She's best known for her part in the most successful X Factor band, she's heading to the Eurovision to sing with Jedward and she is about to tour the UK, but today I'm getting to know the REAL Rebecca Creighton.
This past year has been life changing for her, but with some big speed bumps along the way. We saw her dreams of a solo career crushed when the judging panel said they couldn't bring her through to the judges houses, and then saw her lifted back up when she was put together with three other girls, who would soon become Belle Amie. Now that she is out of one of the most popular shows in the world her career is blossoming. Belle Amie are now writing a new album and heading on tour and she is off to sing with Jedward for the Eurovision Song contest. But things are not all what they seem. In this interview Rebecca reveals the truth about what goes on in The X Factor, why she feels the show held her back and why the fourth member of the band, Geneva, decided to up and leave the band out of nowhere, leaving three girls to reform Belle Amie...
She stole the heart of the X Factor judging panel when she belted out Pixie Lott's 'Cry Me Out'. Cheryl Cole couldn't have given her more praise saying: "You brightened up my day. You have a brilliant voice" and even international star Katy Perry screamed "It's a yes from me!". Finally, she got the biggest boost of all when Louis Walsh said it was Simon Cowell's first "yes" of the day! It seemed like all of Rebecca's dreams were coming true, an unemployed hairdresser at the time, she wanted a solo singing career, but little did she know that things would turn out a lot differently than what she planned.
Funnily enough Rebecca didn't actual believe she would be good enough for the talent show. She tells me that she didn't even fill out the application form:
"My sister asked could she put me down for The X Factor and I was like 'No'. I just didn't think that I was good enough to do it. She put me through anyway! I never thought that I would get through the first audition so getting through every step was just mad!"
Well Rebeca definitely owes her sister one now as the events to follow would completely change her life and lead her down the path she had only dreamed of before. As I know a friend who got to the late stages of the competition (and I auditioned myself once - morto!) I knew that she had gone through about four or five interviews before she got the call saying she would get to audition in front of Simon, Cheryl, Danni and Louis. Rebecca admits that she thought she has lost out on her dream when three weeks had passed by since her last audition. But while celebrating her sister's birthday in Spain, the Irish songstress got the call:
"I was actually at my sister's wedding in Spain and I was a bridesmaid and I was actually singing at it too so I was really busy but I had my phone stuck to my hip the whole time. So we were all sitting around at the pool when my phone rang and it was a UK phone number. I was like 'What the hell, what the hell!' everyone around me got so excited. This woman was just on the phone asking me my details and I was like 'Is this a good call or...?' and then she told me I was through!"
A Different Path...
Now, Rebecca was about to face the first, of many speedbumps to come in her music career. After making it through to boot camp, the judges had sent her home. But Simon decided to give her another chance, but not as a solo act. Along with Rebecca, Esther Campbell, Sophia Wardman and (now ex-member) Geneva Lane got the chance to make it to Simon's Beverly Hills home, and eventually become on of the final 12 acts for the live shows. "Simon gave us 5 minutes to think about it" Rebecca tells me. " But we didn't have to think about it. It was either be in a group or go home. We knew it was the right thing to do".
Luckily for the Dublin girl, she was already really good friends with Sophia, as they had gotten close during boot camp. Rebecca said the transition from solo act to girl group really wasn't that hard:
"I had actually been close to Sophia and Esther throughout the week at boot camp, so I didn't feel like I was in a group with strangers. But if we hadn't of been talking before, it definitely would have felt weird."
Behind The Scenes...
Now that the dream was alive again, everything seemed to be going right on track, but there were more blows to come for the talented red-head. Although it was made to seem like Belle Amie made a lot of their own decisions, with Simon claiming they picked their own songs and clothes, Rebecca says that wasn't really the case. First of all Rebecca has always had shaved hair at the side, but once she got through to boot camp producers told her she wasn't allowed sport the hairdo and that she had to fill the hair back out. The singer did so reluctantly and carried on with the new style she was given. The girls couldn't pick any of their own outfits or make a decision about their songs, which Rebecca says held them back as a band, saying "that wasn't really us on the show". I asked her how much control she had in regards to styling and singing and she responded "none":
"No, none of that was our style. To be honest what we wore wasn't really us, everything was chosen for us. People are going to be really surprised when we come out with our new style because we weren't given much leeway in what we could wear or sing. None of it was really us."
X Factor was probably the most talked about show this year as there was more controversy than normal. From Cheryl choosing the "wrong acts" to go through to the live shows to judges making poor decisions, there was also talk that Simon wasn't there enough for his acts, which were the bands. Louis mentioned several times that he was putting One Direction first and leaving the girls out. But Rebecca says he was there for them as much as every other judges was and she was really happy to have Simon as a mentor:
"In fairness he was there every time the other judges were there. We only got to see all the judges from a Thursday to Sunday. All of them were too busy during the week."Another big controversy involved her fellow Dublin singer, Mary Bryne. Every one was rooting for the Ballyfermot woman but the public were seriously angry when, all of a sudden, the judges were allowed to send an act home on the semi-finals show, something that had never happened before. Once the show was over and the results of each weeks votes were released, it was clear that Cher Lloyd would have gone home that night if it was left to the public, so did the judges put a stop to that by forcing Mary out? Well, I asked Rebecca what she thinks on the matter and she maintains no one really knows what goes on behind the scenes:
"I think Mary did really well but I personally didn't think she would go that far. I think the X-Factor is more focused on young and fresh talent. I'm glad she got so far though and she definitely deserved it. I don't know if it was a fix to be honest, and we weren't even there at the time. But even if we were we would never know. There's so much that you don't see going on."
|Rebecca (top left) performing with Jedward|
Everyone knows that girl bands never last in The X Factor, and although the four piece of Belle Amie, lasted longer than any other girl band in the history of the show, they did eventually get the boot. So what has she been doing since? Well the first thing I noticed was that she is singing back-up on Jedward's Eurovision track 'Lipstick'. I spotted the singer on the RTE Eurosong contest and had to ask how that happened. And is she going to the Eurovision with them?:
"Louis actually text me, we text a lot, and he asked me would I be interested in working with them. So he put me in contact with someone, then I heard the song and I totally loved it so I was like Yes!"Although she's very quirky herself Jedward to seem quite eccentric and over the top. But Rebecca revealed that the famous Irish twins are actually really intelligent and business savvy, she actually looks up to them:
"The guys are absolutely mental, they are so much fun. But when I first met them, they were so hyper and I was thinking they are just mad! But when it comes down to business they are so focused. When I told them Belle Amie was getting back together they gave me loads of advice, they know exactly what they're doing. "
When 4 become 3...
However, the biggest part of Rebecca's music journey is only just beginning. She tells me that straight after they got voted out of The X Factor she and the three other members of Belle Amie were constantly gigging. But another speed bump in the road to stardom was headed Rebecca's way, and out of nowhere bandmate Geneva, announced via Twitter, that she was leaving Belle Amie for good and was focusing on a solo career. Rebecca explained what happened:
"We were always still together. As soon as we left X Factor we were really busy, we have been the most demanded girl band to ever come out of the show. We had like four gigs a night! We had gigs solid until the end of December and then we had a break over Christmas, but then came January and there were no more gigs. I didn't know what the hell was going on. But apparently that's normal for X Factor acts. Then one day Geneva just randomly decided to leave. There was no fall out. She actually announced it on Twitter. Me and the girls didn't know she was going to do that at all. It was a big big shock. But she thought she was doing what was best for her. Me and the girls will always support her but we are getting on so great without her."
|The girls int he recording studio recently|
Geneva's new career aspirations was not only a shock to her band mates but to all of the UK and Ireland. Dedicated Belle Amie fans are still curious to what happened, and want to know why Geneva isn't there anymore. But Rebecca has held her head up high throughout all the controversy saying "we really are better off without her". She, Sophia and Esther have stayed together, and much stronger now, they are working constantly to get their new album off the ground. The three friends have now moved into a flat together in London and have been co-writing their new album. I asked Rebecca do the three girls fight, because of course all roomates fight and especially when you are working AND living with them. But the Dublin singer said they are all pretty easy going:
"Everyone has a disagreement now and again, but it would be odd if we didn't! But we don't just sit around and bicker we are always so busy doing things, so we don't have time to argue! The funny thing is I would probably bicker more if I was living with my other friends."
So what can we expect from the new and improved Belle Amie? Well first of all scrap what you've seen and heard on The X Factor. These three ladies are not ready to become a simple manufactured girl band with matching outfits and size zero bodies, no no, these girls are set to make a huge difference in the music industry by actually acting and dressing how the want. Not to mention actually singing about what they want. The group released a snipped of a new single called 'Girls Up' and I instantly fell in love. Their new music plus their new styles is presenting such a cool, fresh vibe and I'm loving it. Rebecca also tells me the girls are co-writing their new album and tour, so they have some major creative input going in to their new launch. They will be touring with Chipmunk starting on April 21st (check out all the tour dates at www.belleamie1.co) I ask the singer to explain their music style, but because it's so individual and unique, she admits she can't compare their music:
"We don't want to be a typical girl band. I know we can't be too different, of course we'll do girlie songs but we are definitely more on the urban side. But we don't want to be constantly matching, like wearing the same style clothes and hair. We are all so individual. I have a more 40's style, Sophia would be 80's and then Esther is the most modern out of the three of us. So there really is at least one of us every girl can relate to. We can't compare to anyone, there is no other band that we are like"
Listen to the 'Girls Up' snippet here:
One thing that has always stood out to me about Rebecca (other than her captivating voice) is her sense of style. Ever since she left the show I've seen her snapped around Ireland and London and she is not afraid to show her true colours! She died her hair Rihanna red a few moths back and went back to the partially shaved head look. It definitely seems that she is more comfortable in her own skin, since leaving the reality show behind and focusing on her life with the new Belle Amie. I had to ask here where she buys her clothes and what style she goes for. Not surprisingly, she admitted to being in love with Vintage:
"I tend to shop in Vintage and second hand shops. I wear loads of high-waisted things like high waisted shorts, high waisted skirts with tights and high waisted pants. I also love head-bands and big glasses, love that 40's style. I really love Urband Outfitters to!"
Rebecca admited that her style differs completely from Sophia and Esther's but she likes it that way. Admitting that there is a girl in the band for each girl out there, it makes sense that the three ladies stick to their own personal style and their own beliefs. No doubt about it they are about to become serious role models to the youth of Ireland and the UK and sticking to your own personal style and unique personalities, is a thing to be proud of.
Just Getting Started...
I have a feeeling that Belle Amie are about to hit the music scene and hit it hard. I admitted to Rebecca that I was unsure about how their new music would turn out but after listening to a few tracks I'm hooked already. I really thought that their successful former X Factor contestants would help them out, but the Dublin singer told me that barely anyone has been in touch, the excuse being that the others are "too busy". When I asked her if she was getting support from her fellow contestants she said:
"No, it's so different. We were all so close during The X Factor. Like we keep in touch with Rebecca, Paige and Tracey but that's it. Everyone is so busy".
But it's clear that Rebecca doesn't need anyone to support her, she gets what she wants, and succeeds, all by herself. Unlike Geneva, who dropped the band and is now pursuing a solo career Rebecca is trying extremely hard to make something out of the once in a life time chance given to her by Simon Cowell. Although they are back with a new image, new style and completely new music, I know we are going to be hooked. The Saturdays better watch their back!
As the interview was coming to an end I was really glad that I got to know the real Rebecca. She's not afraid to air her opinions, and although she wants to make the band something big on their own, she is still extremely grateful to The X Factor team, and modest about her talents. Right before we end the interview I ask her if there is something the public don't know about her. Instead of revealing a dirty secret she replies "I'm under 5ft tall. I don't know if anyone knows that. I'm actually 4ft 11inches" . The first thing I thought to myself was 'great things come in small packages' and she's proven that they really, really do.
Follow Rebecca on Twitter here: Becka_Creighton
Follow Belle Amie on Twitter here: BelleAmie1
PLUS! You can be an extra in Belle Amie's first EVER music video! The video will be filmed in Dublin and London so all fans can apply! Just log on to www.belleamie1.co for details!