There's an Elephant singer in the room
Alexandra Burke's last single was 2010's appropriately named The Silence. At last, she's back! Her single Elephant sees the former X Factor winner hit the clubs, and a new album is on the horizon. To tell us more about the new material, Alexandra kicked off her Louboutins and sat down to give us the juicy details...
Elephant is very different to, say, Start Without You. How did that clubbier sound emerge?
I’ve been writing this album for a very long time. I’ve been working on it for about a year and a few months. I had three weeks of a writing camp when I came back from the States and that’s when Elephant came to life. My A&R said it was such a great track that we should try and get Erick Morillo on. It took less than 24 hours for him to say Yes. He produced it. It didn’t take much encouragement from me to think it would be my first single from July last year, but Erick put the icing on the cake. He made it happen.
It is really different to the music that I’ve done but I don’t have a fear of doing something different and being a little bit dangerous. My sophomore album is a risk but I love it because I’m doing things that are slightly out of my comfort zone and out of the box. I’m growing up. If I want to talk about it, I'm gonna talk about it, whether that be sex, love, rock’n’roll, anything. I’m a woman now!
Is Elephant representative of the sound of the album as a whole?
It’s very, very different to what else is on there. What I really wanted to achieve with this album was great music and allow people to have fun. Although I’m talking about serious situations, it will still hopefully make the listener get up, boogie and have a good night out. It’s very colourful, it’s loud, it’s bold. It’s really in your face!
I’ve taken inspiration from 90s club anthems. That’s had a major influence on my album. It’s big songs.
How many singles before the album drops?
Maximum of three. Who knows? I could throw the album out there for free next week. Who knows what my crazy self will do?
I wanted to give a double-disc album, but I was shut down so hard. I would say a maximum of 14 songs but I wanted it to be a lot more. From single two, my fans will definitely be getting some B-sides. With Elephant there is a Breathless version of Elephant, which is completely stripped back and slowed down, just a piano and me. The reaction is always that it’s never going to work but it’s amazing.
Bad Boys really set the tone of what you’re about as a singer. Is there an equivalent of Bad Boys on the album? A Bad Boys Part II?
Is there a Bad Boys Part II? Great question! That would have to be left to the listener to figure that out! I believe that’s there a continuation of what I started but to another level, because this album is just crazy. I’m doing all kinds of sounds!
The single and album was delayed. Was that frustrating?
A fan tweeted me saying they had major respect for me for not rushing an album out. And that’s what I can’t do. I can’t just do an album in six months and put it out. I have to be able to live with it. Hopefully I will be promoting this for fifty years to come.
Is it true you’ve worked with Benny Benassi and David Guetta?
I can’t confirm anything at this time…! I hate lying!
Have you worked with RedOne again?
I haven’t worked with RedOne on this album, but there is a plan to… There is a plan to!
You’re the executive producer of the album – what does that actually mean?
It basically means nothing gets past my ears. If I want to change something and the producer says ‘no,’ if I say ‘yes,’ it’s happening. I won’t let anything get on this album if I haven’t been a part of it and put my stamp on it. The whole creative side in the sense of telling a story in the album has come from me.
Will you be touring this year?
I’m not sure. There was a plan too. There are a few things in the pipelines and if I choose to do a certain thing I can’t tour this year.
Is America on the cards at all for this album?
Absolutely! Without a shadow of a doubt.
Lastly, have you chosen the second single yet?
It's a duet with someone else… A male. The only male on the album. I was about to give you the name but I’m not allowed! It will be the second single. Not much longer to wait. We’re going back-to-back this year, babe!
The new single Elephant is out on 11th March. The album will be released later this year.