Rebecca Ferguson has proven the X Factor judges were right when they told her she had the voice of a ready-made recording artist.
The Liverpudlian soul singer released her debut album, Heaven, in December and it still sits in the Top 10 of the album chart.
She’s continued in the fashion in which she sang on the show, carving a niche in retro soul.
Rebecca explains: ‘I wasn’t actually listening to any new music when I started writing the album. I was completely concentrated and focused on my own material for seven months.
‘I do have the most random iPod, everything from Swedish House Mafia to the classical singer Lisa Gerrard, to Katy Perry and Kings Of Leon. But my real love is that classic old school soul sound; Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke.
‘There’s just something about them. They just ooze soul. They feel every word. I would love people to say the same about my music, so the inspiration came from them.’
The mum of two, very nearly gave up on a career in music before she got her break in Simon Cowell’s TV talent contest.
She says: I’d been sitting in studios and sending off demos for years and I was just losing the will to keep doing it.
‘So I said to myself I was going to give myself one last chance and then I’d have to go and do a “mum career”!
‘I got the e-mail from The X Factor asking me to audition and I’d arranged something else that day. I decided to go to the audition, but it was more by chance than I care to think about now.’
With the release of her debut single last year, Rebecca returned to perform on The X Factor and, in the same week, she played in a pub.
Says Rebecca: ‘You know what? It was much scarier than playing for a huge audience because you can see everybody’s reaction!
‘But there was something great about it too. The spontaneity of live performance with musicians is fantastic. Anything can happen. I can’t wait to do the tour.’
Rebecca Ferguson comes to Portsmouth Guildhall on Tuesday from 7.30pm. Tickets cost £35 or £50 from (023) 9282 4355.