Meet Rebecca Ferguson, one of our two You Oughta Know artists for July and August. Hailing from Liverpool, the 25-year-old singer made her first big splash on Britain’s The X Factor‘s seventh season, where she won-over the usually salty Simon Cowell and placed second overall. Her successful showing subsequently earned her a record deal. And although her debut album Heaven only hit shelves stateside in May, the lead single “Nothing’s Real But Love” has already found its way to both the top of the UK charts and deep into our hearts. Ferguson’s belting recalls the classic soul of Aretha Franklin as well as that of the quirkier Macy Gray, but she cites also acts like Mike Posner and rockers Kings Of Leon as influences. Here are five things that make us proud to have her as our latest You Oughta Know artist:
1. Earning It On The X Factor
As she explains in her audition tape for The X Factor, Ferguson assumed her dreams derailed when she got pregnant at the age of 17. “I thought, well, maybe I won’t be able to become a singer. Who’s going to want me, now I’ve got a kid? I lost me confidence,” she shared through tears. Not yet ready to put aside her life long dream of being a singer, she climbed the audition stage and hasn’t looked back since.
For her audition, she sang “A Change Is Gonna Come,” and, oh boy, did a change come. Not even the notoriously difficult Simon Cowell could say no to a voice like hers. “You’re voice is totally on the money,” he said. “Let me try to restore that confidence for you,” he told her, sending her forward to reclaim her spirit as well. It was a long time coming, but she knew a change was going to come.
Rebecca Ferguson might not be England’s answer to Aretha Franklin, but she’s just about their version of Fantasia Barrino. Pregnant at seventeen and then again two years later, the now twenty-five-year-old Ferguson first made waves across the pond as the runner-up of the 2010 season of the UK edition of The X-Factor, and hasn’t slowed down since. Tuesday night marked the occasion of the soulful chanteuse’s first-ever New York performance, ahead of the May 29th stateside release of her debut album, Heaven.
And what a performance it was. Looking glam in a modish and scalloped black-and-white sleeveless dress, Ferguson sang five songs off Heaven, in addition to a sizzling cover of Drake and Rihanna‘s “Take Care” (see video below) that brought some Miami heat to the proceedings. Her opening number was the anthemic original “Glitter & Gold,” followed by “Shoulder to Shoulder,” “Take Care,” “Teach Me To Be Loved,” “Nothing’s Real But Love,” and finally “Run Free,” a standout on the album that was equally exuberant in a live setting.
For each and every show that airs on VH1, a team of music supervisors here at the network have spent countless hours determining exactly what pieces of music best complement the footage that we have shot. This team —the CMI (Creative Music Integration) group— listen to thousands of songs each month in an attempt to figure out how best to utilize musical cues to reinforce the emotion and drama on shows like Mob Wives and Basketball Wives, so we thought it would be a cool idea to give you an inside glimpse into their world.
Each month, we’ll put together a list of all the songs that have been featured on the programs and promos that you see on VH1, which will be accompanied by two things: Specific commentary from the music supervisor as to why they selected a particular song for a particular scene in a show, as well as a Spotify playlist for you to sample these songs. Without further ado, here are all the songs that we featured on VH1 during the month of March!
City and Colour‘s “Hope For Now” is featured in Episode #210: The melancholic vocals from Canadian Dallas Green, aka City and Colour, capture the emotions between Ramona and her daughter after they visit Ramona’s boyfriend in jail. Saying goodbye to the father figure in her life proves to be tough as she’s reminded that he won’t be around every day like he used to be. After Green sings “how can I instill so much hope but be left with none of my own” we hear Ramona relate her daughter’s current situation with her visits to her grandfather.—Isaac, CMI Music Supervisor