Pixie Lott, K-pop ambassador.
A pop star in her own right in her native UK, with three No. 1 singles under her belt, she’s all set to fly the flag for Korean boy and girl bands.
Collaborating with G-Dragon and T.O.P. from K-pop quintet Big Bang on her new song Dancing On My Own, which will be featured in the Asian Deluxe version of her second album Young Foolish Happy, out in early May.
Lott drops by Singapore on May 18 for an invite-only showcase at Zirca.
She will be signing copies of her latest album Young Foolish Happy for fans on May 17 at Bugis Junction.
Speaking to LOUD over the phone from her home in London, Lott, 21, was enthusiastic about her love of the genre.
“I think it was the first time I went to Japan, and got to know about the bands that were starting to get big there,” she said.
“I just loved the whole vibe of it. The music videos are so crazy, so futuristic,” she said. “I was so interested in the whole craze, and how huge it had become.
“It’s a really fresh sound.”
Plotting a K-pop collaboration, she settled on working with the Big Bang boys, who were just as keen on partnering up with her.
“I became such a big fan of theirs, and when I heard that they wanted to collaborate as well, I was so excited,” said Lott.
Though the dance and hip-hop elements of K-pop are what she fell for initially, the collaboration is more of an R&B ballad, with G-Dragon and T.O.P. handling rapping duties.
“They have a great dance vibe, but I think it was cool for us to do something a little bit different,” said Lott. “I think it shows their fans something different as well.”
Though she met the boys in Japan during the Spring Groove festival earlier this month , she’s never been to Korea, and plans to swing by after her trip to Singapore.
“I’ve never been to Singapore, but I’m so excited to meet the Cats,” she said, referring of course to the legions of Lott fans she’s nicknamed Crazy Cats (she’s got a thing for kitties).
Apart from rehearsing, Lott revealed she’s already been back in the studio to work on new songs.
The next album will have more of the soul and old-school Motown that she grew up with, though she promised she won’t be ignoring the pop and dance sound that have been the mainstays of her chart-topping singles like Boys and Girls and Turn It Up.
“While I was writing the second album, I was really inspired by Chris Brown’s song Beautiful People,” she said. “It has such an uplifting, feel-good vibe that I wanted to go for, too.”
No news on whether the third album will feature more exciting collaborations like her sophomore one, which, in addition to the Big Bang boys, also contains collaborations with Stevie Wonder, John Legend and rapper Pusha T, featured on the single What Do You Take Me For?
The collaboration with Wonder and Legend , called Stevie On The Radio, was an “organic” one, said Lott.
“We met through mutual friends who helped set it up last year,” she said. “I like that it wasn’t forced. We just met and wrote a song, and it was a great experience.”
“Stevie is one of my favourite artists of all time,” she said.
He’s a mainstay on her playlist, as is a lot of old Motown music, but Lott revealed that she had musical guilty pleasures as well.
“Punk rock. Oh, and High School Musical,” she said, laughing. “You’ve always got to have some High School Musical on your playlist.”
No worries about her veering too far in either of these directions though.
“I think as I get older, I’ll just keep doing soul ballads,” she said.
Lott has also been hard at work rehearsing for the festivals she’ll be performing at this summer, including the V Festival and Chester Rocks, both in the UK.
Between work and her long-term relationship with UK model Oliver Cheshire, Lott has had no time to continue her dabbling in fashion and movies.
In 2010, she starred in indie flick Fred: The Movie, and last year, she completed her fourth and final collection for fashion brand Lipsy.
“I wish I had the time to do more acting and more designing, but there isn’t much space for it right now,” she said.
Eventually, though, she’d like to have her own fashion line.
“I’d love it to be my own range, my own work, but it takes up a lot of time,” she said. “When I was doing the (Lipsy) ranges, I had a sketchbook with me all the time, and I was putting together fabrics and things like that.
“It’s a lot of fun. I’d have to be able to concentrate on it properly to do it again.”
Is she also busy plotting how to ride the British pop wave currently crashing the shores of America? “I would certainly love to, but it would have to be the right time,” she said.
Giggling when we mention boy band du jour One Direction, she described them as “basically five Justin Biebers”.
“I can see why the girls are into them,” she said, laughing.
When LOUD wondered whether there were any hard feelings over seeing other British bands making it big across the pond, Lott said: “I’m so proud of them. They’re flying the flag for British music, and it opens doors for other British musicians to do something similar.”