It’s been a tricky few years for songbird Leona Lewis. Hailed as the second coming of Mariah Carey (with mammoth like success to match), the singer seemed poised for global superstardom.
Yet, a mishandled sophomore album and an incredibly mis-judged third album have left the Londoner in quite the precarious position.
And while not vocalizing the usual “artist done wrong” narrative that so many in her position employ, The X Factor alum is letting her actions do the talking instead.
Full story after the jump…
In a surprising yet not entirely shocking move, the 27 year old this week announced that she had parted ways with Modest! management. Of course touted as “amicable”, Lewis said of the team who had steered her career since the start:
“I greatly enjoyed my time working with Modest! and I’m very proud of all the things we achieved together. I would like to thank them for all their hard work and support over the years. They played an important role in my career and I’ll always be grateful to them. I’m looking forward to a new chapter in my career.”
Modest! swiftly added:
“We were very proud to have Leona on the Modest! roster and of everything she has achieved. We wish her all the best in the next phase of her career.”
According to Music Week, the parting may indeed be as “amicable” as suggested (rare for an industry famed for saying one thing, but meaning another). For, Modest! are believed to be helping the star secure management in the US – with Front Line being touted as one of the major juggernauts in the running.
In the interim, Lewis will embark on a short European tour in support of her latest LP ‘Glassheart’, which -upon release last October-peaked at #3 in the UK and #4 in Ireland. The ‘Trouble’ led set was not released in America.
Plans thereafter will see the vocalist hit the studio to record her fourth project. Reacting to news of her management split, a spokeswoman for record label Syco issued a statement saying:
“Leona Lewis is one of the UK’s most successful artists, one of a few that have enjoyed huge global success in recent years selling more than 20 million records worldwide.
She will begin the recording of her fourth album imminently to be released later this year. She remains a key priority artist for Syco and for Sony Music Worldwide.”
The collaborative commitment to re-push Leona globally excites us much. For, with talent as world-class as hers, someone-somewhere clearly messed up by pushing her latest project in Europe alone.
That said, one has to wonder how accountable Leona herself should be for this. After all, despite pushing for creative freedom and delaying the album in earnest, the finished project was markedly “meh” and didn’t feel like authentic Leona (see: uninspired Dance cuts). As such, perhaps it was a disguised blessing that the rest of the world wasn’t exposed to it. For, while lengthy gaps between projects is often dangerous (just ask Nelly Furtado), it’s often a lesser evil than trying to bounce back from a dud – especially in the US.
In any case, we wish Ms. Lewis the best. Her talent alone auto-renders her next project one of our most anticipated of the year. Fingers crossed a solid cast of writers and producers will be enlisted to craft it, while a sound global marketing strategy is put in place for its roll-out. Heck, if necessary cheques need to be cut, then cut them!
We’re in an industry where models with mics are dominating – something entirely not right when talent of Leona’s caliber sits around un-pushed. Here’s hoping this year ushers in a return of real talent.