Clive Davis has another winner and he has Simon Cowell to thank.
Leona Lewis, who catapulted to fame in her native U.K. after winning that country’s televised X Factor talent competition launched by Idol Cowell, will debut at #1 on next week’s HITS Album Sales chart with her debut Spirit, edging near 200k, though the final total will probably closer to 190k.
That’s based on one-day sales reports from our crack team of retail reporters around the country who are still standing.
Lewis’ album has already spawned the hit single, “Bleeding Love,” as Team RCA, led by Davis and EVP Richard Palmese, bring the song all the way home.
We had the honor of sitting down with the singer, and here’s what she had to say:
Now you were on X Factor which isn’t a show a lot of people in the States are familiar with, does it work the same way as American Idol?
Yeah it’s kind of similar, except they have categories. They have up to 25, which I was in, over 25, and groups. And we all do the show together.
Is there still voting by the public?
So what’s Simon really like?
Simon is a really good guy. I know everything thinks he’s mean and nasty, but he’s actually a good guy.
There’s a rumor floating around online and through some of the news feeds that he’s actually buying you a house. Is that true?
No [laughs]. A lot of things get blown out of proportion and made up.
Do you remember where you were and what you were doing the first time you heard your music on the radio?
Yeah, I was at home, and I knew exactly what time it was going to be on. So I was at home waiting, and it was amazing to actually hear it on the radio.
Did you freak out?
Yeah, I was really excited.
Your life has changed so drastically, so fast. How have you coped with that, and is there anything that you miss from before you were famous?
Not really, I can pretty much do what I want and what I’ve done before. The only thing that has changed is that more people know who I am.
Do you get recognized when you go out?
Yeah, sometimes. Mostly in the UK.
Have you had in crazy fan experiences yet?
Not really crazy. People have been really sweet and really supportive. They’ll come up and say that I did well on the show, good luck, and they’re proud of me. So it’s all been really positive.
If you weren’t singing, what would you be doing?
I’d still be trying to get into music, and doing what I was doing before.
What were you doing before?
I was working part time as a receptionist, and then part time working in the studio.
Now you co-wrote “Bleeding Love” with Ryan Tedder from OneRepublic right?
Yeah, it was actually Ryan Tedder and Jesse McCarty that co-wrote it.
How did that collaboration happen?
I’m not really sure. The record label wanted me to hear this song, they thought it was a really great idea, and I heard and loved it. It was a bit different than it is now, so we worked on it a bit and created what you hear now.
Have you written any of the songs on the upcoming album?
I’ve written a couple songs on there, and then there are some songs from other songwriters and producers. It’s a mixture really.
Do you have a favorite song on it?
Not a favorite, because they all have different meanings and something special about them. I mean loved writing with Walter A. He’s such an amazing songwriter. He’s written some of my favorite songs, so that was a special moment for me.
Spirit comes out on the 8th. Do you have an anxious or nervous feeling with that date approaching?
Oh gosh. I’m quite excited really. I can’t believe I’m actually getting the chance to release over here. It’s a big deal, especially coming from the UK. I’m so glad that I’m getting to release here, because most of it was created here. It’s become like a second home for me, because I’m here so much. So it’s good to get to share it with people here.
Was there an album you heard growing up that convinced you that music was going to be your life?
Minnie Riperton’s albums… Stevie Wonder’s album “Past Time Paradise”, that one really inspired me. “Fields of Gold” by Eva Cassidy.
If you could tour with anyone you wanted, dead or alive, who would it be?
Oh… Eva Cassidy.
What’s something that people don’t know about you?
Maybe that I’m a real movie buff and that I’m a vegetarian.
What is your favorite movie?
What’s next for you?
I think people over here are still getting to know me. I’m still kind of introducing my music and my sound. “Bleeding Love” is one part of the album and one part of the work. I’m really excited for people to hear it.
Do you have any plans to tour?
No not at the moment.
Interview By: Emma Loggins