Rebecca Ferguson plays Brighton as she takes control of her career

Rebecca Ferguson (contributed pic)Rebecca Ferguson (contributed pic)
Rebecca Ferguson (contributed pic)
Rebecca Ferguson has taken control of her career with the release of her fifth and final album Heaven Part II.

Significantly, she has released it independently on her own label: “The point is that I feel that I'm running the ship now. Before that, I felt that I was just sweeping the deck on my own ship!”

On the back of the album, Rebecca is touring with dates including Brighton Theatre Royal on Saturday, June 1.

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Heaven Part II was released in December, 12 years to the day since her debut album Heaven was released. It’s Rebecca’s first independent album: “I have put everything into it. I’ve pushed myself creatively and my heart and soul has gone into this! I have set up my own record label for this one.

“There were certain conversations going around the labels but I just thought this was the right time to do it myself. I knew that I just needed to have the ownership. I never knew what I was actually being paid before. There are always so many different levels that came in, but now I just wanted to be clear. I think what it's actually about is freedom. It is about having your art and not being exploited. That's the most important thing. It's about being yourself and creating your art. You think of the artist that paints things and they get to decide which gallery it goes in and what happens with it, and that's what I wanted – the joy of creating art but being able to do it on my own terms.

“I think Heaven, the first album, was completely authentic. It was coming from a really pure place and that's what I wanted this album to be about. The albums I’ve done in between have been authentic too but there was just so much politics going on and so much industry BS so really calling this album Heaven Part 2 was kind of me saying that this is the album that I should have been making – even though the other albums were successful. They were all top ten but from an emotional point of view I was not in the best place at the time and I wanted to get back to a good place. I think it is really just about growing up. Everybody goes through things in life and the fact is you only get one life and you want to be happy. I think I'm a different artist now in the sense that I am much more comfortable in myself. I'm a bit more relaxed. I'm a lot less nervous. I have more of a laugh. And I'm a bit more confident.

“There was a moment when I looked back at myself aged 23 on my first-ever audition on The X Factor, and I just saw this very vulnerable girl and I just wanted to give myself a big hug and I just wanted to protect myself from all the wolves that have come along that I've had to deal with since. It is just me looking back reflectively.”

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Rebecca has been campaigning tirelessly for an improved environment within the music industry. She has successfully initiated a cross-creative industry committee that meets regularly with the government and members of the DCMS – and was the person behind the Creative Industries Independent Standards Authority (CIISA) which in time, will see better practices for the creative industries.

“I'm talking about things like misogyny and I just felt so sad that I had to go through those kinds of things. But I do feel quite proud of myself that I'm here.” And taking further control, Rebecca says that this is the final album. She will continue to make music but unless she changes her mind, there will not be any more albums: “I just want to be able to create music and have fun on my own terms. There can be such a pressure if you're creating an album. I just want to make the music and put it out and just enjoy myself. I just wanted to recapture the days when it was a laugh and fun and go back to that time that was authentic for me. I want to make music on my own turns. There can be pressure for an artist but I'm just removing myself from that equation. Happiness is definitely now the goal. When you were younger the goal was fame and you think the more successful you are the happier you will be but actually it's just the opposite. The more famous you are the worse it gets. I just want to have a happy medium.”

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