Fame with a bullet

Fame with a bullet

Barry C Chung talks to popstrel Diana Vickers about how appearing on a reality TV talent show rocketed her to stardom

November 04, 2012
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Diana Vickers has fulfilled her dream.
Diana Vickers has fulfilled her dream.
Photo: Lee Broomfield
Contrary to popular belief, the Idol TV show was conceived in Britain, not America. Pop Idol debuted in 2001, a year before its more famous transatlantic cousin. But its appeal was shortlived, and in 2004 the show was replaced by The X Factor.

In 2008, English native Diana Vickers, now 18, appeared on the show, making it to the semi-finals. But her dazzling performances and strong vocals did not go unnoticed. Soon, she was signed to RCA Records, and debut album, Songs from the Tainted Cherry Tree, topped the British charts.

Sunday Young Post: When realise you wanted to be a singer?

Diana: I think it was from an early age. Singing and performing is just something you have in you, and I was always into music when I was growing up. I've always enjoyed singing in front of my mum and performing. I always imagined singing and performing on stage like my favourite singers.

At an early age, I was already in the school choir and was very passionate about it. There was always ambition within me.

SYP: If you weren't in the music industry, what would you be doing?

D: I'd probably be at an acting school, trying to be an actress, or travelling around the world, working with wildlife and being out in the open air, exploring.

SYP: Can you describe your experience on The X Factor?

D: Yeah, The X Factor was such a great platform for me. I went on the show because I knew I wanted to be a singer but I didn't know how I was going to get there.

I was from a very small town and I didn't have the connections to make it into the industry. I thought The X Factor would be a great route.

It was a very intense show and it can be very stressful, but it's such a wonderful platform and it got me noticed and I got a record deal out of it. It was amazing.

SYP: What was your favourite performance on the show?

D: I think I loved doing Man in the Mirror, by Michael Jackson, because it's such a beautiful song. And when I sang Smile for "big band" week. You know, playing with a live band was absolutely amazing.

SYP: Is there any special meaning behind the name of your album?

D: I wrote a song from the album called The Boy Who Murdered Love, my second single, and basically there's a line in it that says, "your tainted cherry tree".

When you're so infatuated with someone that is so beautiful and you want them so much but they're so tainted and you know they're so wrong for you. It's like a forbidden fruit, temptation, Adam and Eve - the whole forbidden fruit scenario.

SYP: How would you describe your own voice?

D: My music is very electro-synth laced with bubblegum pop. I think my voice has a silky edge to it. I [can] put my voice to a pop track and it's got a nice balance to it. I have some slow songs in my album and it adds some variety.

SYP: How would you feel about singing the World Cup theme song?

D: It would be absolutely amazing ... it would be an absolute buzz.

SYP: Who are you going to be cheering for during the World Cup?

D: [without hesitation] England!

SYP: Aside from England?

D: I don't know. Everyone! Maybe I'll cheer for everyone a little bit.

SYP: What's to come for Diana Vickers?

D: I actually started writing my second album today. I'm going to get in the studio and experiment ...

SYP: Have you ever been to Hong Kong?

D: I haven't, but I really ought to come sometime. Hopefully I'll get to come sometime soon.

SYP: What's your impression of Hong Kong?

D: I've heard that it's got a lot of culture ... and yummy food.

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