Today, Leona Lewis reveals details for her new studio album, ‘I Am’. The new album which is due to be released on September 11th through Island Records, is available to pre-order from today.
The first public airing of Leona’s new material came when she performed five new tracks from the album at an intimate showcase in London’s West End in April earlier this year. Looking very natural and chatting comfortably between songs, Leona talked about the creation and inspiration of the tracks… and the reaction?
The press, media, industry executives and fans in attendance collectively agreed that Leona had now found her voice. Not in a singing sense – there has never been any debate about her talent, but found her voice as an individual. Leona displayed a new sense of ease and confidence that took people by surprise but most importantly the songs and the voice led the way. The magical voice that melted the hearts and minds of millions of music fans all over the world was back and more powerful than ever before.
Press reports from the evening included; “she sounded as soulful and confident as ever, with songwriting made of the same kind of magic dust that makes instant hits” and “everyman and his dog knows Leona has an incredibly strong vocal but now she finally has an equally strong voice to go with it.”
However, the making of this album hasn’t been a straight forward process. At one point Leona wasn’t sure whether she was going to make another record, and was writing songs without a specific aim other than the sole, pure purpose of making music again. Luckily, a chance encounter spurred her on when she was invited to a small Fleetwood Mac gig. She had never met them before but has always been a huge Stevie Nicks fan. A friend shoved her forward to meet the band for the first time and Nicks was quick to greet Leona. “She grabbed hold of me, hugged me and started singing my song to me. She sang ‘Bleeding Love’ and then she was like: “You have to keep going, we need you, we need your music.” She won’t know what a huge impression she made on me and how much she inspired me and inspired this record but she did give me that spur of encouragement. She is awesome. Everyone needs a Stevie in their life,” she laughs.
The result of Leona’s leap of faith is ‘I Am’, an upbeat and defiant assertion of Lewis’ individuality, which demonstrates that striking, almost ethereal vocal range and a voice flooded with emotion.
On title track ‘I Am’ Leona sings powerfully about being “stronger without you” and on ballad ‘You Knew Me When’ she insists, “I’m not the me I used to be”. Whilst a lot is already being made of Leona’s lyrical references and people are beginning to draw their own conclusions (not always right), these lyrics deal with Leona’s many different experiences since starting her work on this project and over the last few years both personally and professionally.
The album includes a beautiful and touching dedication to Leona’s parents on the track ‘Thank You’. “Your parents never stop being your parents and I’ve had many a sleepless night being like ‘I just need someone to talk to’ and my parents have always been there. I remember one time I texted my dad saying ‘I don’t want to be an adult anymore’ and he was like, “Sorry love! You are!’. They’ve supported me, especially over the last couple of years but also when I was growing up there was a lot of sacrifice, so that song is dedicated to them.” Elsewhere on the album, standout track, ‘Another Love Song’ is a playful departure from the classic Lewis ballads, with a garage vibe and uptempo beat, it’s easy to imagine it pounding out on the dance floors across Ibiza this summer.
Leona’s career highs and successes to date could fill sheets of paper. She has won countless awards, been nominated for both BRIT and GRAMMY awards, broken global chart records, sold millions of albums, performed all over the world and rock legend Jimmy Page recently described performing with her as his career high! But right now Leona has her eyes set on the future. ‘I Am’ is an album that gives Leona more relevance than ever.
‘I Am’ is the sound of an artist coming of age.
Fire Under My Feet
You Knew Me When
The Essence Of Me
I Got You
Another Love Song
The Best And The Worst
I Am – Acoustic
Thunder – Acoustic
Fire Under My Feet – United Studios Session