Cher Lloyd Talks "I Wish", Tour, New Album, and More
Mon, 09 Sep 2013 07:06:20
Cher Lloyd makes pop music that matters. Her new single "I Wish" featuring T.I. delivers an uplifting message within the fabric of an unshakable tune. It's next level for Lloyd and for pop at large. Right now, she's headlining the "I Wish" tour with Fifth Harmony, and she's bringing some wishes to life via her #100wishes campaign.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Cher Lloyd talks her new single "I Wish", her current tour, what's up ahead for her album, and more.
"I Wish" is fun and super catchy, but you also convey a clever message.
Yeah, I think that's the one thing that drew me into the song and made me love it so much. I do have many opinions, and this is the one I really stand for. I hope it makes an impact for people, and I hope they know it's not just a catchy song. It's got a very strong message in it that I really believe in.
When did you decide to encode that message in the song?
For me, being in this industry can be in tough as it is. Then, having that pressure to always look and feel your best is probably the hardest bit about it. I honestly feel like it would be crazy to meet someone who could say they're one-hundred percent happy with themselves. I just don't think that exists. I really think it's important for my young fans to understand it doesn't exist. You could meet a six foot model who's the most beautiful girl you'll ever see in your life, but I'm pretty sure she'll have some issues she's not quite happy about. This is what it's all about. It's only recently that I've come to terms with that myself. I just turned twenty, and it's time to be like, "Okay, well I'm not happy about a few things, but I'm not let going to make me unhappy or make me lose sight of what I'm in this for!" If you get what I mean…
Absolutely! It's a very natural thing to feel that way. You can ultimately find confidence from recognizing that and respecting yourself.
Yeah! It's more about embracing it. There's something really beautiful about not being perfect. Who wants to be perfect?
It seems like a lot of work.
It would be a lot of work! I'm at that point now where I don't mind if I go out with no makeup on, and I really want my fans to feel that way too. Just say, "Well, I'm happy anyway even though I'm not working around in five-inch heels with a face full of makeup!" I'm still me, and I can go about my day being quite fine.
Is it important for you to paint pictures and tell stories with the songs?
Yeah, that's always been very important to me. I think that's where my love of country music comes from. Growing up, I listened to a lot of Dolly Parton, and I feel like she's one of those artists who can really tell a story. That's what I loved about her. You could really imagine it in your head. They're not just throwaway lyrics you sing along, but don't understand what they mean. I'm always going to try to tell a story whether it's about something really funny or something really sad. It's so important for me to get a grip on someone and make them believe in the story and understand it too.
You balance the complexity of the narrative with the clarity of the melody.
Thank you! It's very difficult to write a song. It's hard to sit down and make sure what you're writing down on that piece of paper is going to be understood by everyone. Whenever I write, I feel like I understand it because I'm going through it, but I don't know if the listener will exactly get it. As a songwriter, that's a challenge.
What else inspires you outside of music?
I'm a very sensitive person. I tend to pick up almost everything going on around me. I really think that influences my songwriting too. It could be any sort of incident where I meet a person and grab their story and what they're telling me. Then, I can use that when creating a story. It's everyday circumstances I suppose—experiences from my past and writing about my future, which I find really strange but really cool.
Does "I Wish" open the door into the album? What's the vision for the entire record?
It's storytelling. You really did hit the nail on the head. It's about me opening up and being who I am. I'm not afraid to be who I am. This single has opened the door into who I am as a person. I feel like I want people to know. I want them to look past the pop star front and really tap into me just being human and having experiences that have gone on before, putting pen to paper, and letting people in to understand.
What did you want to do differently on this tour?
I really wanted to make it intimate. I want fans to feel like they're almost on stage with me. Connecting with everyone in a room can be a difficult task. I really wanted to open the door a little bit and perform some brand new songs. I'm a little nervous because they obviously haven't been released yet. No one has the actual recordings. Tonight, for the first time, I'm going to be performing them live. I understand they're going to get put on the internet. I'm nervous about it [Laughs]. They're getting a preview of the album, and it's live. I'd better do it well!
Who's been on your playlist?
I've started downloading a lot of old albums. I really like older music. I tend to download more old music than I do new. It's bad in a way because I should keep up to date. Quite recently, I downloaded the Robyn album. I love her. I think she's great. I really like Labrinth. I'm a big country fan of course too.
If you were to compare the new album to a movie or a combination of movies what would you compare it to?
Some of the songs kind of remind me of Clueless. That's one of my favorite films. I think it's really cheeky and fun. Then, there are really sad songs too. It's very varied. People get to see the vulnerable side of me as well as the cheeky side too.
Your songs would translate well acoustically. Do you ever break them down?
Whenever I go into the studio and write, I always have someone play the guitar to me and I write it like that. That's what real music feels like. If it's going to work well acoustically, it's going to work great with all of that production behind it. I love to play acoustic sets because they're really intimate. People can understand the story and get into it.
What's next now?
I'm excited to see how this single goes. I've been waiting a long time too. I wanted it to come sooner, but sometimes it's good to perfect it first before you let it out there. I just did the music video for "I Wish". I'm thrilled to get it out there and see how people react, but I'm nervous at the same time. I'm excited to gain knowledge and confidence from everything as well. It's all about learning.
Do you dig Cher's new song?
See our review of the song!