Music Gateway caught up with Fleur, just before she performed her showcase @ the Social club in London early November 2012.
It’s not surprising that Fleur turns heads wherever she goes. While there’s no denying that she has star quality, in the most brilliantly contradictory way she also has all the merits of being incredibly down-to-earth and friendly. With a smile plastered across her face, the talented singer and songwriter exudes a contagious energy that floods across her performance.
At just 22, Fleur has already done great things. Aged just 16, she entered The X-Factor with a group of friends and inadvertently ended up performing live on national television with Simon Cowell as her mentor. The experience kick-started her thirst for career in music. Dipping her fingers into many musical pies, the next few years saw Fleur coincide her education with singing backing vocals for Leona Lewis, street dancing, and the several musical projects she would experiment with. Always yearning after something greater, the determined singer acted on initiative and decided to focus on her solo career. ‘It was like a burning thing inside me that I just had to do’ she explains.
Since taking that game-changing step over a year ago, Fleur’s world has changed. Having accompanied his BBC Live Lounge performance back in 2011, she has been touring with DJ Fresh’s live project, Fresh Live, providing an all-powerful vocal for the electric performance. The band frequently play to huge audiences, including the 45,000 capacity crowd (plus the millions of viewers watching the broadcast) at T4 On The Beach that Fleur vocalled alongside Rita Ora and Dizzee Rascal. Fleur will also feature on a track she co-wrote with DJ Fresh for his upcoming album. She describes her Fresh Live experience as ‘like an apprenticeship. I’ve done my training with him, and now I’m raring to go! Raring to get out there and do my own thing!’
Fleur’s love affair with music began in the womb, with her parents often playing her the likes of Michael Jackson and Bob Marley through headphones onto her mother’s stomach. As soon as she could talk she was singing away to herself, something that impressed the family of non-musicians. Born and raised in Walthamstow, East London to an English father and a Ghanaian mother, Fleur grew up surrounded by a wide range of musical influences; everything from Van Morrison to her mother’s African music. As well as joining the church choir, Fleur’s confidence in her talent grew as she attended an afterschool class during which local children were encouraged to write their own music, create dances and put together showcases each month.
As well as her work with Fresh Live, the chanteuse uses every minute of free time to write and record her own material. ‘I’ve been left to do what I want and it’s been so, so liberating. I’ve been influenced on so many levels by so many different things.’ With a definite urban style running through the core of her creations, Fleur’s beautifully soulful vocals lift the music, make it stand out, and make it unique. ‘It’s urban-inspired with a few twists! I haven’t restricted myself at all. I want my music to be enjoyed by as many people as possible, so I’ve just had an open mind and expressed myself in any way that I can!’
Recently signed to Strictly Rhythm, and with tastemakers such as MistaJam already showing support, things are about to happen for Fleur. ‘There are some very exciting collaborations in the pipeline,’ she promises. Working with a host of producers, including DaVinci, Culture Shock, White N3rd and Tim Powell (who has produced for Girls Aloud and Kylie Minogue), Fleur really is mixing with the best.
With her debut solo single, Turn The Lights On, releases Autumn 2012, times are very exciting indeed. The track is a definite party tune. ‘It’s about being on that high, never wanting it to end and just wanting everyone else to join in with you!’ she says of the Culture Shock-produced future hit. Fleur wants people to listen to her music and have fun. ‘Just enjoy it! Just enjoy the music!’ she laughs with her signature smile. ‘I want to get my music heard all over the world. That’s the big aim.’
‘I’ve always thought, if you’re going to have a dream, why stop anywhere? Why limit yourself? Dream big! That’s what I want to do, that’s what I see… and I’m just going to keep going until I achieve it!’
Music Gateway would like to wish Fleur the very best in her career in the music gateway and we hope to catch up with her in Miami at the Winter Music Conference Spring 2013.