You’ve recently said that you’ve grown, that you feel brand new. How is that? Do you feel different from the person you used to be?
With this album I ’ve had the time that I needed to just go record music. To do nothing but that. And then I came back with a solid sound, a solid album and I felt like a new person, because I ’m not sick, I’ve had the time to focus and it just feels fresh. I’m excited. The album feels good. It’s reflecting my work so I feel like I’m in a good place.
How was making that album different from the previous ones?
For the first record I was a little scared because I ’d been in Girls Aloud for seven years and then I had to step out alone. It was quite scary. And I also missed the girls. Everything was brand new. It was like starting again after all those years. With the second album I was planning to travel, to do everything. But then I got sick right in the middle of recording which is not cool. So that deletes everything. I loved the record and I wanted it to come here with it but it was physically impossible at that time.
When I listened to the album it sounded more mature than your previous albums. It felt like you find your sound even though you worked with different producers?
I knew that I like the feeling of the dub sound. It feels good. And when I listen to music I always visualize how it’s gonna be as a performance, how I can dance, what visuals I can use. That’s what I felt with this record. So we just kept that thread trough out. And that’s what I was attracted to the most with those sounds. Even if it’s with different producers, it still has my tone of voice it still has my way of working in the studio which makes it all sound like it could be from one producer.
I have to say that you never sound better than on this album. Your voice feels more confident, even deeper on some songs. Like it was straight from the microphone without any computer alterations. Did you do something differently this time ?
I sang most of these things in a lower key. A lot of pop music, pop melodies tend to lead themselves to higher registers. But with this album, because it’s a bit of a darker sound I thought I could get away with singing lower. It’s interesting because you’re not the only person that has picked up on that actually. But it’s where I feel more comfortable. I’ve grown up listening to male music and that’s why I feel comfortable singing down in that register.
What are those million lights you refer to in the title of the album – A Million Lights?
A Million Lights just felt so right. For one it all worked in everything I was doing around the album: it was bright and I was using neons, lights… And when you think about stage you think of twinkles and sparkles. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a Coldplay’s concert where they have those lights everywhere and you just think whoa it’s like a fairytale. It just felt nice and bright and make a good deal with all visually.
You single is already number on iTunes and so does the album. The single, Call My Name, may probably grab the number one spot on UK charts and also be the fastest selling of 2012 (the interview was done three days before the numbers came in). How do you feel about that? Do you get used to it or are you still excited when you get the numbers?
You don’t ever get used to it and I’ll never. I think if you get used to it, it takes away a part of the buzz. So those three days leading up to when the single is gonna drop out and you remind recorded it a year ago it’s quite like an anxious time. And then to know that people receive it and feel the way you feel about it is an incredible feeling I don’t think that feeling ever goes.
Are you prouder of your number ones as a solo artist or with Girls Aloud?
I have to say both. Whichever work I do I always put my heart and soul into it so whether it’s with the girls or it’s my record. It’s just and incredible achievement to be able to be here ten years down the lane. It’s unbelievably special. If you’ve had asked that ten years ago I could have never dreamt of that could be talking to you right now. Honestly I hope to have that conversation with you in another ten years.
I’m not nervous I’m excited. It’s the best part of what we do: perform live. I love being in the studio. I love all the other stuff that comes around it. But being on the stage it’s where it’s at.
What can the audience expect from a Cheryl Cole concert? A lot of dance obviously…
You know, each artist has their own things. So if you’re going to go to a Mariah Carey concert you’re there to hear her sing for 20 songs. That’s not me. I like all actions, dancing, singing, fireworks, and pyrotechnics. I like that all thing. I wanna be entertaining. I don’t wanna sing standing behind a piano. That’s not who I am. It’s not what I’m about at all. I think people will be falling asleep after four or five songs.
Let’s talk about your fans, your little soldiers. They’re very devoted to you.
They’re incredible you mean! I love them. I even follow some of them on Twitter.
And who came this nickname – soldiers?
It started with Fight For This Love because it was about empowering and being strong. And when I toured with the Black Eyed Peas (she was the opening act of the European leg of their 2010 tour) me and the dancers we used to say “Cheryl’s army” before to go on stage and I would dress in camouflage and it started from there from the first song. And the fans started to pick up on it. Then I would meet them at book signing and stuff and they’re really strong characters life fans. They’re people that have been through quite stuff when you talk them on one on one. So I called them my soldiers for staying strong and they fight like its war for me. If anybody says anything bad they’re gonna kill you! So they’re my love soldiers.
If you had to choose one song from all your albums as a solo act which one would it be and why?
I have to say Fight For This Love because it was my first ever single. I’ve got really found memories of it. And it was so well received all over Europe that it’ll always be special. But I love all the songs that I’ve put out.
It’s my last question but I have to ask. Can you tell me more about a possible reunion with you and the girls? I’ve heard about a Girls Aloud reunion tour…
In November we’ll be together for 10 years which is pretty incredible. So we would absolutely love to do something. We haven’t made any plans yet. But we’re talking…
It was nice talking to you. Thank you very much.
It was nice talking to you too. Thank you.