Amelia Lily has come a long way since coming third on The X Factor in 2011. Losing out on the coveted crown to pop darlings Little Mix, our pink haired princess signed a three-album deal with Xenomania, the Sony subsidiary responsible for Girls Aloud’s success.
Fast-forward just over a year and Amelia has two top twenty hits under her belt, an album on the way, and
a support slot on Girls Aloud’s Ten tour. We caught up with her on the Glasgow leg, where she shared the secrets of her rise to success.
You’ve been touring the UK with Girls Aloud throughout March. How has that been?
The past three nights in Glasgow have literally been the best shows I’ve ever done. I had a connection with the crowd on the second night and I actually shed a tear; I don’t cry on stage! I felt like such an idiot, but then most of them started crying with me, it was bonkers. I can’t even explain how amazing this trip to Glasgow has been.
Did any of the girls share their words of wisdom with you?
It’s quite hard to see them, because I get to the venue first and have to go into hair and make-up, and then go on stage. I come off stage and they’re on, so it’s like okay, can’t really see them today. When I have seen them they’ve all just said to me, “Have fun, just enjoy it, because no one knows how long their career’s going to last.”
They actually asked for me to be on the tour, which for me is an absolute honour; just to be on the same stage as them is like wow!
You came third on The X Factor; at the time, how did that feel to come so close and then have the prize snatched away from you?
I always said to myself that I wasn’t bothered about winning, I just wanted to get to the final, and I did. I was actually really chuffed the night I got knocked out, because I’d had laryngitis and I just thought, “There’s no way I can sing tomorrow if I get through and I don’t want to embarrass myself.” I’d rather come third. One Direction came third, so what’s wrong with that?
Do you still think that X Factor was the right choice for you or do you wish you’d used an alternate musical platform?
It’s hard to say, but in the area where I’m from there’s nothing really going on around there to make yourself as an artist, so it was always going to be difficult for me. The X Factor was the only way that I could get that platform, so that people would know who I am, so it’s a hard one but I’m definitely glad I went on The X Factor.
Your debut album Be A Fighter is released on April 29th. Did the title come from that post–X Factor fight?
It comes from the entire journey I’ve been through. We actually wrote a song on the album called Be A Fighter; there’s something about the song that makes me feel warm inside and makes me feel like, for once, I’ve finally got what I wanted and what I always dreamt of.
I was trying to think of an album title for a long time, because I wanted it to be the perfect name, and then I just thought to myself, “be a fighter”. It makes sense. I haven’t had the easiest ride and I just feel like it sums me up as a person. I always fought to get to where I am now and I want people to be inspired by that. I want people to hear the song, hear the name and be like, “Yeah, I can’t just sit back on this chair and wait to become a doctor, I’ve gotta fight for it!”
Which track are you most excited for the fans to hear?
The Hills. Whether or not they’ll like that one I don’t know. It’s like a mid-tempo ballad. It’s the most personal song on the album for me, it’s very emotional and very overwhelming and it basically describes the entire journey that I’ve been on, almost like climbing a hill until I get to the other side and see paradise. There were a few tears when I was writing it, but it’s definitely my favourite.
Your two singles so far have been really successful, reaching No. 2 and No. 11 in the charts; what’s the formula behind an Amelia Lily hit?
When I’m in the studio I’m such an idiot – I can’t just stand there and sing, I have to jump about. Even when it’s a ballad I’ll be doing something with my arms or my legs, and the engineers are like, “You’re just so entertaining to watch.” I don’t know; I just feel like the more movements I do, the better it comes out! There’s a little secret for you.
Your next single Party Over is quite ambiguous in the sense that the video is about a real party, while the song is about ending a relationship. What inspired you to write that?
I was in the studio and the guy who did the track is called Matt. He was upstairs in his office and I could hear this drum & bass kinda sound. I ran upstairs like a little kid and barged in, and I was like, “What is that?” He said, “It’s just a new track I’m working on,” and I was like, “I wanna do it, I want to sing on it!” So everyone in Xenomania, the producers of this album, we all started getting down to the nitty gritty of the lyrics and it just turned into this big drum & bass, dancey track.
It’s quite a high song for me to sing, so when I was in the studio I really surprised myself, because I didn’t think I’d be able to hit notes like this. I always get such a buzz performing it live too.
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You’re only eighteen and have the world at your feet, so what are you going to do next?
I don’t really know to be honest! [laughs] I’m only joking. I’m doing loads of summer festivals, obviously we’re looking forward to seeing how the album does, and there’s talk of doing my own tour at the end of the year. Maybe not at arenas though, we’ll wait a few years for those!
Taken from the April issue of Scotcampus. Be a Fighter is released on April 29th.