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June 26, 2012

MSN’s Tina Hart took a trip to Hackney to report on a big weekend of music.   
Interview time was tight at this year’s Radio 1 Hackney Weekend on the Saturday but I put a few questions to Leona, following her main stage performance. She chatted about performing in her home town, the sound of her new album and her collaboration with Emeli Sande.

Leona Lewis @ R1 Hackney Weekend: “Emeli Sande is wicked; she’s written my new single that’s out in October”

How was your performance today?
Leona: I’m from Hackney and I think about a hundred family members and friends are here for me. I just felt like I was performing to them, so it was nice. I wanted to kind of have some local talent involved in my set and I thought the Hackney Empire Choir was the best way to do that.

You debuted the track Come Alive on stage today…
Leona: Me, Fraser [producer] and Ina [songwriter] kind of wanted to do an up-tempo song but still remain kind of true to what I do, so we decided to go a tiny bit dubstep, a tiny bit drum and bass and just rocked it.

Is the track a good indication of the album?
Leona: Definitely a piece of it, there’s much more live sounding instrumental songs on there but that’s the strings and live drums. It’s a good mixture of programmed synths and live music as well.

MSN: How did you come to team up with Fraser T Smith [super-producer] on your new album?
Leona: I’ve known Fraser for 12 years and we got together on my EP – he did that whole EP for me and I just wanted to continue to work with him so I asked him to if he’d do the album.

MSN: When are we going to hear it?
Leona: October

MSN: Yay!
Leona: Yaay, finally.

MSN: We spoke to Emeli Sande last summer and she said how much she enjoyed working with you…
Leona: She’s so wicked. She’s written a song on my album which is going to be by single. I’m really excited, she’s so talented and so lovely. The track with Emeli is Trouble and is my new single, that’ll be in October as well.

It’s quite dark, it’s very deep, with amazing lyrics and it’s just coming from the heart really. It’s good to just collaborate with her as well because she really gets where I’m coming from, she’s like a sister.