Louise Adams was widely regarded as the dark horse in the 2015 ‘X Factor’ competition.
With her classy, no-nonsense, down-to-earth demeanour and her family by her side, she quickly established herself as an audience favourite and rode the wave of support right to the pointy end of the competition; ultimately finishing second.
We’ve already unveiled our Pop Chats with both winner Cyrus and third place-getters Jess & Matt. Now, however, we present to you our Pop Chat with the utterly endearing Louise Adams.
How did you end coping post-show? Are you back in Mount Gambier?
I went back home for a couple of days, but no, mostly, I was in Melbourne for a good week or so doing the album and recording the full length versions of the songs from the show. And I was back in Sydney with the release of my album and doing a few things around that.
Has it been a big change for you? You seem to have had this massive upheaval really?
Yeah. I think in a lot of ways, my husband Andrew, Frankie and I… we sort of already lived a pretty fluid, unusual life before ‘X Factor’. Frankie was at her first festival when she was about four weeks old. Between my music – whether it be festivals or gigs – and Andy… as well as work, his other thing is that he’s a winemaker, so he’s got wine events and stuff like that. So between those two things, we spent a fair bit of time on the road or moving from place to place.
And then obviously ‘X Factor’ has come along and certainly exaggerated that. But we sort of tend to continue with that attitude. We just take things as they come and I think it’s been a good thing for us at this point in our lives, because we don’t really know even what the next year’s going to hold for us. But we’re okay with that and quite excited about it. So we just take it as it comes.
Sounds like a great way to live, really.
Some people do the whole five year plans and all that sort of stuff and we’d be like… oh… naaah.
How did your appearance on ‘The X Factor’ happen?
I was up in Tamworth, actually, I was performing up there at the Tamworth Country Music Festival and I met the ‘X Factor’ guys and there was an audition. So I think what the ‘X Factor’ does – probably similar to most of these shows – is that they do regional auditions. I think they advertise that. And they get people to come and audition and if they like what they see, then they’ll invite you to come and do the audition in front of the judges, which is all live, and see how you go with that.
So that’s pretty much how I came across it. I was initially a little reluctant. When people have brought up things like this with me before, I’ve been a bit reluctant, but when I met the ‘X Factor’ people out there at the audition and had a chat to them, I realised that I might as well give it a crack. I started to properly think it through and I realised that I couldn’t really see much negative that would come out of it. At the very most, I’d get to audition in front of James and Chris and Guy and Dannii and get some really good feedback and get to play in front of 5000 people at the audition. Even that in itself sounded like a pretty amazing experience.
Then I guess I’d been working for the last couple of years as a musician and I know that musicians are always doing things to try and get that exposure. Sometimes you do gigs just for that very purpose. And I guess ‘X Factor’ is one of those unbelievable opportunities for quite a massive amount of exposure.
Then I suppose for me, being a songwriter and only ever really performing my originals, I don’t know… I felt like I’d got to the point where I needed to do something a little bit new and a bit different and a bit more of a challenge. Or a new challenge. I didn’t realise that it was going to be ‘X Factor’, but I’m really really stoked that it was. Because I think it’s made me a better musician and songwriter. And obviously it’s given me this amazing head start in my career. All pretty positive stuff.
And clearly you were quite shocked to be there at the pointy end of the competition too, yes?
Absolutely. It’s a bit of a bubble when you’re in the middle of ‘X Factor’. Your daily schedules are pretty full on and you’re away from home obviously. It’s sometimes hard to fully understand the amount of support you’re getting. We as contestants have no idea how many people are voting, how many people out there like us.
So every week, I think I knew the one thing I could control was my performance and then Tuesday came and I felt, ‘we’ll see what happens’. Even if I felt I did a really great performance, I would still never quite rock up on a Tuesday and think, ‘awesome… I’m through.’, because I think that all of us didn’t quite have that full understanding of what was going on outside of the bubble.
Well you’re locked away from the rest of the world for three months!
Basically, yes. I think if you saw my face, not only when I got through to the top three and then the top two, I think also when we went back to Mount Gambier and I think something like five or six thousand people turned up, which had been the biggest crowd since ‘Acca Dacca’ (AC/DC) in the seventies. I think that was a really overwhelming… In some ways it didn’t feel real, but I knew it was real. It started to sink in how much support I was fortunate to have. It’s pretty crazy.
Do you see any benefit in being the runner-up as opposed to being the winner? Most of these competitions tend to allow the runner up the luxury of taking a few more months to record their debut album. Sadly, you didn’t get that luxury…
I think winning the show would certainly have some amazing things that come with it. But I also think I’ve been really fortunate – and the same with Jess & Matt – we’ve all been awarded a deal with Sony. Yes, we’ve got these ‘X Factor’-based albums out. I think the idea is that we got that out before Christmas, which to me makes sense. As well, it was really nice to be able to do a full length version of all the songs we did on the show.
I’m pretty lucky in that I liked all of the songs that James picked for me, so for me it was harder choosing what to leave off the album. But yeah, that album has been done and it’s a great finish to what I’ve done on ‘The X Factor’. But the next phase is to start working on my album, my first original album, and in many ways, I think that’s the big reward from the show. So I’m pretty excited that even though I didn’t win, I’ve still got that opportunity to bring out that album with Sony.
Had you released an originals album before the show?
No, not an album. I’ve released a solo EP and I’ve also released an EP with my band, Louise & The Tornadoes. So yes, I’ve done a little bit of recording, but nothing really like what we’ve been through after the show and what we’ll go through this year. I think it’s going to be pretty amazing.
Have you coped with the pressure okay?
Yeah. I think so. I think the whole way through this experience, I’ve just tried to – I don’t know whether it’s because I’m a little bit older or not – but I’ve just tried to enjoy every moment. Because I’ve been very aware for some reason from an early point, which I’m glad I was, that it’s pretty much once-in-a-lifetime stuff. And I think I know from my little bit of time in the industry that you’re going to have highs and lows and I just come to each day trying to take that approach. Just to take it for what it is, enjoy it as much as I can, go along for the ride and make the most of this pretty unusual opportunity that I’ve been given.
So definitely the last few weeks of the show, the schedule was completely hectic. And also that first week after the show with the recording and everything. Everything’s pretty busy and happening pretty fast, but for me, I just keep reminding myself that even when you’re tired and you’re feeling a little run down, it’s all because you’re doing stuff that’s pretty awesome. So it’s not like other jobs where you think, ‘I need a holiday’, it’s hard to complain when you’re doing the stuff that we’re doing. So I’ve just been enjoying it.
What sort of form will new original Louise Adams material take in the future?
That’s a good question. I haven’t sat down and penned anything since finishing ‘X Factor’ and I think it’ll be interesting. I guess one unexpected side effect from taking part in the show was by looking at other peoples’ songs and performing other peoples’ songs, I guess I’ve learned a lot more about songwriting and how other people put a song together. I think that’s been a really fantastic and unexpected benefit from the show for me. And as well as that, I think working with people like James, who I think is a really talented songwriter – and he knows how to write a hit, which is a pretty mysterious skill – I think I’ve learned a lot.
I’m really intrigued to see what sort of songs I’m going to write now, taking all those skills on board. And I think as well, one of the biggest benefits of getting to work with Sony is, as I’ve said to them, I’m really excited of the prospect of working with some other musicians that I might not have got to work with. And I think it’s all about collaborating and grabbing some ideas and things like that. So I think the combination of those two things with my songwriting and the people I’m going to get to work with, I think it’ll be very interesting. But it’ll definitely still have Louise Adams stamped all over it.
We’d expect nothing less.
One of the ladies on the show said to me every week, ‘Louise, I just want you to Louise-fy the crap out of it’. I think I can give that a go.
So will James play any part in your future? Are you hoping to perhaps songwrite with him?
Yeah… James really doesn’t have a choice in that. I said to him, ‘you realise you have to be my friend now…?’. I think he felt the same. We became pretty good mates over the show, we’ve chatted a few times since he’s been back overseas. I definitely feel lucky that I have someone like him to have my back and call upon for advice. From a songwriting point of view, before the show I probably hadn’t realised, but now getting to know James and how he looks at songs and the ways in which he’s helped me look at songs, I’d definitely love love love to do some songwriting with him. But he’s probably a pretty busy man as well. I haven’t broached that topic with him yet. But I’d love it to happen one day.
We spoke to Jess and Matt earlier…
Oh awesome… I love Jess & Matt!
So we asked them the same questions that we’re going to ask you…; Describe Jess & Matt in three words.
In three words… Oh wow, that’s hard. You know how much I like to ramble (laughs).
Admittedly they did mention of your incredible skill of being able to wax lyrical. They said, ‘she’s a great talker’.
(laughs). Yes, it’s true! Jess & Matt. Can I have three words for each?
Yes, of course, if you like…
Alright for Matt, I would say… Hair. Pretty. And Toddler.
Toddler!? Did you say ‘toddler’?
I did! I think he’s got a really endearing toddler-esque vibe about him sometimes. It’s hard to explain. But he’s very sweet and honest. And he’s got that kid-like endearment about him.
Okay, what about Jess?
Um… Jess… (laughs) I’m going to have to say this… she’ll probably kick me in the butt… I’m going to have to say ‘boobs’.
(we laugh) Yes, alright.
(laughs) It’s so hard! Boobs… that’s one word. I just wanted to say it again. Boobs, boobs and breasts? I’m going to say open mouth smile – she’ll know what I’m talking about – it’s great. One more, I need one more. My blonde sister. She’s great. I cheated.
That’s alright, we’ll allow it. And what about three words for Cyrus?
Three words for Cyrus? Wait on… Perfect. (laughs). I’d have to say down-to-earth with hyphenations so it’s still one word. And I don’t know, he’s just bloody talented, isn’t he? He’s great. They’re all great. It’s a good top three.
We have a sneaking suspicion having spoken to all three of you that you’re all pretty tight and that you’re all pretty much each others’ biggest fans. So good luck with the single and album and look forward to chatting again with an originals piece later in the year!
Fantastic. Thanks again and thanks for the support.
Louise Adams’ self-titled album and single ‘History’ are both available now.