Ones to Watch in 2012: Rebecca Ferguson
I've had my eye on 25 year old Rebecca Ferguson since her flawless days appearing on the seventh series of The X-Factor in 2010. From the moment she first stepped foot on that audition stage, I knew big things were in store for the Liverpudlian single mother. Since coming in second on The X-Factor, the stunning Rebecca Ferguson has been hard at work launching her solo career.
Signed almost immediately to Syco Music/Epic Records, Ferguson released her debut single, the emotionally gripping ballad "Nothing's Real But Love" towards the end of November. Co-penned by Ferguson and Eg White (Adele, Will Young, Duffy) and produced by White, the song debuted at #10 on the UK Singles Chart on November 26th. The song has since been released as Ferguson's debut U.S. single, and made available to download on January 10th from iTunes and other digital music retailer, spurring rumors of an eventual U.S. release of her debut album sometime later this year.
Rebecca Ferguson released her debut album, entitled Heaven, on December 5th in the UK, where it went on to debut at #3 on the UK Albums Chart. Co-writing the entire album, Ferguson wrangled in a powerhouse team of songwriters and producers, big industry names including Steve Booker (Natalie Imbruglia, Sugababes), Fraser T. Smith (Jennifer Hudson, Ellie Goulding), Xenomania (Kylie Minogue, Girls Aloud), Paul Barry (Cher, Enrique Iglesias), Mark Taylor (Britney Spears, Tina Turner), among others. The resulting collection of songs proves to be a solid (and just a little bit sleepy) debut effort for the twenty something singer from Liverpool. Effortless vocals and flawless production are present throughout the album, the only issue I have is with the tempo. Sure, mid-tempo pop and R&B ballads definitely play to Ferguson's strengths, but I could have done with a couple more up-tempo numbers. Take Ferguson's BRILLIANT (albeit stiff, performance-wise) vocal take on Robin S's club classic "Show Me Love." That was stunning!
That being said, the album does have a couple of good up-tempo tracks and plenty of what Ferguson does best, emotion-riddled pop/R&B ballads. Stand outs from the album include the sunshiney "Mr. Bright Eyes," the the uber-peppy "Glitter & Gold" (one of the more up-tempo tracks on the album), a slinky jazz number called "Fighting Suspicions," a sexy little retro R&B stunner called "Diamond To Stone", the disco infused "Run Free" and of course, Ferguson's brilliant second single, "Too Good To Lose" (also co-written and produced by Eg White), due out March 4th in the UK. Stay tuned for news on the upcoming release of her the "Too Good To Lose" music video.
The good news is, Syco/Epic has been generous with the remixes. Apparently I'm not the only one that thought Ferguson's signature sound is further complemented by sick dance beats. First single "Nothing's Real But Love" got the remix treatment (courtesy of Logistics) and forthcoming new single, "Too Good To Lose" has been remixed to perfection by Seamus Haji and Dukebox. Excellent stuff!
While details of a U.S. release are non existant just yet, Ferguson's just about to embark on her first solo UK tour and dates are quickly selling out! Try and catch her if you can! Oh and America...you can listen to a bunch of the tracks off of Heaven on Ferguson's YouTube page if you're so inclined. Also make sure you check out this video on VEVO, where Ferguson explains the meaning (in her thick Liverpudlian accent) behind some of the songs from Heaven. A voice like Rebecca Ferguson's doesn't come around too often. This girl is here to stay.
February 22nd//Glasgow, Clyde Auditorium
February 24th//Oxford New Theatre
February 25th//Sheffield City Hall
February 27th//Nottingham Royal Concert Hall
February 28th//Portsmouth Guildhall
March 1st//Birmingham Symphony Hall
March 2nd//York Barbican
March 3rd//Blackpool Opera House
March 8th//Cardiff St Davids Hall
March 12th//Bristol Colston Hall
March 15th//Plymouth Pavilions
March 16th//Reading Hexagon
March 17th//Liverpool Echo Arena Echo Two