- Words Cal McIntyre
- Photography Mila Austin
After a decade in the game, Cher Lloyd is only just reaching the peak of her popstar trajectory with the release of her instantly addictive new anthem 'Lost'. We caught up with the forever underdog to talk new beginnings amidst isolation.
Cher Lloyd is an artist who certainly needs no introduction. She has been embedded within UK culture for over a decade (yes really, a decade) since her polarising performances on The X Factor all those years ago in simpler times. One thing has always remained true about Cher Lloyd – she’s an underdog. She always has been, and probably always will be – which she embraces fully. The thing about underdogs though is that they always come out on top in the end, and that’s what Cher Lloyd is going to do.
With the release of her new single ‘Lost’ today, it appears to be only the beginning of a new chapter for Cher – ironically entitled ‘Lost’, it seems Cher is finding herself over and over again, consistently evolving and growing with each new challenge and hurdle thrown her way. Written by Raphaella, Casey Smith, Patrick Patrikios, Hanni Ibrahim, James Norton and Cher herself, the track is already a certified bop, and Cher Lloyd diehards are having a great Friday as they can escape the strange times we are existing in currently for a few minutes, to lose themselves in Cher’s new track which they have patiently waited for.
Speaking on ‘Lost’, Cher revealed, “I’m so excited to share my new single ‘Lost’ with everyone. I had the most incredible time co-writing and recording this song and video. “You think I’d be lost without you, but I’ve got lots without you,” says it all. Everyone has found themselves in the same shoes – having the strength to move on and be bold enough to say that you’re doing great without that person. Every time I sing this song I feel empowered.”
When I speak with Cher over the phone, it’s hard not to immediately talk about isolation and COVID-19 – it would be weird not to. What’s interesting about the conversation is the underlying hope she has within her voice. When she reflects on her past and looks to her future, there’s always a feeling of hope tying it all together. It’s clear that Cher has evolved into a strong young woman who is able to look beyond what other people want, or even expect of her, and choose what her heart tells her. It’s easy to understand why – Cher Lloyd shot straight from being a teenager and into the homes of the UK public instantaneously, with the media trying to be her best friend and her enemy all at that same time. A mother herself now, Cher Lloyd’s biggest strength is undoubtedly her perseverance (amongst having bucketloads of talent).
In charge of her own trajectory this time around, Cher Lloyd has been gearing up for this moment for a while. With ‘Lost’ being only the beginning, we sit down with the star to talk about growing up in the harsh UK spotlight, falling in love with the hardest parts of yourself and why you have to be lost to find yourself.
After we get through the now general ‘this is so crazy what are living through’ and checking in to see how each other is doing, Cher tells me, “As much as it’s unbelievable what we are living through, I’m just feeling super grateful right now to have a home with my family, and to have a garden, and to be able to continue doing what I love to do during this time. My heart is with all the people on the frontline right now, and everyone being so negatively impacted by all of this. I just can’t believe it, but I genuinely feel so lucky right now.”
Speaking a week before the drop of ‘Lost’, we drive straight into the excitement of the new track as her legion of fans has been waiting patiently for this moment to come. “I’m just so excited I can’t even begin to explain it,” Cher tells me. “Before all of this craziness happened, and before lockdown, we had planned for this video to come out. I spent a little bit of time thinking ‘is this the right time for me to release music with everything going on?’ and then I just realised that music is the only thing, apart from my family and friend, that is keeping me going right now, and I believe a lot of people feel that way. You know, we are all indoors trying our best to stay positive and creative, so it makes sense to me to continue with what I love doing, and hopefully, my fans get that message of empowerment.”
“I’ve had big gaps between my releases.” Cher begins, “so it’s really nice to give my fans a new song and I’m so excited to see what they think about it. I hope they’re going to be so happy.”
When it comes to Cher’s creative process around music, she opens up about the journey she has been on since the beginning, which hasn’t been shy of obstacles or hurdles. “To be honest, in the beginning, I had no creative control whatsoever,” Cher begins. “I mean, it was kind of to be expected – coming from a big reality talent show and being really young without having earnt my stripes yet, I knew it would be the case. I had to learn a lot before I could make those big decisions creatively, but now I’m at a point ten years later where it’s not a case of lots of people in suits coming to me with ideas of what I should do or look like – it’s now them saying ‘you do your thing because that’s what will work and nothing else will’ which is an amazing place to be at.”
In regards to where Cher Lloyd is at now, the feeling to describe it is definitely gratitude. “I’m with a record label and have a manager along with an amazing team of people who 100% believe in my decisions,” Cher begins. “At the end of the day, if you think about it, if it’s the bloke in the suit coming up with all of the creative ideas it just makes me think ‘well if you know so much about it why don’t you put on a leotard and you get on stage’.”
Reflecting on a whirlwind of a decade Cher Lloyd has had in the public eye, Cher reflects, “I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is that I’m not always gonna please everyone and it’s not my job to please everyone. I sing, I perform and not everyone is going to like what I do and that’s absolutely fine – there are lots of other people you can listen to [laughs].” Following on, Cher tells me, “the other big thing I’ve learned is that we all make mistakes and we all grow as people – it just so happens that I have to do it in front of everyone.”
When it comes to her latest single ‘Lost’, Cher tells me, “you would listen to the track and assume it’s about a boy, but this song really isn’t about that for me.” Following on, Cher begins, “you can really apply this song to any aspect of your life that involves another person – whether it’s a friendship, relationship or working relationship – it’s about someone having that hold over you and they think that you would be nothing without that person, which I have felt before, but then you finally see the light and realise how great you are by yourself. I am able to achieve my goals by myself.”
When it comes to the normality we all used to know and take for granted, Cher doesn’t know when she will be able to get back out on the road to see her fans. “It just the unknown isn’t it,” Cher begins, “I really hope it’s soon that I can get back on the road, but I definitely don’t want to rush it either. I think we are all going to be anxious for a while when they eventually ease lockdown, it’s still going to be a difficult time for everyone to adjust back again without a fear hanging over our heads.”
When we finish up our call, Cher finishes our conversation with a reflection. “I was the underdog all those years ago, I mean, I’m still an underdog,” Cher begins, “After ten years, I am still the underdog – every single time I get knocked down, somehow I always manage to be like ‘Nah, you’re not keeping me down I gotta get back up’. Really, that’s always the message I am trying to get across – no matter how difficult it gets you still gotta carry on, and that’s what my shows are about. It’s all just about empowerment at the end of the day. I want to empower my fans because they always empower me.”