Pop powerhouse Leona Lewis has become the voice of resilience. After wowing the likes of Simon Cowell on The X Factor, signing to his label and selling over a million copies of her 2007 smash “Bleeding Love” in her native U.K., Lewis is returning with her fifth studio album, I Am, under her new home, Island Def Jam. The 15-track offering (slated to drop Sept. 11) is chock full of uplifting eargasms, exposing the ups and downs of love, relationships and life’s inevitable lessons, subjects Lewis knows a thing or three about.
The album’s first single, “Thunder,” leads the charge as a celebratory salute to self love. Its simplistic video serves as the perfect visual for the uplifting track. Dressed in a gorgeous, flowy black gown with her signature golden blonde and brown tresses, Lewis hypnotizes with her gray eyes before eye-pleasing nature filters. She also sings empowering lines like, “And I won’t wait any longer/ When you let me down, I got stronger.”
Now, the girl-next-door-turned-phenom has found her creative footing, scorching souls with music that mirrors life. VIBE recently caught up with Lewis during her recent New York City press run, where she discussed parting ways with Simon Cowell’s Syco Music label, signing to Def Jam and possibly dueting with unfiltered labelmate, Kanye West.—Angela Wilson
VIBE: Congratulations on your new album, I Am. What makes this album different?
Leona Lewis: Thank you! Reaching my fifth album is huge for me. It’s so cool. I feel like this album is coming from a very strong standpoint. I feel my other albums came from a more vulnerable place about relationships and breakups, and how you get through that. But this time around, it’s about a different subject, from a more empowered place. It’s a bit more stronger lyrically because of the things I’ve been through these last few years and growing up all makes for a stronger lyric.
You can definitely tell from your new single, “Thunder,” it’s personal.
It’s such a personal album. It’s very emotional. It’s me literally wearing my heart on my sleeve.
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