Star mum chat: Sam Bailey spills the beans on family, music, and advocacy in candid interview

Get ready to peek into the world of Sam Bailey, the incredible singer and super mum! She’s sharing all the juicy details about her role as the ambassador for Children’s Activities Week 2024. Discover why this cause is close to her heart and how she combines music with giving back. Sam’s interview is a real page-turner for fans and parents alike. Get cosy as she shares her stories, challenges, and exciting projects on the horizon. Don’t miss out on getting to know the awesome lady behind the mic and her fantastic work in music and charity!

Sam Bailey

Q: You’ve become the ambassador for Children’s Activities Week 2024. What attracted you to supporting this event?

Sam Bailey (SB): Well, with my son being autistic and my previous experience working with children, I understand the struggles of parenting and looking after kids. I’ve always seen Children’s Activities Week as a fun way to keep my kids active and raise money for a cause that’s close to my heart.

Q: Can you tell us about your personal connection to the cause and why it resonates with you?

SB: Absolutely! With my son’s autism, every day comes with its own challenges. So, being able to enjoy fun activities in an understanding environment is fantastic. And raising money for a cause that supports parents in similar situations is crucial.

Q: With your experience in the entertainment industry, how do you think your background can contribute to the success of this charitable event?

SB: I’ll be promoting Children’s Activities Week across my social channels and in the media. Obviously I’m hoping people can get out to their local events, but I’ll also be sharing content on social platforms which people can get involved with.

I did something when I was on the X-Factor called Jam Tart Wednesdays, which encouraged people to engage in activities with their children, like baking cakes and treats. I’m going to be doing the same thing during Children’s Activities Week to raise awareness of the week and so that people can get involved if they aren’t able to get out and about.

A lot of children nowadays spend too much time in their bedrooms looking at screens, so it’s great to get them involved in an activity with their parents where they can learn and be creative, that’s the whole purpose of Children’s Activities Week.

Q: Could you share any memorable moments or experiences from past Children’s Activities Week events that have left a lasting impression on you?

SB: One of my friends runs a nursery, and I always remember seeing them running great activities for the kids during Children’s Activities Week.

“I’ve known of it for a while because I see how popular it is amongst schools, clubs and any local groups that children take part in. I always loved seeing the kids get involved in mini sports days and bake sales and things of that nature, I remember thinking this is so good for them.

 

Q: How do you plan to engage with children, parents, and supporters throughout Children’s Activities Week to encourage participation and fundraising?

SB: I’m planning to do a lot of Facebook and Instagram lives where we’ll discuss Children’s Activities Week and how people can get involved.

I’ll of course be posting across socials about it, and also reposting the amazing things people are doing during the week to get the message out there and let people know that things are happening in their local area.

 

Q: Can you tell us about your journey from being a prison officer to winning “The X Factor” and becoming a successful singer?

SB: Funnily enough, the original reason I went on the X Factor was because I wanted a new kitchen, and I thought the show would be a great way to boost my profile and get me more work.

As well as being a prison officer, I was singing in bars, clubs and at events at the time. There was a girl who was doing similar work as me, but she was getting paid more because she’d made a small appearance on the X Factor. So obviously I thought if I can get on the X-Factor then I’ll get paid more and I can get my new kitchen. And then lo and behold, I won the whole thing, so I did get my new kitchen; but now I want to change it again!

Q: What inspired you to pursue a career in music despite having a different profession initially?

SB: Well, I’ve always loved music and was brought up around music – my dad was a drummer, and my grandad was a singer. Also, I just generally loved to sing from a young age anyway.

But actually, the main reason was because singing and music are just pure therapy to me. I had to pursue my interest in music as it’s the best way to get things off my chest and clear my frustrations, it’s the thing that makes me happy so it made sense to pursue it.

As with a lot of people, it started as a hobby and then I got noticed, and the rest is history.

 

Q: How do you manage family and a music career?

SB: Honestly, I have an incredible support network that I can’t thank enough. I wouldn’t be able to do this job without my husband or my mum. My mum is currently looking after my son as we speak.

My eldest is at university, so there’s not as much of an issue with her. Of course, my nine-year-old struggles with me being away a bit. But if I’m not away for work then I can’t put food on the table, I need to earn a living and in my profession that’s just the way it is.

 

Q: “Skyscraper” was your debut single and reached number one on the UK Singles Chart. How did it feel to achieve such success with your first release?

SB: I honestly had no idea that was going to happen, I was so happy of course but also blown away by the instant success.

I had some great advice from an ex Leicester City footballer, Alan Young, who texted me and said take one game at a time. That’s the advice he got as a player, and it made a lot of sense in my situation. You can never look too far ahead, so I was happy in the moment and celebrated it, but I just took my journey one step and one day at a time.

 

Q: Can you share any memorable moments or challenges you faced during your time on “The X Factor”?

SB: Vocally, I didn’t face any huge challenges, but there were certainly some big moments.

I met a lot of amazing people like Celine Dion, Harry Styles, Michael Bolton, a lot of Leicester City players and many more famous faces.

On meeting Celine Dion, they say never meet your heroes, but she was just incredible. So lovely. Down to earth. She sat in the cafe with us, eating chips. It’s always good to hear, as you never know what to expect from people, do you?

A personal moment that was really special to me was my kids coming to visit us at the X-Factor house, which was when we got down to the three finalists. They loved it.

 

Q: Your music career has evolved since your win on “The X Factor.” How would you describe your musical style and influences?

SB: I’m known for singing ‘big’ songs if that makes sense, and I still am now in a way. I’m on a cruise ship right now doing shows, and still to this day it’s the kind of music where I do big loud ballad style songs and hit difficult high notes.

I’ve always said I was born in the wrong era due to my style of music. I was hugely influenced by and compare my singing style to someone like Whitney Houston. I feel like I associate with someone like her a lot more than I do modern day music.

Modern day music is a lot more electronic, digital and auto-tune style, which is not really my thing. So my influences and style definitely come from singers like Whitney and Celine Dion.

Q: Are there any particular rock artists or bands that have inspired or influenced your music?

SB: Queen, Phill Collins, Genesis, and Super Tramp are a few good examples.

 

Q: What draws you to the rebellious spirit of rock music, and how does it resonate with you personally?

SB: My dad loved rock music, so I was brought up on it. It still resonates with me to this day as I much prefer listening to old school rock rather than what’s in the charts at the moment.

I do miss that old school music. Music has changed nowadays. It made me really happy when my daughter asked for vinyl records last Christmas.

 

Q: Can you tell us about your latest album or project and how it reflects your musical journey?

SB: My newest project is that I’m going to be in a musical. I’m going to play Miss Hedge in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. This is another chapter in my musical journey and my musical theatre experience is getting bigger and bigger every year. I’m on my fifth musical now. I start rehearsals next week in London.

I like to add more strings to my bow on my musical journey, because I don’t want to be pushed into a pigeonhole and just be known as Sam Bailey off the X Factor.

I’m very happy to be able to do this and there are lots of shows I want to be involved with in the future. I’d love to be in Les Mise one day.

On my next steps in my career in general, I’d love to be known as more than just a musician. I want to be involved in philanthropy, hence why I think being involved with Children’s Activities Week is so great.

I’ve also been trying to take my social media influencer activities to another level.

Finally, with my experience of having an autistic son, I’d quite like to be involved in podcasts and speaking opportunities where I can talk about the struggles of being a parent and hopefully help people.

 

Q: What do you hope listeners take away from your music, particularly in terms of its themes or messages?

SB: As I’ve always said, I really hope my music can act as therapy for people, help soothe them and generally just make them happy.

On a more detailed level, a lot of my music is created around my life and experiences, so I hope people learn a bit more about me and understand me more through listening to it.

 

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring musicians who are pursuing their dreams?

SB: I think it’s important to remember that there are a lot of people going for the same positions that you want, so you do have to try to stand out and offer something unique.

It’s good to take inspiration from others, but you can’t be a clone of someone else, you have to find your own niche and offer a unique product. I guess that’s what people saw in me, something different.

I would also say don’t take no for an answer, but obviously try to balance that with not being too arrogant.”

 

Q: How do you approach song-writing, and where do you find inspiration for your lyrics?

SB: You know what, I know it sounds trashy, but I get inspiration from really random things, like Love Island for example. I hear a few of the little sayings people come out with when they’re talking about love and heartbreak and I often think, that would actually be a great name for a song.

The inspiration can come from anything, a word I hear or even a feeling I get.

On a deeper level, I recently had inspiration from a poem I wrote for my friend who sadly lost his son. They live over in California, and when his son passed away I sadly couldn’t be there. So, I wanted to share a personal poem for him, which was along the lines of I’m going to pack it up in a big red box and deliver you my heart. It came from the thinking that I know I can’t be there, but I’m sending my heart and my love out to you.

And now, that’s going to be turned into a song. It’s just something personal to me that inspired me if that makes sense.

 

Q: Can you share any upcoming projects or collaborations that you’re excited about?

SB: Obviously I’ve got Everybody’s Talking About Jamie coming up, but I have a few other interesting bits happening as well.

I’m going out to Nashville soon, to meet with my friend and amazing songwriter Steve Dorff. He’s written for some of the biggest names in music. I’m staying at his house, so the hope is that we get into the studio like we always do and create something.

I’m also taking the kids, which they’re very excited about. My son really wants to try the brisket out there, he’s been talking about it non-stop.

Q: What role do you believe music plays in shaping culture and society?

SB: Music is really important as it’s therapy for people. It has really deep meaning and impact to a lot of people. When my dad passed away, I couldn’t listen to Phil Collins for about two years because it was just too emotional for me.

Also, there are just a lot of situations where music is useful. Whether it helps you get from A to B while you’re driving or switch your brain off and relax, and whether you’re singing in the shower or your kids are enjoying having a song and dance; it’s something that’s very helpful in a lot of situations in life.

Q: How do you stay motivated and inspired as an artist, especially during challenging times?

SB: Honestly, I’m just non-stop anyway, always moving at 100 miles per hour, I don’t stop and overthink too much. I’m constantly on the move and doing things. I actually find if I stop and just do nothing for a while then I tend to get ill and get a cold or something similar, I think my body doesn’t react well to stopping.

I just can’t stop, even now as I’m talking to you my foot’s tapping away, I just can’t help moving.

 

Q: What are your thoughts on the current music industry landscape, and how do you see it evolving in the future?

SB: I have a few issues with modern day music if I’m being honest, I don’t love the whole auto-tune and digital sound side of things. I wish we’d see more big ballad singers in the charts like in the past.

I’m not saying everyone is like this, but it’s all about the online world and downloads nowadays rather than the actual music. To this point, one thing I’m not a fan of is miming at concerts. I just think if you can’t sing in person and only sound good on an auto-tuned to death digital track, are you really a singer?

 

Q: Where can fans connect with you and find your latest music releases or upcoming tour dates?

SB:  Follow my Sam Bailey pages on Facebook and Instagram for live streams and updates. And if you want to join a friendly community, check out Bailey’s Cuppa Crew, which I started during lockdown. There are nearly 10,000 people on there now, and it’s really a place for people to make new friends and be part of a community.

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