Following her stint as a judge on The Voice Kids UK (the new season airs in July!) and a West End role as Holly Golightly, chart-topping singer Pixie Lott is buckling down in Los Angeles to work on new music. The English star spoke to Untitled about her upcoming album, the evolution of her music and a possible future in acting. Read on for our exclusive interview and photo shoot with the talented Simon Emmett!
Untitled: You have been recording a lot of new material in Los Angeles. Can you tell us about that and what draws you there?
Pixie Lott: I really love working in Los Angeles. I think the sun definitely adds to it; it just gives you a good feeling when you start your day. I’m heading over to LA next week and will be there for a month or so. I will be doing a bunch of writing sessions and also going to Coachella. I am really looking forward to it and hope to meet some more great collaborators when I’m out there.
Have you been collaborating with other artists on new music?
At the moment, I am not collaborating with anyone on my new album. Collaborations always need to feel right, so I would only do it if it fit the song perfectly. I have collaborated with some fantastic artists in the past. Jason Derulo was so much fun and I also loved duetting with Lionel Richie on his record; he is so much fun to work with. I’ve also written with John Legend, Kesha and Frank Ocean in the past and love all three of those artists.
Can you tell us anything about your upcoming studio album?
[I’m in the] early days of the writing process at the moment, and am still figuring out exactly what path it will take. I am working with a lot of great writers in LA on it!
How has your musical style evolved over the years?
I experiment more and am not afraid to share my ideas. My songwriting has progressed loads from when I first started co-writing at 13, and that’s mainly due to more experience and being so used to it.
How would you define your signature style?
It will always have a soulful style to it—that’s the way I love to sing and emote words. I have experimented between pop, dance, R&B and soul.
What other musicians or artists have influenced your work?
I’m a huge fan of Whitney and Mariah. They have phenomenal, powerful voices. I also really love Otis Redding. I’m a huge fan of soul. I couldn’t believe it when I was lucky enough to work with Stevie Wonder; that was definitely a career highlight. At the moment, I also really love Leon Bridges and Kehlani.
What was it like working alongside will.i.am and Danny Jones as a judge on The Voice Kids UK? When will the season air on television?
The series will start in July. I have so much fun working with Will and Danny—they make me laugh loads. It’s cool as we are all so different, so we bring a different approach to the coaching.
You’re known for your support of young, up-and-coming artists with your Italia Conti Associate School and pub night for unsigned musicians. What advice do you have for those breaking into music?
I love working with kids; it’s so inspiring to see them grow into superstars! My mum, sister and I all run the associate school so it’s a family venture. My advice for those breaking into music is to never let any knock-backs stop you. Just learn from them and move on. I had so many knock-backs when I started but I knew this is what I want to do, so I had to believe in myself and persevere.
In 2016, you hit the stage for Breakfast at Tiffany’s in the West End. Any plans for theater or acting in the future?
There are no plans at the moment, but never say never. It was an incredible experience playing Holly Golightly! Music will always be my number one love, but I definitely look forward to trying more acting and theatre in the future. Holly was a dream role and I found it strange how many similarities there were between me and her.
Do you have any other upcoming projects that you can tell us about?
I have my own hair dye range called Pixie Lott Paint. It’s a range of wash out hair dyes, sprays and chalks. I love experimenting with my hair and I’ll be wearing them a lot this year at all the festivals I’m playing. I have The Voice Kids coming up in July and then all focus is on new music, which you can expect to hear soon!
Talent: Pixie Lott
Photography: Simon Emmett
Styling: Lorna McGee
Makeup: Alex Babsky at Premier
Hair: Larry King
Set Design: Emma Witter & Emily Bridge at Beast&Burden
Digi: Sam Ford