Ferguson addresses the tightrope she walks between home and work in her music. “When I wrote ‘Nothing’s Real But Love,’ me and Eg were having a conversation. I had just come to terms with the music industry and the good and bad sides of it, and I told him, it’s not money, it’s not cars, it’s about family and the things that are important.” The track is one she either wrote or co-wrote on Heaven. “Songwriting comes easier to me than singing,” she admits. “Singing is very exposed.”
The album is a seamless blend of old soul, dusty blues and even a bit of country and rock. She counts “Teach Me How To Be Loved,” “Shoulder to Shoulder” and the U.K.-chart topping “Nothing’s Real But Love” as her personal favorites. Her voice is as distinctive as it is familiar in the long line of women who have seen some things. “Recording wasn’t an easy process because I got really personal. I was going through a lot when I was writing the album. A lot of the songs touched a nerve, and some days I’d be crying.” Ferguson, like so many Brits, seems to have been weaned on American R&B. She spent summers in Sheffi eld with her Jamaican “nan” (grandmother), a “totally different culture” that expanded her musical breadth. There’s also another American who may helped her tremendously, albeit unknowingly: Sean “Diddy” Combs.
Dress by Hilda Maha.