Leona Lewis: Why I had to leave Simon Cowell's label

By Nesta McGregor
Newsbeat entertainment reporter

  • Published
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Leona Lewis on why she had to leave Simon Cowell's label

Leona Lewis has told Newsbeat she had to leave Simon Cowell's record label in order to save her career.

The singer said it became "complicated" as Syco grew and signed other artists, after she signed following her X Factor win in 2006.

"It was amazing at first because it was very intimate and there wasn't a lot of people working for it," she explained.

"Then it grew and grew which is great for them but for me it wasn't so great."

After winning the singing contest Leona enjoyed a rapid rise to the top of the music charts in the UK and internationally.

A Brit School graduate, Leona's debut single Bleeding Love, released in 2007, spent seven weeks at number one. Her debut album Spirit went 10x platinum in the UK.

Image source, AP

The 30-year-old released three more albums whilst signed to Simon Cowell's label but says the structure of the company meant that process became more difficult.

The Syco label is currently home to One Direction, Little Mix, Olly Murs and Labrinth.

"A lot decisions had to be made by a lot of different people. Of course Simon [Cowell] being involved - there was a lot of decisions that had to go through him.

"So things got very delayed because he's a very busy person and taking control of things myself, things have got done a a lot quicker," the singer said.

Leona Lewis recently signed a deal with Island Records which is also home to Florence + The Machine, Ariana Grande and Jessie J.

Her first single Fire Under My Feet is available to buy this week. The music video for the track features a female para-athlete, an albino dancer and a drag queen.

Leona said: "The song is all about overcoming adversity and obstacles that might be in your way.

"I wanted it to be about real people and real stories. People that you wouldn't necessarily think might go the distance and they do.

"I've had to build myself up quite a bit. I feel like I have come out of a situation where I felt a bit down."

Image source, Getty Images

Leona is adamant though, that there are no bad feelings between her and Simon Cowell, as has been reported.

She told us: "There's no bad blood at all he sent me a really lovely note the other week saying they miss me at the label.

"There's nothing but love there. He knew I had to leave. He was upset about it but it was time for something new so I'm excited about moving on and doing something different."

Leona Lewis' fourth studio album I Am is scheduled to be released later this year.

"There's a track on there that has a slight UK garage feel. Lots of people have heard the samplers and really like that one. I worked with TMS on it."

"I measure my success with just being able to do something which is so genuine and real.

"As long as I am doing that and contributing something meaningful then I have won in my eyes."

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