X Factor finalist Lola Saunders is finding her own sound after laying down two tracks with a famous music producer.
The 21-year-old, from East Boldon, has been working in the studio with Artful, the man behind Craig David’s breakthrough track Re-Rewind.
The singer, who made it to the live finals of last year’s X Factor, said: “I was so nervous at first because people have only ever really heard me sing ballads on the show, and this is more ‘dancey’ music, but it’s the kind I appreciate and have always wanted to do.
“I’m still so grateful for being on the show. I learned so much and it brought along so many opportunities for me, I’d never have had the opportunity to work with Artful if I hadn’t been on the show.”
After her time on the ITV talent contest, Lola was approached by Artful’s management, who asked if she’d like to work with him.
She travelled to his studio in Sheffield and together they wrote song Losing You, which will appear on Artful’s new album, which also sees him work with Ed Sheeran and Eliza Doolittle.
Knowing that I’m going to be on the same album as people like Ed Sheeran is amazing – I can’t wait for it to be released.Lola Saunders
Lola added: “If it wasn’t for The X Factor, nobody would have known I was out there, but now Artful is helping bring me to a whole new audience.
“He’s giving me the opportunity to pursue and write the kind of music I’ve always wanted to. I’d love to go on to bring out my own album and perform at festivals, but this is an amazing beginning for me.
“I was really nervous about going to work with Artful, but he was so down-to-earth and lovely, and we worked together really well.
“We just sat down together and started with a beat, then just kind of bounced ideas off each other and we actually wrote the song in one day.
“Knowing that I’m going to be on the same album as people like Ed Sheeran is amazing – I can’t wait for it to be released.”
After recording the track, Lola was invited back by Artful, whose real name is Mark Hill, to record the vocals for a track he’d already written, called Barriers.
Lola said: “Getting invited back like that was amazing. He said he wanted me to sing the song but that I could put my own stamp on it and we worked on it together. We just gelled really well.”
Lola is set to perform in Bents Park, South Shields, alongside Joe McElderry and Collabro on August 2.
She said: “I’m really hoping the album will be out by then so I can perform the song. The reaction I’ve had so far to Barriers has been excellent and it’s so exciting.”
Go to www.shieldsgazette.com to hear Barriers.