Lea Michele On Her New Album, Her Music Idols And Loving London

lea michele

by Ellie Wiseman |
Published on

Lea Michele’s star was born on Broadway at the tender age of eight as the young Cosette in Les Misérables. With her angelic voice she then bagged the lead in FOX's hit musical TV show Glee as the spotlight-demanding Rachel Berry, from 2009 until 2015. Amidst the Glee-mania she released a solo album Louder in 2013, which put her on track for mainstream success. She has since played Hester Ulrich in the kitsch-y horror-comedy show Scream Queens (2015) alongside Emma Roberts. Now, Lea is back with a second album, Places, so we caught up with her to find out a little more about it before she sets off on tour.

Places has been a long time in the making, you must be excited?

I am! It’s been about 3 years now working on the record to get it out there and for everyone to hear it.

How does Places differ to Louder?

They really differ a lot. I’m really proud of my first record but it was a really big learning experience for me. I think that it was difficult recording and releasing an album whilst also performing on Glee at the exact same time. So, I really took the time after that to think about what I wanted this album to sound like and to make sure that I had the time to promote it and tour it.

I think there’s a lot of pop references in my first record, and this record definitely veers more towards the songs that I grew up listening to. The natural sound of my voice is a little bit more theatrical and I think this [album] is a representation of who I am as a singer and as a performer.

What did you want to say in this album?

There’s a lot of songs about love. All different kinds of love: happy love, dark love, heartbreak... But for me, I'm in a really positive and happy place in my life right now and I think that you really do see the lighter, more positive aspects in this album. It's really inspiring and [full of] those love songs that really open your heart. When I grew up listening to Celine Dion all of her music was just so inspiring to me and really shook me to my core, and that’s what I wanted to do with this album.

lea michele

Instagram: @leamichele

Where are you most looking forward to performing?

I’m obviously so excited about coming to London. I didn’t have the opportunity to tour my first record, so having the opportunity to tour now, to get to go places and sing these songs, it means to much to me. I’ve appreciated my fans overseas so much for their patience and their dedication, so to finally get over there and thank everyone and meet everyone – it just means so much to me and I can’t wait.

What are your plans when you come to London for your tour?

I don’t come [to London] as often as I would like but this time I have the opportunity to spend a nice amount of time there. It’s one of my favourite places. I love the hotels that I stay at and have restaurants I love to visit when im there. My good friend Amber [Riley] is in Dreamgirls [on the Westend] so I’m going to see her.

Who in the industry do you admire?

Obviously Adele – she’s so incredible but she really stays true to who she is, and that’s something I really admire.

Who would you love to collaborate with that you haven’t already?

There’s so many incredible artists. I would love to obviously sing with Celine Dion, I think that that would be incredible, and Adele. Just get all the divas on the stage and sing together!

What’s the one thing you always take with you when you’re on tour?

My cellphone or my iPad - to get work done and keep in touch with my family. [Touring by myself] is going to be kind of scary!

You’re really into your health and fitness, but how do you stay in shape when you're on the road?

The best way to stay in shape when you’re on tour is to sightsee. The minute I get somewhere I put on my shoes and I walk about and that’s the best way, because it’s hard when you’re travelling to go to a gym. I want to be out and about I walk around, especially when I'm in cities like London or New York because it’s so easy to walk around and sightsee. You can walk for miles and it’s such a great work out.

lea michele

Instagram: @leamichele

Do you see yourself going back on stage?

Right now the tour and performing this album is my main goal. I love being on the stage, which is why it was so important for me to release this album and lauch this tour at the exact same time, to show everyone that this is where I feel the most at home. I’m so proud of this concert that we’ve put together, and we do a bunch of songs from Louder and from Places and also from Glee. I think that people will really enjoy it.

You’ve used your platform to speak about social issues: you're an activist for human rights and animal rights and last year you released a video in tribute to the victims of the Orlando shooting. Will you touch upon issues close to your heart on your tour?

Outside of working I try to do as much charitable work as I can. I have some organisations that are very close to me and when I’m not working I try to devote as much time I can to making an impact and using this platform that I have for good. My tour is very honest and intimate and it is where I open up to my fans and have that personal 1-on-1 connection.

Lea's new album 'Places' comes out 28 April

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