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Pixie Lott

1883 Magazine chats with Pixie Lott about navigating motherhood, her new single "Somebody's Daughter", and more.

A longstanding household name, there’s a high chance that you’ll recognise the name, Pixie Lott, being behind hits such as “Mama Do (Uh Oh, Uh Oh)”, “All About Tonight”, and “Cry Me Out”. 

Pixie was first discovered at the tender age of 15 by record producer, LA Reid. Signed to major label Universal, she then released her multi-platinum debut in 2009, Turn It Up –  heralding a new voice for the pop world and establishing the then 18-year-old as a powerful force to be reckoned with.

Now, Pixie Lott is 33 years old and has embraced both married life and motherhood. Marrying Oliver Cheshire in 2022, he’s a model and Founder & Creative Director of the menswear brand CHÉ. A match made in creative heaven, he’s naturally a strong source of fashion inspiration for her. Last year, they welcomed a new arrival into the family with their first son, Albert, who’s already joined her in the studio for an exciting new music project. 

Marking ten years since her last offering, her forthcoming album Encino is the quintessential return to music for Lott and couldn’t have happened at a better time. Drawing influences from Fleetwood Mac, Joni Mitchell, Joe Cocker, and Paul Simon, this new era is set to cover fresh ground, while keeping the true sense of heart that captured listeners all of those years ago.

Offering the chance for others to connect with her music both old and new, fans will be glad to be aware of an unmissable upcoming show at Hoxton Hall on the 11th of July. Aside from her highly lucrative music career, Lott has certainly kept busy by juggling a range of projects from coaching on The Voice Kids to starring in ITV crime drama, McDonald and Dodds, and most recently the unreleased festive musical Christmas Karma, alongside the likes of Charithra Chandran and Boy George. Her love for all of these pursuits is fuelled by her passion and innate creativity. A clear call to do what brings you joy and share that with others.

1883 Magazine chats with Pixie Lott about navigating motherhood, her goal when making music, and advice for those aspiring to emulate her success.

With your forthcoming album Encino, your first single is Somebody’s Daughter. Why did you choose this to be the lead single?

I wanted this to be the first one because the whole album is a very different sound to what I’ve put out previously. I wanted it to really showcase the full band, organic, timeless vibes that we have on this whole album. I can’t wait for you to hear the whole thing. It’s a complete cohesive body of work and all of it is very focused to have this sound. I made it with a very small group of people. Whereas before, I worked with loads of different people every single day with different inspirations. This one is my first-ever, proper body of work. It has a strong message about reminding everyone that we’re all human. Not focusing on the negativity and reminding others that we all have feelings and to be kind. It’s a really important message that has been said before but it always needs to be said. I wanted it to have a good message and really showcase the album. It’s the first time I’ve got a mixture of uptempo and a lot of ballads. I’ve shown a deeper, darker side compared to my previous records.

I really admire that and how your single combats toxic behaviour and online bullying. Growing up in the public eye, how did you find dealing with that and taking inspiration for this track?

I’ve been in the industry for a long time now. It’s definitely something that I’ve come across. Just reading not very nice comments. I was 18 when my first single came out. That was the first time I’d ever experienced something like that. Obviously, it’s not only just relating to online toxic behaviour. It can be bullying in school, in the workplace, or anything where someone comes at you with something and they don’t know the full story. They don’t know you at all. I definitely had it growing up at school. In terms of online trolling, you don’t need to be in the public eye. It’s really not very nice to see. I learned about it when I first came out with music and I learned to not read it. You’re not going to read that and feel good about yourself or your day even.

Being in the industry, you have to have a really thick skin. I like to think I do have one of those. Sometimes these things pop up and you can’t even help but read them. Sometimes I’ve found myself looking for them which is a weird thing to do because it’s not what I learned and told myself to do. I’ve just gone down a rabbit hole sometimes. It has not been helpful. I think people think you don’t read it or that it won’t affect you but it does. I know my friends and lots of people I know have had the same thing. I think lots of people can relate to it. I don’t know if you’ve ever had anything like that as well. It’s not nice at all. A reminder that I’m somebody’s daughter. We’re all human and to stand up for yourself in that way.

You’ve recently got married and had your first child, how has this period influenced your album? 

To be honest, because I’ve been writing this album for about five years it’s taken a long time. We were really focusing on every lyric and every sound for so long. We really took our time. Covid was in the mix so that lengthened it out a bit. Just different industry reasons why it took so long and I didn’t mean for it to. I actually finished the writing side of it before I had Bertie. But now I’ve had Bertie, the songs have taken on a new meaning. I haven’t sung them live yet. There’s a song on the album called Happy, you won’t have heard yet. I really wanted to write a song about enjoying the simple things in life. Letting that make you happy. Feeling grateful that you’ve got food on the table, birds are singing in the trees and focusing on that.

I want to remind myself when I’m singing live on tour which can easily be forgotten about. Now I’ve had Bertie, it makes me even more grateful for those simple things. Just waking up, him being there and sharing those early morning moments together. Now when I sing that song, I’m definitely thinking of him.

There’s been a lot of debate in the media about being an artist and motherhood. I saw on your Instagram that you had a picture with Bertie at the studio, which was really lovely.

I feel so lucky that this album took longer than I thought it was going to take. In hindsight, I feel like it’s been the perfect time because my patience always gets tested. I’m not a very patient person so it’s even harder. Even with my wedding, I remember having to wait a while. Even now, we’re trying to move house and it’s taken what feels like ten years to make this happen. This happened with my first album as well. I remember thinking, as I started it when I was 14 and finished it when I was 18, “why is it taking so long?” It seems like all of the good things just seem to take time in my life. It does feel like it’s the right timing and now I’ve got Bertie to share this experience with. If it came out before, I don’t know how it would’ve worked out. I feel so, so, so lucky that as a working mum, I get to bring him along for the ride. I’m going to bring him along to as many things as I possibly can so we still stay together, and he has all of these fun experiences. I hope he thinks they’re fun. I hope he’s not like, “Mum’s singing again!”

With this album you’ve got feelings of nostalgia and family, what overall message do you want people to take from this?

I wanted to have moments on the album that meant a lot to me. There are topics of family, nostalgia, mental health, the message of somebody’s daughter, and a lot of living in the moment. Being in the now. I’ve discovered meditation during this period. It helped me so much and got me out of a bit of a phase. It taught me loads. I think that’s touched on a lot of these topics on the album. The song, Happy Again, is about appreciating the small things in life and is what meditation is all about. Putting things into perspective and having a baby definitely does that.

What my ideal goal and what I’ve always said is to make music that helps people in the way that they listen to it and relate to it. So they find solace in it or they relate to it, or they find a friend, or it makes them happy, or it sits with them when they’re sad. That will always be my end goal. When you find the song that’s exactly how I’m feeling, I hope other people can relate to some of the moments on there.

You’ve co-written every single song on this album. Were there any that you second-guessed?

All of the songs that have made it onto the album I really love. I mean there are definitely a few that didn’t make it. I find it incredibly tough when you’re a part of making it and writing it. I find it hard to detach myself and see it from the outside in. Because I’m part of all of them, I love all of them exactly the same. That’s why it helps to have a team seeing it from the outside. It’s hard to be like, “that one’s better than that one.” I can’t wait to get to the stage of actually performing them live. I’ve only done a few little gigs recently when I’ve sung a couple of the new ones. It just feels amazing to put them out into a crowd. That’s my favourite thing, connecting with an audience. To have those new songs and doing it that way is really exciting, especially because I’ve been waiting a long time to put it out.

It’s so interesting because when you released your debut, Turn It Up, it had over 1.6 million listens. Due to having so much success so young, did that shape how you felt your music trajectory was going to go?

That’s a good question. I feel like in my older interviews people would ask, “what kind of album do you want to make when you’re older?” I’d always talk about making a real timeless album because of the artists I remember listening to when I was 18. I think I went more poppy for a bit and did some dance stuff. When I was around that age, I was listening to Adele’s first album, Paolo Nutini, and James Morrison. All of these real singers singing real, raw stuff. I’ve always wanted to make that kind of album but I just felt at the time, it wasn’t what was expected of me to make. I never went down those avenues. Even though I think in my heart, I would’ve loved to. For it to come around all of these years later and be able to put an album out like that, I think my younger self would be like, “whoa, you’re actually doing that!”

You’ve been a judge on The Voice Kids, have a film coming out, Christmas Karma, and starred in the ITV crime drama, McDonald and Dodds. How have you found balancing all of these things?

The Voice Kids has been so much fun! I only thought we were going to do that for a couple of years. It went on for seven years which was so much fun! I started out at the same age as these kids. I’ve got my performing arts school that my mum runs as well for a similar age to the kids on The Voice. I just know exactly how it feels to be in their shoes, so I love doing anything like that. Helping talent wherever possible. To just be privileged to watch these incredible voices from all over the U.K. It was amazing. 

The filming we’ve wrapped and it’s for a Christmas musical movie. I love Christmas and I love musicals. It’s just the perfect thing for me to be a part of. I worked with the director, Gurinder [Chadha]. She was amazing so I loved every second of doing that! That was slightly different because I feel with my music stuff, it’s my project. I can bring Bertie and incorporate it into my schedule. When you’re part of somebody else’s project, I’m very aware that it’s not my film. I’m part of their film. My mum and dad were really helpful with looking after Bertie while I went to the film set. I would bring my breast pumps with me. I’d pump in the little trailer and put it in the fridge. All learning curves really because it was the first time I’d done anything like that to see if it worked. It worked really, really well. I feel like it’s easy to talk to you about it because you’re a girl. Luckily I’ve had my mum and dad helping out. They’ve come along to things to help with Bertie. In the ITV crime drama, I did that when I was pregnant. That was before Bertie came. I was really heavily pregnant at that time. My bump didn’t really show obviously until the end. You can’t really see that I’m pregnant. I’ve got baggy clothes on.

You’re a quadruple threat across singing, dancing, songwriting, and acting. Were you always so comfortable across all of these different creative disciplines?

I’ve always loved it for as long as I can remember. It’s where I’m most comfortable and where I’m most happiest. I went to a performing arts school. Music and singing, I’ve always done. I started to learn how to dance and worked really hard at that. Loads of kids in my class were amazing. It pushes you on. I learned a lot in the dance world and then I fell in love with that. Acting, I always had a real passion for it as a youngster and then music kind of took over. It’s come back around again.

I feel like acting, especially for me, the more life experience you have the better you are because you can go to those emotions. I’ve touched on those emotions in the album. I feel like I’ve lived a lot more and felt a lot more in recent years. That’s helped me as an actor. Music is my number one and my passion. I wouldn’t be able to go on without it. I really enjoy other sides of performing. I like to do the extra projects to round myself as an artist as much as possible so it adds to the artistry. 

You’ve also got a keen interest in fashion. Do you take any creative inspiration from your clothing choices and fashion in general?

I love fashion as well. It’s so cool that you get to have cool outfits for shows and fashion week events. It still feels very creative and it’s really fun that it comes along with the job. My husband is really into fashion as well. We met at fashion week and he’s a model but now he has his own fashion menswear line. He works so hard 24/7. He loves it. We had that in common. We’re always talking about fashion stylists and photographers or like, “I love what they did in this show.” He reads all of the business of fashion, fashion podcasts, blogs, and everything. He’s very up on it all. Way more than me. I kind of learn all of my stuff from him.

If a younger person was reading this interview, what advice would you give to them?

I always tell young performers to go for as many opportunities as possible. Every audition and open mic night as you never know what it could lead to. My career has always been like, “little step, little step, little step.” Not being scared of those little baby steps because they do end up growing. What I’ve learned over the last five years of making this album is without sounding cliche, but being authentically yourself is where the magic really happens. As much as you can lean into that the better. I honestly think being truly yourself is like magic.

Is there anything you’ve never been asked but wished that you had?

That’s really stumped me. I’m going to say, “to perform at Glastonbury.”

Pixie Lott’s new single “Somebody’s Daughter” is out now and her new record Encino will release September 27.

Follow Pixie by clicking here.

Interview Camilla Whitfield

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