Cher Lloyd

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Cher Lloyd-9953story / Olivia Inkster
photos / Catie Laffoon
makeup / Marina Gravani
hair / Randi Peterson
styling / Alyssa Greene

When I was growing up, I wanted to be best friends with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. I believed that we would not only get along perfectly and share one another’s clothes, but that they would possibly let me sing a little solo on one of their hit songs or make a cameo in one of their videos. We were meant to be; we’d shop, we’d go swimming together… You get the picture.
Well, that ship has sailed, and I’ve dealt with the fact that my two famous long-lost, could-be, should-be best friends and I will most likely never actually be best friends. Now, I haven’t entirely given up all hope just yet; I mean, I do live in New York, and they live in New York. It could happen, right? However, after a recent conversation I had with the coolest singer/rapper/writer ever in Los Angeles, I have a new could-be, should-be best friend. And so will you, if she isn’t yours already.
Cher Lloyd fist hit the spotlight in 2010 on Britain’s much-glorified talent competition X Factor. But she’d been prepared—she’d been writing, acting, singing, and performing for much of her life before that, encouraged by her eclectic and creative family. Now, six years and one big move to Hollywood later, she’s still all about the bottom line: the music.
From songwriting to rapping to singing, this girl can and does do it all. She’s a force, a mighty and young one at that. But Cher is proving daily that the proof isn’t simply in the British plum pudding. With a new album on the forefront, she’s in charge more than ever.
So, you’re only 22! You’ve done so much. Do you feel like you’ve lived a lot longer than that?
Yes! It’s because of a part of my life that people don’t know and won’t ever know. At the same time, weirdly, I feel very young. I have so much to live left to live. None of my friends are my age. It’s funny, because the people I speak to the most, the people I relate to, just aren’t my age. We get it all. I just have more worries than people my own age; I see the bigger picture.
Do you have any guilty pleasures?
Oh, well, not really. I mean, nothing out of the ordinary. Like when I’m going out, I’m totally boring. I’m not a crazy kid anymore.
You shot to fame on Britain’s X Factor in 2010. You were what, 17? Was that overwhelming?
There were many times when I didn’t handle myself with grace. I can laugh at that now. I had no idea what I was setting myself up for. I did it the best way, honestly, now that I think of it. I learned about the industry through making mistakes and meeting some amazing people, producers, and songwriters that I could learn from. I made a hell of a lot of mistakes, though!
I think we all have. Looking back, would you give yourself any advice?
I would probably tell myself to just not take it so seriously to the point where every single move that I made was the “be all, end all.” It’s okay to make mistakes. I’ve learned that it’s not okay to react poorly to it. I’m an adult now; I don’t do that. I don’t throw my toys around anymore.
Cher Lloyd-9947Tell me what a day in the life of Cher Lloyd looks like.
Uhhh, I never know what it looks like for me really! Like, for the most part it is jam-packed. When it isn’t, I sort of panic. I don’t know what to do with myself. I could have nothing to do do, but I create things to do. If I have a day off, I’ll be in my house, but I’ll find so many things to do, whether it’s cleaning, whatever. I’ll re-iron, like I’ll go and iron things again. It drives me crazy—I can’t sit still!
But that’s probably a good thing for you, creatively. So, any songs you can’t stop listening to? Perhaps while ironing?
It’s X Ambassadors’ “Unsteady.” I’m obsessed with them right now! There hasn’t been a voice like that in so long. It’s just so beautiful. Check out their video… I may have shed a tear, it’s unbelievable.
Who would you say are some of your biggest influences as an artist?
I think I’m influenced by my family, absolutely. Also, mainly, Dolly Parton. If you were to listen to my songs, the vocal acrobatics of her songs, I learned how to do that by listening to her. I would listen to her for hours and then try to do it for myself, growing up.
You have to go to Dollywood then! I’m from Tennessee, and my grandmother made me go with her. You’d love it!
Oh, god. That would be amazing!
Now, you’ve been labeled just about every single genre.
I never wanted to make a straight-up pop record. I never set out to do that. I don’t have a genre; I do what I feel like doing. If I wake up and decide to do something totally random or different,  I’ll do that. I’ll do the slowest beat and do a heavy guitar one day. The next day, if I feel like putting more electronics on something, I will. Instruments shouldn’t be there for restrictions. They should be free. They should free you!
What do we all have to look forward to from you?
I’ve been writing and recording since last year. This record is majorly different; I’ve been the leader of this whole thing. It’s been like, going alone. It’s been kind of scary. But it feels so good at the same time. I’m as free as I want to be. If one day I want to experiment, I can do that. It is hand on heart, my best work. I’ve never done something like this before. When I listen back to it, I’m proud on another level. I can’t wait.
That’s a pretty big statement as an artist. Any fears at all, though?
This being my third album, it’s the tricky one. But I’m not scared in the slightest. That’s the way this is, this is happening the way it was meant to be. I don’t make it out of fear. That’s not why we make music. For the first time, that’s what it feels like.
Any last words?
I’ve always said to grab on to every opportunity and make the most of it. Go after it. Use it. Oh, and be grateful. Because, you know, no one likes an ungrateful bitch.
Cher Lloyd-9951

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