Stacey Solomon showed promise for a lengthy career after finishing in third place during the sixth season of the UK’s X Factor in 2009. After wowing fans across the globe with her soulful vocals and innovative covers of songs such as Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World,” Solomon hit the scene with a bang. Smartly though, Solomon decided to wait for the right deal after her tenure on the program. While she was waiting for that to come about, Solomon further developed her legacy with a series of side projects.
In 2010 she won the title of Queen of the Jungle after taking home the crown in the 10th season of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here. After a few more reality television projects, Solomon was selected to voice a Seagull in the newest SpongeBob SquarePants movie, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. Now, Solomon has returned to the musical world with a debut album titled Shy, and it could not be a better time to become well versed in her musical stylings!
FDRMX had the opportunity to chat with Stacey Solomon about her experiences post X Factor that have led up to the release of Shy. We also chatted about possible promotional tours in the coming months, collaborations on the album, the driving force behind her career, and so much more!
One of the most common questions Stacey has been asked since announcing the release of Shy (which hit shelves on April 20, 2015) was why she had waited so long to get her project off the ground. She spoke quite candidly about waiting to find the right record deal that would allow her to release the album of her dreams. What was she getting request for instead? Cover albums. “I got offered the chance to record a covers album straight after the X Factor,” but she decided to wait for the project that was a better fit. After finding the right label, she hit the creative grind hard to create her album. “I have spent the last couple of years working on this album,” and she’s noticing a change in character that has made her all the more prepared for this release.
How has she changed since the X Factor exactly? “I have the confidence to be who I want to be as an artist. I was lucky to have that experience (X Factor). It gave me the launch I needed for the career I wanted.” Solomon considers herself to be one of the luckiest people in the world. “Not everyone gets to do the job they love most every day of their life.” Regarding all of her other life experiences, she maintains a similar outlook. “I think everything we do in life teaches us something. I live each day for new experiences. Without those I would not have had the life experience to write the songs.”
One thing that Stacey was grateful for after her return to music was an opportunity to be her own unique self instead of channeling a character for other projects. “I sing as me and not as a character.” She explained that her songs on Shy perfectly reflect her unique perspective, making her all the more excited to share them with the world. Since it is so personal, Shy has taken on an autobiographical nature for the songstress, as well as an opportunity to vent about life experiences. “It was the best therapy ever,” she vowed.
Talking about her album, I wanted to know more about the concept behind her album, especially the title. “I am shy. It is me. The album is mine and about me, and the title just fit.” It is amazing to think that a reality television star could be shy or timid in nature, but in a way this is the most personal release that Solomon has shared yet. It’s easy to be brave when in character, but as she said when singing she is fully herself and her self is a little shy sometimes. Does she have any favorite songs on the album? Of course! “I love ‘Shy,’” which explains her decision to lead the album off with it. “One of my favorites is ‘I Hope You Are Happy.’ I love it, and I loved writing it. I felt like I’d come out of a therapy session after that song. It just made me feel stronger in general.”
While reviewing Shy (read my review at FDRMX HERE http://ppcorn.com//stacey-solomon-shy-track-track-album-review/), I noticed a sense of evolution in the album from a more timid stance to a more self-accepting and loving self. Solomon described the evolution as going from “little sad love stories to really uplifting like power-woman” works. She also commented on an extensive use of various genres across the album. “There’s a couple life-bandy sounding songs, which I really enjoyed doing and there’s some really chilled out acoustic songs.” There are also some island influences and just a bit of blue-eyed soul. In fact there is truly a bit of something for everyone on Shy!
When I asked Stacey if there were any artists she would like to work with in the future, she kept a fairly open mind. “I’d love to work with anyone,” she said before explaining “it is always a privilege.” On Shy Solomon had the opportunity to record songs written by Duffy, Rita Ora, and Lily Allen, all of which she described as “amazing” and “a real honor.” Unfortunately she wasn’t able to involve herself in the writing process with any of the women, but she did express hopes for future collaborations.
While she didn’t get to work on the writing process with any of the aforementioned musicians, Stacey was intimately involved with the process of compiling and writing several songs on her album. In fact, Stacey wrote on more than half of the songs in her collection. She described the process as having taken a few years to complete, and being a process. “When I first went into the studio I was worried about having nothing to say, but when I started it just happened naturally. The words just come.” The lyrics also reflect the sort of mood Solomon was channeling when she hit the studio that day as well. “Looking back at the songs, you can tell if I was having a good day or a bad day.”
Now that Shy is out, I wanted to know if there were any plans for further promotion, and Stacey was optimistic to say the least! “Hopefully we will be going on tour to play some intimate shows at the end of the year.” Solomon went on to speak about a passion for performing in live settings. “I just love signing for people and connecting with them. I can’t wait to share my songs with everyone.”
Although she has been incredibly busy since her tenure of X Factor way back when, Stacey remains first and foremost a proud mother. When the conversation turned to her children, you could actually feel her love and pride in her responses. “I want them to have the best childhood ever. Everything I do is for my children.” When asked what her children had any opinions about her career path, she replied “they don’t really realize what it is that I do. They know that I sing and that I am on television, but they just think that is normal, just the same as SpongeBob being on TV.”
Not many kids get to say that their moms have worked with SpongeBob, so I wanted to know how they felt about Stacey’s role as a seagull in Spongebob’s newest movie. “They loved it” she gushed before explaining “these opportunities give me the chance to do something special with them.” When questioned about whether or not her musical talent has been passed on to her children, she had a comical response. “They love to sing. They are tone deaf at the moment, but they love to sing so much.” Does she think they’ll want to follow in her footsteps? That remains to be seen, but no matter what Stacey is in the running for the coveted best mom ever title. “I am happy as long as they are happy. I don’t care if they are van drivers, doctors, or singers.”
Huge thanks to Stacey Solomon for taking the time to answer our questions! You can follow her to keep up to date on future projects at her official website as well as at Facebook or Twitter. Keep an eye out for those tour dates, and until then have some fun jamming out to Shy after picking up a copy at iTunes!