Boisdale Life Magazine (Issue 18) - Flipbook - Page 82
The award-winning British singer, songwriter, model
and actress came to fame by winning The X Factor.
As well as making albums of her music, she stars
in West End shows and helps develop young talent.
She performs a solo show at Boisdale of Canary
Wharf from 10-13 March 2021
How did it feel when you won
The X Factor?
It’s one of the hardest things I ever
did. On The X Factor, you’re out of
your comfort zone, surrounded by
so many amazing talents. You have
to be better every single week. But
the experience was amazing; Simon
Cowell was a tremendous support,
as was Cheryl. The only way for me
to start my career was doing a show
like that. The door had been closed
to me so many times in the past.
The multi-talented singing
sensation, Alexandra Burke
Did you worry your career might
not outlast the initial buzz?
No. I’m a very spiritual person and
feel that worry just brings on stress.
Everyone has something special
about them, so there is space for
every single person. It’s about
believing in yourself, being unique.
Be true to who you are, because
that shows in your music. In
everything you do, be passionate
– that’s what makes you special.
You grew up in a musical family.
How did they encourage your love
of music and performing?
My mum was in Soul II Soul – one
of the biggest bands in the UK. I
remember seeing her on Top of the
Pops and thinking, “That’s what I
want to do.” My family has been
amazing. I’m not around as much
as I used to be, but they know it’s
all for a great reason. The fact that
I’m working consistently is such a
blessing, so I have their undivided
support. My mum gave so much to
our family and made sacrifices to
help her children, so my biggest
reward has been being able to look
after my family. If they ever need
anything, I can do my best to help.
You’re committed to nurturing
young talent. How do you do that?
I’ve just started the Melissa Bell
Foundation, in honour of my
mother. Mum believed in nurturing
children and helping them with
their confidence. I’m trying to
continue that. We’ve teamed up
with Sylvia Young Theatre School
– Mum always wanted to send me
there but we couldn’t afford it. We
put children through a summer
scholarship and hope Sylvia will
pick one for a full-time scholarship.
Already one kid has been picked
because of our foundation. I think
Mum would be proud.
Which vocalist would be your
dream duet partner?
Whitney Houston, because Mum
did her backing vocals. I’m
probably her biggest fan, and then
did The Bodyguard for such a long
time. That was my first-ever theatre
role, and holds a special place in
my heart. I’ve actually duetted with
Whitney’s auntie, Dionne Warwick,
and done a few live shows with
her. She’s amazing – I’m a massive
fan of hers, too.
What personality traits are
required for a long showbiz career?
Having good people to keep you
grounded, and having thick skin.
I’ve struggled with that in the past,
but keeping my feet firmly on the
ground has kept me sane and strong
to this day. It’s about not believing
the hype – that’s really important.
Also, being lovely to everyone you
meet doesn’t cost much. Being kind
is the way forward!
Alexandra Burke stars in the
premiere of ‘My Best Friend’s
Wedding’, opening in September
2021 (for details, visit bestfriends
Alexandra on Instagram,
@alexandraburke, and visit
A S TO L D TO C H A R L ES DO N OVA N