She’s currently an easy frontrunner on Strictly Come Dancing, but Pixie Lott’s pop career is by no means on hiatus. Just three months after the release of her last album, the Essex-born 23-year-old is set to unveil her first retrospective collection, Platinum Pixie: Hits, on November 24.
It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly six years since she became one of the first people to make viral acoustic covers a ‘thing’, and in that time she’s scored three Number Ones, guest judged on The X Factor and collaborated with everyone from John Legend to Tinchy Stryder.
While the busy star was in wardrobe for this week’s Strictly, we had a quick catch-up to get the low-down on everything that’s happened so far… and what’s coming next.
Congratulations on reaching the milestone Hits collection! Why now?
“I think it’s just nice for the fans in time for Christmas while I’m dancing! I’m starting my next album in January so I’m excited to give them something in between. They’ve written and said what their favourite songs are so far and then I’ve just added a few Christmas treats… obviously that includes my single which is out now, which is the cover, ‘Caravan Of Love’, for Alder Hey Children’s Charity.”
How did that single come about?
“I got the opportunity to do it; I think it’s an amazing charity so I wanted to get involved, and we had to choose a song and I thought that song was perfect with the lyrics: it’s all about every woman and man standing together and spreading a lot of love. So it’s been really fun!”
You’ve got the single on the go, the album, you’re still in Strictly… is this the busiest you’ve ever been?
“Actually it does feel really busy! When I do promo tours and I have to go to a different country every day and do tons of promo, this sort of reminds me of the same. Obviously i’m trying to fit everything in; the album, the single, fitting them in with training. And the album comes out on Monday so I’ve got the launch show on Monday night.”
This is probably like asking you to pick between your kids, but do you have a favourite single?
“I like ballads so I get the opportunity to really sing… so I love ‘Cry Me Out’ and the slower sort of stuff.”
At the other end of the spectrum, are there any looking back that you don’t love so much anymore?
“They all really remind me of different stages… I like them all for different reasons! I don’t feel like there’s one that I don’t like, but I guess with the really old stuff, it feels like I’ve sung them about a million trillion times! But it’s fun because I get to do it in different ways; like acoustically or do it in a different style.”
What about the hidden gems? Do you have any particular album tracks that would have made great singles?
“I always love the album tracks! On my first album, there was a song called ‘Nothing Compares’ that I really loved. On the second album I love the song that I wrote with John Legend called ‘You Win’. One of my faves. There’s a song that I did called ‘Stevie On The Radio’ that had Stevie Wonder playing harmonica, which was also another one of my faves… Then on my last album… I would say… I can’t even remember the tracklisting!”
We would put a solid vote in for ‘Champion’.
“Yes! Ah, ‘Champion’. Yes, that would have been fun.”
A lot of people felt like your last album was your best one yet, so was its performance disappointing compared to your first album? Were you happy with how it did?
“It was definitely one of my favourite albums that I’ve done, and it was my favourite style. I loved doing lots of shows for fans; I did a fan gig and I did an album launch and it was great to see people singing the songs. I took a lot of time working on it; I was so happy for it to finally come out! I think anything compared to when I released my first album… the market was in a much better place. People were actually selling lots of records! The first album, it sold something like 1.2 million, so anything compared to that feels like an anticlimax. The market has a lot to do with it, because people aren’t really selling albums anymore. It’s a shame but it’s just the way with illegal downloading and all that sort of stuff.”
Well you’ve been in the industry for a few years now. As an artist on the inside looking out, how much has it changed?
“I think that [sales market] is definitely the main thing – because some of my favourite artists’ albums aren’t selling and even the biggest artists in the UK last year, the most they did was something like 500,000. Before, it would have been a load of millions, so things have changed massively in that way. I don’t know how it’s going to go into in the future, because obviously it’s just dropping rapidly.”
Seems like unless your name’s Taylor Swift, it’s a bit harder to sell…
“Yeah, exactly. But even Taylor Swift, she sold like a million records in a week, which is amazing in this climate. Whereas before, I’m sure, she would have sold way more.”