As X-Factor reaches the closing weeks of this years competition I decided to catch up with one of my all-time favourite contestants. “By any standard I have ever heard that was incredible” love him or hate him when music mogul Simon Cowell hits you with comments like this then you know you’ve got a little something special. In 2008, Wigan girl Laura White captivated British audiences with her expresive, soulful tones and such a shock was her week 5 elimination that it even sparked an Ofcom investigation. Recently I spoke to Laura about life post X-Factor and of course dating and relationships.
Hi Laura, you first came to our attention in one of the most notable seasons in X-factor history spawning the likes of Alexandra Burke, Diana Vickers and JLS. How did appearing on the show affect your day to day life?
I was a working artist and musician before the X-Factor and had written songs, gigged, really worked hard in getting my music out there for years before, but I still found the show to be a big change to my life. It made the UK who have been amazing to me immediately know everything about me and my music. Being quite a shy girl to start with was crazy at first to deal with but I was just so grateful for the fact that they listened to me and loved my music so much.
There is often a rather unfair stigma attached to being a talent show contestant, is the X-Factor label something you’re proud of or something you would rather shake off?
Some people may say there is a stigma attached but I think every case is different. If u go on the show and end up in the finals but have no talent the UK still won’t be fooled you know? In the same sense I am proud to say every decision I’ve made in my music career has been for the music and still is something I feel proud of. I feel even on the show, creatively, I picked my songs and music so I’m proud of the show being a stepping stone in my music life. I worked independently after the show with my fans touring, gigging, writing non-stop day and night we did it alone! The EP was number 1 in the singer/songwriter charts in November and these moments of tirelessly never stopping and believing feel even more amazing when it’s an independent music release.
How did being in the public eye affect your relationships? Were you ever concerned people would approach you because of your new found fame as opposed to who you are as a person?
I think for me I’m a private person so this was tough too be honest. You meet a lot of people along the way. You have to be tough-skinned as people talk no matter what you do, it’s tough and yes I think after becoming a person known to the UK it’s often tough in meeting someone who understands that and doesn’t feel threatened. It’s crazy though I’ve been out with people with similar careers and it doesn’t bother me, I think it’s all about being comfortable in yourself. No one in life is perfect everyone makes mistakes I’ve been out with some great guys and out with some awful guys but every single one of them has made me wiser and stronger
Any dating horror stories?
Worst ever date was probably just turning up and not being into a guy. I’m still like hey and cool about it but it’s terrible if you are thinking how do I get away and not have to kiss this guy.
Ever had any strange requests from fans?
This guy came to every gig with toys for me!! Craziness!! Some guys message me really rude things and ask me to send them pics thinking I will!! So funny though!!
My teen crush was defo Shane from Westlife, I met all of them except Shane and I still think I would die if I met him!
What do you look for in a guy?
I look for a good heart, caring, trustworthy, funny, ambitious and someone who I’m attracted too and I guess someone positive who supports me in every part of me. Also I love a guy who is romantic!
I can’t date someone arrogant, not good-hearted and someone I just wasn’t attracted to too be honest. It’s not about looks it’s about feeling them you know? And lazy I don’t like lazy guys!
What’s your idea of the perfect first date?
A night of dancing. I love to dance, I love a cocktail and kisses in some crazy place where no one would see us, a beautiful moment. If I’m into a guy I’ll happily stay out until 7am with them. Dancing only though.
What advice would you give young women out there looking for Mr Right?
My advice for them is to be happy in themselves. No girl needs a guy. Never settle, you really only live once and you deserve to live the life you’ve dreamed of.
What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you when it comes to men?
Best advice I’ve ever been given is to never text a guy first when you meet him Boys love a chase girls!
Do you think our perception of love changes as we get older?
Yes. We get wiser and we know what we want more. We know ourselves more, we know what we need and I think the older we get the better love gets. Love should be respected and looked after like a gift.
You’re still only 27. What’s next for Laura White?
I will be releasing my debut album through my management, Climax and Island Records. My song ‘To Be Loved got picked up by Radio One so it’s all progression. Working and meeting the fans, getting the music out to as many places as possible u know? My dream is to win a Grammy for my songs as I write all of my own music and for the world to hear my songs and to heal others in the way the songs heal me. When people come to my shows I love to see them having fun, forgetting their problems, dancing on tables and telling their hot dates for the night that they are into them when they hear ‘To Be Loved’. I just want girls and guys to love who they are and accept themselves like my music made me accept who I am.