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Q&A: Cher Lloyd grows her subject matter while wishing other assets were bigger

September 06, 2013|By Matt Pais | RedEye music editor

It would be easy to dismiss most singers who get their big break on reality TV and young pop stars whose appearances inevitably include throngs of shrieking teenagers.

Still, you have to admit that many of the earworms released by English singer Cher Lloyd—who along with One Direction made the top 5 on Britain’s “The X Factor” and has since collaborated with Ne-Yo, Demi Lovato and Busta Rhymes—are so catchy you ignore the surrounding, bubbly noise and give in to the beat. That’s certainly the case with “Want U Back,” “With Ur Love” and Lloyd’s latest track, “I Wish” (featuring T.I.), the first single from her upcoming, still-untitled sophomore full-length.

Taking a break from tour rehearsal in L.A., the 20-year-old singer (who has 5.1 million Twitter followers, BTW) discussed singing about a more adult kind of satisfaction, physical enhancements and why Miley Cyrus will be “more than fine.”

Cher Lloyd, 7 p.m. Sept. 15 at Vic Theatre, $25
Watch at RedEyeChicago: “I Wish”

You recently performed “Want U Back” on stage with Taylor Swift, who’s the queen of songs about former boyfriends. Singing that together is like painting with Picasso or playing catch with Tom Brady.
Yeah, it was really great. She is the queen of all breakup songs. I feel like she really enjoyed herself, and she seems to really, really love that song, so I just hope that she likes the new one. That’d be really cool if she likes the new one.

You’ve said that the new stuff is a bit badass. How do you define badass?
I talk about much more mature subjects in the next album. I really feel that I tap into the more grown-up side of me. It’s going to take a second for people to adapt to the slight change, but I feel like people are really going to appreciate it. This album is completely me. It’s me this time. I’m not saying that the last album wasn’t me; there were elements of me in that last album for sure. But this next album, it represents what I’m all about and I think there’s so many relatable subjects in there.

When you say mature subjects, do you mean paying taxes and buying insurance, boring stuff like that?
[Laughs] No. There’s one song where I’m talking about a guy and not getting what I need [from him] and not being satisfied. If you know what I mean.

I know what you mean.
Yeah. It’s a big difference to saying that you want someone back and [being brokenhearted]–it’s a little bit more grown-up.

In this case, it’s, “I want you back, but you need to improve some of your late-night activities or I’ll kick you out again.”
[Laughs] Yes! That’s exactly it. [Laughs]

If someone came along and said they could grant your wishes from “I Wish,” would you want that?
I’ve thought about this a little bit when we were going through the lyrics before we actually recorded it. I was kind of like, “Yeah, but would I really wish for these things?” And the answer is yes, I would do anything for a bigger pair of boobies and a bigger butt. But in saying that, I’m not going to go get that done. Because I feel like I don’t necessarily need it. It’d be the wrong message to give to my fans because the overall message of this song is we all wish to have things that we don’t have, but at the end of the day you have to be yourself. You have to go with it, and if you can’t get the guy because he doesn’t like who you are, then he’s not good enough for you anyway. So yeah, I would like a bigger ass and a bigger pair of boobies, but that’s not going to happen, but I’m still happy with myself. Kind of.

So you want people to accept you for who you are, but if someone comes along and can snap their fingers and have that come true, you’d be OK with that.
Yes, I’m fine with it. But I really don’t want to go under the knife. That would just be ridiculous.

There are a lot of songs called “I Wish.” Do you prefer the Stevie Wonder or Skee-Lo versions?
Oh, I don’t know. It’s funny you say that because I wanted to watch my lyric video and I typed in “I Wish” and you’re right, a lot of different songs are called “I Wish.” But mine is definitely different than all the other “I Wishes” I feel.

Skee-Lo also wanted to be taller. There’s a whole community of singers who want that.
I think a lot of people wish to be taller. I’m really, really short. And when I’m on TV it looks like I’m tall, but I’m really not. I think I’m like just over 5-foot, or not even. Yeah, I’m really small.

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