The brand new Leona album is released on October 15th and I can confirm that the album is one of her best.
Glassheart, which was originally scheduled for release in 2011, features contributions from Emeli Sande, Naughty Boy, Darkchild and Ryan Tedder, who’s been working with Leona since Bleeding Love in 2007.
And as the saying goes, all good things come to those that wait, as Glassheart’s fusion of pop, dance, rnb and soul has delivered Leona one of her strongest collections of material.
Leona told me “It’s definitely a progression and I’ve taken a lot of different influences, put them in and made them my own. I’m just really proud of it; it has taken a while, it’s taken two years but it was all for a reason. Obviously there was a bit pressure to deliver it but I knew that it needed to have this time..”
Leona also revealed that co-writing with Emeli Sande was ‘an amazing experience.’ Emeli co-wrote new single Trouble as well as new tracks Sugar and I To You, which is one of the stand-out tracks on the album. “I’ve found a good song-writing partner in Emeli Sande. She just knows and she’s got great instincts. I To You is one of the songs we co-wrote and I just love that song..”
Leona also chatted to me about working with Naughty Boy (“he has piranhas in his studio”), Darkchild ( I’ve always wanted to work with him”) and described Ryan Tedder “as a great friend. he came up with the word Glassheart..when we talking about relationships and things I’d gone through. He was saying that you have to protect yourself and you have to keep yourself safe, as your heart is very sacred and fragile but it’s still strong, as I’ve been coming from a place of being more protective about myself and relationships..”
2012 was also the year Leona returned to the UK X Factor, when she appeared as guest judge at the London auditions. She told me “I was so nervous about appearing as judge that I almost pulled out the night before..I even rang my manager asking if I could pull out as I felt so nervous! Of course she said no and once I was there, I really enjoyed it and it felt very natural. I got on with every one on the panel especially Gary, so yeah I’m glad I did it”
Leona returns to the show next weekend to perform new single “Trouble” on the first Sunday results show. “I’m so nervous but excited; I can’t wait. I do get a bit nervous yeah, I try not but I just do..especially going back to the X Factor as it’s ingrained and something so big and scary.” But she will miss not seeing Simon Cowell sitting on the panel? ” I like it when Simon’s there as he so supportive and actually it’s kind of a comfort, I know that sounds weird..he’s always got good things to say. But he’s really into my new album and really proud of it..he always supported me taking more time to record so yeah, I’ve got a lot of respect for him.”
We also talked about why you’ll read too many stories about her private life, her plans for a Spring tour and her recent switch to Veganism. Oh and have a listen to her talking about her passion for 70s horror films and all things scary! Oh yes!
Loved catching up with Leona, as ever, and rate Glassheart as one of the best albums I’ve heard this year.