X Factor star Leona Lewis is set to release her new album ‘Echo’ on November 16. With the 2009 series of the talent show underway, the singer takes time to talk about her music.

Do people treat you differently now that you are famous?
“It’s definitely a journey for me, and I’m still adjusting. I’ve just learned how to decipher the true, genuine people from the ones that want to know you for their own benefit along the way”

How do you stay grounded when your name is on everyone’s lips?
“I come from a very normal place with a normal family and I definitely stay true to that. There are moments when I’m like, ‘Wow’, but at the end of the day you need a reality check and mine is friends and family.”

You’ve spent nine months working on new album ‘Echo’, do you think the work has paid off?
“It’s the time it takes to have a baby. I call this album my baby. I’m just really protective over my songs because I’ve worked so hard and I just want everything to be the best it can be.”

How have people reacted to you refusing to work for Harrods because they sell fur?
“I got a lot of flak for the Harrods decision. There were people who said I should have done it and given the money to charity, but that would have been such a contradiction.”

How do you choose which path your career should take?
“People tell me to do this and do that but I’ve learned to make tough decisions. I’m not always going to make the right decision, but I’ll always learn from it.”

Do you enjoy promoting albums or would you rather stick to making music?
“I definitely have moments when I come home and shut the door and think that all I want to do is sing… but then I think, wait a minute – how are people going to hear my music? The bottom line is that if I can inspire, create awareness and help someone or an animal in any way, then it’s all been worth it.”

There is an exclusive Leona Lewis interview in the Big Issue out on Monday September 7.