Listen up, people of the internet: Louisa’s new single Yes drops this week and it sounds like something off Blackout done in the style of Dirrty, or maybe it’s the other way round, but either way it’s a huge messy pop banger that will have you spilling your booze the first time you hear it in a discotheque.
As well as being a certified drink-spiller it’s also a song about loving yourself and taking off all your clothes, or at least that’s what Louisa said when we spoke to her about the song earlier this week.
Here’s how the chat went…
Hello Louisa! What’s happening?
Well, I’ve got a fan gig on Thursday so I’ve been rehearsing. It’ll be the first play of the new song! It’s very exciting.
What if they don’t like it?
Oh God! Well, I’m pretty positive they’ll like it…
AS YOU SHOULD BE because this track is very, very strong.
I’m very excited about it. We’ve been holding it back for a long time so it’s about bloody time we get it out there.
Just to be clear, I’m not just saying it’s good in the way journalists always say the new single’s good at the start of an interview before moving on to proper questions. It’s important that we’re on the same page here, this is a really good single.
When and where did the song happen? What’s the story?
I’d come back from a holiday and I was feeling creative and inspired, as you do when you come back from holiday, and I was getting back into the studio. I went for dinner with Camille, who’s done loads of stuff for Little Mix but has also been a good friend since I was in X Factor. And we went, “oh, fuck it, let’s just get drunk.” Which we did. And then we spoke about everything we wanted to put into a song! It just happened! I blurted out everything I wanted to say, the style of music, the beat, everything. Then she went into the studio and came up with this amazing song.
You see people say alcohol’s bad for you but when it saves your career it can only be a good thing, right?
Well it worked out alright for me!
At what point in your conversation with Camille did you use the words ‘Christina’, ‘Aguilera’ and ‘dirrty’?
WELL. I’ve always loved Christina and I’ve always loved that song. That song just makes you want to take your clothes off! At the moment there’s nothing that makes me want to strip. And I wanted something that made me feel sexy and empowered. I wanted a big song! I wanted to have a big sing! I said to Camille, ‘I want to be a Christina, not a Britney’.
(Laughs) Yeah, I know, right? But you know what I mean.
If you were Syco would you have given this song to you, or would you have kept it for Little Mix?
Oh my God I WOULD HAVE KEPT IT! Yes! YES! I’m not giving this away for nothing!
What’s 2 Chainz doing on this track? Has he been wanting to work with you for a long time or did you just chuck him some cash?
(Laughs) Well I put the song out to a couple of rappers — we were quite careful with who we picked. We wanted someone iconic and I think he’s pretty up there with some of the best rappers. I felt really lucky when he came back and said he liked the song. He was the first who came back and we decided to go with him because… Well, he was the first to come back and say he liked the song.
That’s an important lesson right there for any rappers reading this interview: you snooze, you lose. Reply to emails promptly or miss out on being on the comeback of the year.
Exactly: ‘sorry mate’.
What’s the song really about? Is it literally about dancing and having sex or is there a deeper meaning?
When I had that first conversation with Camille I said: ‘I want something that makes feel good.’ I’m all about loving yourself and respecting yourself and appreciating yourself. It’s a mixture of everything. I mean, it just makes me feel fucking great when I listen to it. It’s a big celebration of feeling good with a bit of girl power thrown in.
In the press release there’s a quote from you saying that Yes “instantly became my favourite song I’ve ever worked on”. Now. Hold on a minute. Let’s not shit on Best Behaviour’s grave quite yet.
Oh no, we won’t shit on Best Behaviour. I loved that song. I feel that song was very under-appreciated.
This is what happens when you let the public have a say on anything. 1 Best Behaviour underperforming is like Pop Brexit.
I agree with you! It was the timing, it was just everything. But I still listen to the song in my own playlists. It was amazing. I do have to say, though, that Yes is my absolute favourite so far.
I mean if Yes isn’t a hit you might as well pack up and go home. Like, if it’s not going to happen with this you may as well just get a proper job.
I know! Exactly. Well let’s stay positive and bloody hope it does happen!
The single’s a bit like being punched in the face. What’s happening in the video?
I’m not sure how much I’m supposed to give away but I’ll just tell you anyway: it’s a big party which starts off like a very classy and sophisticated dinner party. Then I come in and dance on the table, and the video loops around three times and each time the party gets worse and worse and there are fewer and fewer clothes.
Blimey. Out of Wannabe by the Spice Girls and Ugly Heart by GRL, which is your favourite ‘popstar on a table’ video?
Spice Girls, 100%. Ugly Heart’s a good song but you can’t beat the Spice Girls.
And presumably when the single takes off you’ll suddenly go ‘hey, here’s the album’, right?
(Laughs) We’re sorting this one out, getting it out there, seeing what happens. I’ve got songs lined up. There will be an album this year. I know I’ve literally said that every year since I came off The X Factor but there genuinely will be an album this year. The past year I’ve been kind of working myself out — if I’d have released an album a year ago I would definitely have regretted it. And I can say that now because I’ve changed so much, I know who I am, and I know where I want to go as a person and as an artist.
And who are you as an artist?
Well the message I want to get across to people is love yourself, be yourself and don’t change for anybody. As an artist I just want to be a big powerhouse and I want to make music that makes people feel amazing. I want to sell out arenas and stadiums. I don’t know what’s going to happen but as long as I’m happy and I’m making other people happy that’s all I care about.
It’s good that you’re saying people should love themselves. Also, though, some people are quantifiably terrible and it would be good if they looked at themselves and didn’t like themselves, right? But the problem is that people who should acknowledge how terrible they are usually think they’re brilliant, and very often it’s the people who are brilliant who feel like they need to change. It’s a bit arse about tit isn’t it?
That’s very true actually. I’ve always doubted myself and I’ve never liked the way I looked. I always focused on what I didn’t have, rather than what I did have. As much as people may think I’m confident I’m really not, and I just had to fake it until I was the confident person I wanted to be. You should be you, and be happy being you. You only get one life and you’ve just got to go for it.
The assumption usually is that when you see a popstar for the first time, or hear them on the radio the first time, they’re a fully-formed person. But most new popstars are in their teens or early-20s and realistically very few people have really got themselves figured out until their mid-20s, have they?
Exactly. Sometimes it’s hard for people to accept that. Between The X Factor and now I’ve changed a lot. But also I still have the same personality, it’s just that people never saw that at first because I was too scared to be myself. I felt like I had to be ‘the perfect person’. And I didn’t know how to be. Because nobody is perfect. And now I’m just being me and having fun.
Finally what message do you have for the music-streaming public? To anyone who’s thinking, ‘I’ve given a few Louisa tracks a chance, no thanks’?
Say yes to Yes. Just listen to the bloody song.
With hindsight making this point to someone who won The X Factor isn’t the best way of going about things.↩