X-Factor finalist and owner of one of the hottest bodies in show business; we caught up with fitsporation, Fleur East to talk bikini bravado and the truth behind her split from Simon Cowell….
Fleur East – the uber-talented singer/songwriter most famous for her blazing rendition of UpTown Funk on X Factor 2014 and subsequent platinum-selling album, Love, Sax and Flashbacks – has been keeping a pretty low profile since parting ways with Cowell’s record label late last year. But with new songs in the pipeline and an exciting fitness business set to transform the way we exercise, this girl is B.A.C.K. and fighting fit! And ooh, we do love a fighter…
CS: Fleur, you are looking incredible! It looks like you’ve spent the last few months holed up in the gym. Please don’t make us all feel dreadful by saying you are just ‘naturally blessed’?
FE: “Absolutely not! It’s not very rock ‘n’ roll but I am blessed in the fact that I like to workout. I train five times a week, mixing it up with cardio and weights and really enjoy HIIT – High-intensity Interval Training. I find exercise in general gets me pumped for the day. I guess it has become as much a part of my morning ritual as brushing my teeth.”
CS: With abs like yours – shopping for bikinis must be a breeze! Do you ever have blah body days?
FE: “We all do, don’t we? There are days where we all feel bloated or not as body confident and I think that’s perfectly normal. When I was younger I’d get really hung up on different body parts; wanting bigger boobs, different hair or thinner thighs. But I have since learned to accept and celebrate my body for what it is – and that creates an amazing freedom. If you are confident on the inside, it shows on the outside.”
CS: We completely agree and love your self confidence. So where do you stand on the whole airbrushing debate?
FE: “I think the most worrying part about it is that young girls are looking at these retouched images and want to achieve a look that isn’t even real. A lot of influencers and celebrities are highlighting this issue online which is helping a lot – we should be educated and aware of what is real and what isn’t. That way our body goals can be realistic and we will all spend less time feeling inadequate or beating ourselves up for not looking like a model. Even the model doesn’t look like that in real life!”
CS: Speaking of body goals, you are about to launch some exciting new gym equipment, W8 GYM, with your cousins. Tell us a little about it. How does it differ from all the other fitness gear on the market?
FE: “The W8 GYM is different as it brings the gym to you! My cousins and I call it a “gym in a box”, as it combines all of the equipment of the gym into one handy tool kit. It’s basically a portable gym that allows you to perform over 200 exercises, with everything you need in one place. You can change the weight and the exercise without having to change the equipment, which makes it really versatile. I love it.”
CS: Sounds a bit heavy for our baggage allowance though. Being a budding style icon, what are your summer holiday style essentials?
FE: “Oh, I’d have to pack a good pair of sunglasses as my number one must have. My friends know I have a slight obsession with them. Next, I’d sling in a good pair of shorts to go with a bikini and a cool pair of sandals. It’s a kind of capsule packing – that works perfectly well as long as the weather is good!”
CS: Do you try to stay healthy when you are away on your summer hols – or do you let yourself go wild at the buffet?
FE: “I’m a firm believer in having a little of what I fancy, so if I’m in the mood, I let myself go wild at the buffet all year round. For me, being healthy is all about balance and not starving myself. If I have an all round healthy lifestyle, I can then treat myself at the buffet or have my favourite dessert every now and then and not have to feel bad about it. Diets and deprivation are definitely not for me.”
CS: You recently parted ways with Simon Cowell’s record label. Guessing you won’t be sunning it on his party yacht any time soon?
FE: “Ha-ha! You never know – I will always have nothing but love for Simon and the team at Syco. We parted ways on good terms and I’m still in touch with the team. I’d be silly if I wasn’t be grateful for the platform that Simon and The X Factor gave me. I made some of my best music with Syco, so there will always be love! No hard feelings at all.”
CS: But after such a successful album, we have to admit we were surprised. Do you think programmes like X Factor could do more to nurture talent after filming ends?
FE: “To be honest, I think The X Factor is one of the best ways to prepare for the music industry. It is so intense. You have to learn so much and deal with so much pressure. I’ve always said that if you can handle the pressure of the X Factor bubble, you can handle the industry. Simon always encouraged me not to be a ‘puppet’ and I have always been outspoken and passionate when it comes to my career. People admire someone who is headstrong and is sure of their direction. After all, if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will.”
CS: Sounds like we might be hearing some new tunes from you soon then? What’s next for Fleur East?
FE: “Yes, there should be some new releases this summer! I have over a year’s worth of music to put out there so I’m very excited for everyone to hear it. Watch this space.”
CS: In this final quick fire round, who is your secret style icon?
FE: “Oh it has to be Rihanna, which is probably not much of a secret! Edgy and glamorous – the perfect combination.”
CS: What is your secret beauty staple?
FE: “A nice lip gloss is always my go-to. I keep them stashed everywhere.”
CS: Who is your secret celebrity crush?
FE: “I love Charlie Weber who plays Frank from How To Get Away With Murder. He’s really cute.”
CS: What is your go-to fashion secret?
FE: “It doesn’t sound very sophisticated, but taping my boobs into dresses with cleavage is such a lifesaver!”
CS: What is your guilty secret?
FE: “I like to take robes from hotel rooms. I love a freebie! Yikes do I hear sirens?”
CS: What’s your secret habit?
FE: “I stick my tongue out when I concentrate. I’ve done it ever since I was little and I still can’t help it. Attractive.”
CS: What’s your fitness secret?
FE: “I have a secret multitasking workout plan I like to call “Netflix and HIIT”. I workout and do a circuit with the W8 GYM in my lounge and watch my favourite shows on Netflix at the same time. I get a sweat on and binge watch shows; killing two birds with one stone.”
Fleur has helped develop W8 GYM – a piece of fitness equipment featuring 200+ exercises. Available from W8gym.com