It’s been a year since Lydia’s appearance with Black Eyed Peas at Royal Albert Hall after finishing fourth place on The Voice UK under the supervision of will.i.am. Her career has gone from strength to strength since then after performing at Capital FM’s Summertime Ball and all across the world. We sat down with her to talk about what she’s been up to since the show, what reality TV she would consider doing and her debut album due to be released soon.
Who inspired you to be a singer?
My brothers, both of them have always performed and my grandma and granddad have always sung and they’re my inspirations really but a big, famous inspiration to me would be Michael Jackson.
We saw you supporting Sam Callahan all those years ago, how do you feel you’ve changed since then?
I’ve changed a lot, just practiced and improved really and also become more of an artist, not just someone who’s covering songs, actually sort of changing songs to make them my own and actually having my own music as well at the same time.
Are you still in contact with him?
Sometimes. At the end of the day, people grow apart, they don’t necessarily fall out but they lose friendships. I’m sure if we bumped into each other we would say hello. Everybody changes. We were best mates.
Your brother, Luke White, also sings, would you do a collaboration with him?
We always chat about doing collabs and different bits and bobs, we always have a little jam at home. Who knows, maybe in the future we might potentially do something, when we eventually get round to it. Everyone always asks. We’re with each other all the time, we’ve not actually sat down and thought let’s do something because we’re always passing each other. But who knows, maybe in the future.
What were your experiences like on The Voice and The X Factor, and what were the judges like on each?
They were different experiences. When I did The X Factor, I was very young and I was just covering songs. I did still have my own style but I would say that it pushed me into being the artist that I am. The Voice was an amazing experience, wouldn’t change it for the world, made some amazing contacts, will.i.am., Paloma Faith, Boy George, still in contact with them all. The X Factor, everyone’s like ‘oh my God, I’m better than you, oh my God, oh my God’, and The Voice everyone’s like ‘oh my God, you’re amazing’ and support each other.
Are you still in contact with the contestants?
Yeah. I don’t know what it’s like now it’s on ITV who knows, but when I did it I absolutely loved it and just grateful for the whole experience.
What was it like performing on stage with Black Eyed Peas at Royal Albert Hall?
It was a dream come true. I’ve been asked this question a lot of times. I’ve grown up listening to Black Eyed Peas and I loved their music so it was just undescribable. I wouldn’t say there’s any words that can actually sum up how I felt when I was on stage, just unreal.
What TV shows and films are you watching and enjoying at the moment?
I like Coronation Street. My mum’s got me into it really because she watches it quite a lot but I’m actually quite committed to it now. If I miss it I have to catch up, I have to watch it. But to be fair, the storylines are quite deep on there at the moment, and I’m finding it a bit disturbing, it’s not very nice. I saw a bit of it last night as I was going out and it’s on before 10pm, kids are watching it. Bit too much. But apart from that, I don’t really watch any TV to be honest, I’m always just everywhere in a different country.
Favourite film, I’d say Bridesmaids. I love Melissa McCarthy, I think she’s amazing in anything she’s in. I love all of her films, like The Heat. It’s got Sandra Bullock in it as well and they’re both detectives but they’re complete chalk and cheese. It’s a lot of swearing in it, but she’s this brat, she’s like ‘get away’ and this other one’s like ‘let’s approach things calmly’. It’s so funny. Then they get into this team and they’re fighting crime together and they just work. All films she’s in, I love but you’ve got to watch Bridesmaids. Hilarious, so funny.
What reality shows, like I’m a Celebrity, would you consider taking part in?
I’m a Celebrity. I’d love to go into the jungle. I think a lot of people look at me and think ‘no, she would not do well’ but I think I’d actually surprise people. I think people see a small woman, a child, they look at me and think ‘oh you know she’s small and she’s petite, she couldn’t handle it, she wouldn’t jump out of a plane’, but I am really adventurous and I’m a thrill-seeker, so I would. I would do everything.
Can you play any instruments?
I can play the violin very badly. I’d love to play the saxophone. I can play the drums, no I’m joking, I can’t play them, I wish I could.
You’ve previously played at Soccer Six, do you enjoy playing football?
Yeah, I do actually. I get a bit into it.
How do you manage in your high heels?
I don’t know. I’m just used to it. I don’t really have any flat trainers but recently I’ve invested. I got a pair of flat trainers. My legs sometimes need a rest.
Who would you love to have a writing session with?
I’d love to have a writing session with Michael Jackson. It would be an incredible experience because it’s completely different but obviously I can’t. I’d say Bruno Mars actually, he’s a cool one, he’s similar to Michael Jackson. Or The Weeknd, they’re both influenced by Michael Jackson heavily so I think they would have similar qualities.
If you could perform anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
I’ve actually done a fair few countries now over the last year. I’ve been to Hong Kong, I’ve been to Italy performing, I’m going to Poland, I’ve been everywhere. I went to Jamaica, didn’t perform but I went there and watched some performers. I don’t know to be honest because I’ve done all the Wembleys.
Which is your favourite place you’ve performed in and which country have you enjoyed the most?
Hong Kong was great, but I think my favourite gig was Summertime Ball because it was amazing. Or the UEFA opening in Paris under the Eiffel Tower. It was 100,000 people, absolutely mind-blowing. For somebody that dreamed of that for a long time, you’re standing there and you think ‘oh my god this is actually happening’. I didn’t know what was going on to be honest. I thought ‘am I dreaming?’ and then it’s over and you’re like ‘okay bye’ and you walk off.
How did you get involved with this evening’s event and have you worked with Help for Heroes before?
I’ve done quite a lot for Help for Heroes over the years. I’ve done a lot of events, raised a lot of money. The organiser got in contact with me and asked if I’d like to be a part of it and it’s a great line-up.
What music would we find on your iPod?
Reggae. No, I do like the Rasta Beats actually, I listen to quite a lot of that. I listen to a lot of Kisstory, all the old school garage tunes, I love that when I’m getting ready. I think I’ve got a big range on my iPhone. Musicals I love, Celine Dion I love, even Frank Sinatra I play sometimes. Big, wide variation but if I just got in the car and put on shuffle it’d just be mad, go from Frank Sinatra to… *starts singing*
We understand you have finished your album, did you write the songs yourself and what kind of music will it be?
Yes, wrote the whole album with me and the team I work with, so producer and also a co-writer. It’s futuristic pop I would say, kind of urban pop. Really cool, really original and just really cool beats.
Was it fun to record?
Yeah it was. It didn’t take a long, long time because we were in twice a week. Just really enjoy the team that I work with, we all really get along well and yes it’s really good. Can’t wait to put it out there. I perform a few songs sometimes at gigs. Tonight I’m not doing any original material, they specifically asked for certain songs, but at most of my gigs now I chuck in an original or do quite a few.
What are your plans for the rest of 2017?
I am gigging in lots of different countries, doing a tour of the world really, just loving it. Hoping to release a single, get a video together and just aim for the stars. I’m doing a panto at the end of the year. I’m doing Peter Pan, I’m playing Wendy. I actually think I would have been better as Tinkerbell.
Follow Lydia on: