The X Factor runner-up Rebecca Ferguson says she refused to sing the songs her record company wanted on her debut album.

The 25-year-old single mum was beaten by winner Matt Cardle in last year’s series and is about to release her debut single, Nothing’s Real But Love on November 20, from her self-penned debut album.

Rebecca told the Daily Telegraph of her first meeting with the record company: “The music was really cheesy, and I was like, ‘Sorry mate, I’m not singing that.’

“I actually sat down with Sony and said, ‘Look, this is a joke, you are saying you want me to be a credible artist but getting other people to write my songs.’ I’ve been writing songs for years. And in the end they completely backed off and just let me make the album.”

The Liverpudlian feels not winning the show was the best thing for her.

She said: “I’d be lying if I said that, when I was standing on that stage in the final, I didn’t want to win. Everybody wants that petal drop. But, in the long run, I knew it would be better for me. It gave me time to get things right.”

Rebecca added being on The X Factor did not compare to being a credible musician.

She said: “There are too many people over-thinking things and having too much input.

“Credible artists aren’t out raving on a Saturday night in posh West End clubs, letting everyone else decide their musical direction. They’re normally quite introvert, they’re musical in their minds, they think a bit differently and are a bit quirky. They are what they sing, and that’s what people buy into because it’s real.”