keira-1XFactor Contestant Kiera Weathers

18 year old Kiera Weathers from St Helens blew audiences away when she sang ‘We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off’ by Ella Eyre during her XFactor audition last year. Kiera impressed so much that she made it through to the live shows, with Rita Ora as her mentor. When I first met Kiera, at the start of her Xfactor journey, I was blown away by her energy. She was bubbly, friendly and talked almost as much as I do. Almost. I was surprised at how confident she was for an 18 year old: completely unfazed by the media attention which had suddenly surrounded her. But, what struck me the most, was how straight-talking Kiera was: she knew exactly what she was signing up to with the Xfactor. She was fully aware of her incredible vocal ability, but not boastful in the slightest. Since then, she has taken every high, and every low, completely in her stride. What is lovely to see is that despite the constant public interest in her life, she has remained incredibly down to earth. This girl keeps it real.

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2015 was the year you were in the Xfactor but you’ve been singing forever haven’t you?

I started singing, and doing local competitions, when I was about 12 or 13. After that I was kinda like “where do I go now”? So I applied for Britain’s Got Talent a few times, applied for XFactor – didn’t get through. Then last year my Grandad said “I’ve got this letter here for an audition for XFactor” and I said to him, “well I haven’t applied this year?” so I was a bit confused. Anyway, while I was at bootcamp my Grandad called me and admitted it was him who’d put me forward. Bless him!

Major Grandad points then! Now, for anyone who hasn’t heard you sing yet, how would you describe your sound?

I would say I’m soul but with an R&B/pop twist on it. I’m inspired massively by Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Beyonce, Celine Dion and Riannah. Growing up, I always had the Whitney album on in the house while my mum was cleaning.

It’s been a while since XFactor finished. How do you look back at your time on the show now?

I look back on it as a learning curve. Parts of it I regret, parts of it I wouldn’t take back for the world. I met amazing people and I got amazing exposure. I got a taste of what the industry’s really like, and it’s massively spurred me on to wanna go on and kill it even more.

What would you say the industry is really like?

You have to put a huge amount of work in. I mean it’s a struggle, it’s not easy at all. I mean you can have the best voice in the world but if you ain’t got the full package then it’s harder for people to get to know your name. I’ve come so far out of my comfort zone, but I’ve loved it and it worked out well for me. And the bad side is how anything can be twisted, turned, manipulated, and seen in a different light. So, it’s made me realize how you’ve really got to watch what you say, watch what you do, and realize that everything I do is scrutinized basically. So it’s made me realize I’ve got to be really careful, but at the same time still enjoy it and have loads of fun!

What have you been up to since the XFactor?

Since the show, I’ve been in and out of the studio. I’m going up to Glasgow on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for Roc Nation. And I’m currently on tour with Bars and Melody. We’ve been everywhere: Liverpool, Sheffield, Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow. I’ve still got a few more dates with them in London around April. So it’s really exciting.

What’s touring like?

D’ya know what, it’s so tiring but I love it, seeing all different parts of the cities, and it’s mad how the fans come out. I mean in Bristol, fans from Wales came. It’s amazing! I didn’t realize I’ve got as much support as I’ve got until I’ve been on this tour. It’s crazy.

Does it still feel crazy being recognized everywhere you go?

Yeh it’s mad, it’s mental. I mean I’m just Kiera from Clock Face you know what I’m like El haha. And now I get stopped all the time for pictures and stuff it’s just mad.

Have you had any real pinch yourself moments?

I woke up to Boy George following me on Twitter, that was definitely a pinch yourself moment. I absolutely adore Boy George, so I was like, “oh my gahhhd Boy George is following me!” haha!

The big question is: have you sent him a DM?

No, I’ve not, but I sent him a tweet to say thanks for the follow and stuff like that.

Ahh I wanted to get the goss about you DMing him and setting up secret writing or recording sessions haha!!

Haha oh El, I wish I wish!

What’s next for Kiera Weathers?

Already I’m working on some merchandise, on some clothing. Me and my management and agent are putting together my own tour at the end of this year. For me this is a big step. Obviously I’m making my own music now, so this tour at the end of the year will be nothing but me. This is gonna separate the people who are fond of you, and the people who are fans of you. So I’m nervous, but at the same time I’m really excited, I am.

You mentioned your own clothing range. I saw recently that you teamed up with Liverpool designer Jake Nuttall for an amazing photo shoot. Is modeling something you’d do more of?

Yeh, I would love to do modeling, I’d love to be the face of a brand. Working with Jake, as you know El, he’s absolutely mental, so we had a ball! Haha! I’ve been wearing all Jake’s dresses to loads of events I’ve been invited to. For me being able to showcase other people’s work as well is great. It’s nice to always help local people out. And I mean the amount of people who ask me about his dresses when I wear them is unreal. Everyone is like “oh my god this dress is gorgeous, who’s it by?” And if that gets his name out, ya know? I mean I didn’t get my name out without people helping me. So if I can do the same, then that’s brilliant.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

In 5 years time I would love to have at least released a single that gets in the charts, and working on an album. I don’t want to be too ambitious and say like “I’ll have an album out, I’ll be touring” because I think for me to make good music, and something that’s gonna stick in people’s minds, it’s gonna take time. And I’ve got nothing but time. I’m only 18 still, I’m only young so, I just wanna have an EP out, and be working on a really good album.

Ellie Phillips, Music Editor

Kiera Weathers XFactor