Returning home to England for the holidays, American Idol fourth-place finisher Hollie Cavanagh visited family and friends and stopped by her old primary school to encourage youngsters to reach for the stars. She also found the time to sit down for an interview with the Liverpool Echo to discuss her plans to move to Los Angeles and record an album she hopes to release in 2013.
The 19-year-old singer recently completed a draining 45-date Idol tour across the United States after being edged out of the top three during the 11th season of FOX's flagship singing competition. "The thing with Idol is you get your 15 minutes of fame. For a lot of artists it takes them a while to get there but we were put on stage in sold-out arenas," Cavanagh noted. "The tour was really fun. I was progressing on the show but the tour was another thing to help with my confidence and stage presence."
"When we were on Idol everything was handed to us. So really it is after the show and the tour that the real hard work kicks in," she continued. "It's weird not being with the other Idols. We spent a year together. But it's nice to branch off from Idol because we can go start our own careers."
A big part of that career progression includes a move to Los Angeles from McKinney, Texas, where Cavanagh and her family have lived for more than a decade. "There's not a lot to do where I am. But in LA there are labels and writers I can work with so I'm excited about moving," she explained. "I contacted Nathan Porter who worked on the show at the time and asked if there was anybody he knew that I could write with. It's all about finding the right song. I'm working on writing my own songs and I’m trying to put my own stamp on it."
Reminding us that music is a business, Hollie acknowledged that economic concerns will drive some of her creative decisions. "It's going to be a pop album but I've always loved Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera and Whitney Houston and those big diva ballad songs. Those ballads don't sell as much as they did when they made them so I want to do pop songs," she admitted. "But there will still be ballads on there as well."
Cavanagh has also enrolled in acting classes and auditioned for Disney recently. As you can imagine, her mother Lorraine is one proud parent, albeit one that is still in shock. "I still can't believe it. The fact she's moving to LA to pursue her dream is unbelievable and lots of songwriters want to work with her," the 49-year-old mum gushed. "I don't know where her talent comes from. Nothing like this ever happens to our family. She doesn't want to do anything else but sing. I just hope her dreams come true. American Idol was a big stepping stone and she's that little bit closer to her dream. I'm so proud of her."
She should be. Are you a Holliepop?