In November, Cher Lloyd released her latest single “M.I.A.” — aptly titled considering it’s been over five years since the release of her last album, Sorry I’m Late.

Though the U.K. X Factor alum has appeared to be missing in action from the pop landscape the last few years, she’s been quite busy on her own: In May 2018, she gave birth to her first child, daughter Delilah-Rae, who has been delightfully taking up most of Lloyd’s time. Now, Lloyd's ready to step back into the spotlight on her own terms while still spending as much time with her daughter as possible. “She's only 17 months old, so I'm just finding the balance," she shares. "I'm so lucky to have the team that I have around me that follow my lead. If I'm not available to do something, then they're totally cool with that."

Since the release of Sorry I’m Late, Lloyd has also switched record labels from Sony’s Epic Records to a new venture with Universal Music Group, a move that’s left her basking in newfound creative freedom. “Their whole approach has been that no one else knows the artist more than the artist does, and it's just so refreshing to be able to finally be me,” she says of the new label. “It's so great to be able to release music that I 100% stand behind.”

Now that she’s back in career-mode full throttle, “M.I.A.” is only the first of more singles to come from her next project, which she plans to release next year. In the meantime, she’s keeping herself busy with her new streetwear line, Glo, that launched in late 2019.

Below, Cher Lloyd opens up to PopCrush about new music, launching Glo, motherhood and more.

Congrats on your new single! How did "M.I.A." come together?

I was actually sent a half-finished version of the song, and I absolutely fell in love with it. An incredible writer called Gia [Koka], she sent it over to us, and I went into the studio, finished the rest of the writing of and recorded it, and it just felt like the perfect vibe for me.

Did you see the meme on Twitter where a fan said that the rapper M.I.A. should write a song called Cher Lloyd?

[Laughs] I did see that.

Did you see that M.I.A. reacted to it?

I didn't, no!

She retweeted the post! I think that a collaboration between the two of you could be quite interesting...

I love her. I absolutely love her. I think she's great and such a cool, cool artist, you know?

We've seen you collaborate in the past with artists like Demi Lovato and Becky G, and you've written with Tove Lo and toured with Fifth Harmony. Are there any collaborations in the works for your upcoming music?

I mean, there's so many artists and producers I love. I absolutely love Bea Miller, and I love Ella Eyre. Tove Lo, of course, she's written for me before, but I'd love to do something with her. I love her.

If you could collaborate with any artist living or dead, who would be at the top of your list?

I've always actually said Dolly Parton.

Wow.

I know! Just because I think her songwriting and storytelling is incredible, and I just feel like no one writes songs like she does. It's almost like reading a book, I feel, listening to her songs. You get to hear the full story and live it as well, and I think she is just... she's an icon.

It's been almost six years since your last album, but you've been quite busy being a mom. Is motherhood influencing your upcoming music?

Yeah, for sure! It's definitely incredible to be able to do both, you know? To get to be a mom and continue with my music career has been great, and it's definitely inspired some of the songs that I've written so far. I definitely think it's changed me as a person. I feel so much stronger than I did before. It's definitely given me much more confidence too.

How so?

I just feel like being a mom, you just get this strength from somewhere. It's kind of [inexplicable], but you know, everything in your world slightly shifts, and the little things don't matter as much anymore. I'm just really focused on becoming the person that she can look up to, and I just want to show her that girls are strong, and we have the right to have great careers and to be successful, too. 

Obviously your hits like "Want U Back," "Swagger Jagger" and "Oath" are super loved by fans everywhere. After so many years of performing them, are they still as special to you?

Yes, absolutely! They definitely are. I think any opportunity that I get to perform these songs for the fans is incredible. "Want U Back," I mean, it's just that feeling, when I get to perform that song, it’s just incredible, because it was the biggest and best moment of my career to date, and I love all of those memories.

What inspired you to start your new streetwear line, Glo?

Growing up and singing in front of my mirror, envisioning how I would have this career, I just always wanted to create my own line. I think it's always been a dream of mine, and it feels so good to be able to have another venture, you know? Something else that I can put my creativity into, and it's doing great, and my fans love it, and we're adding more and more pieces to the collection. I think Glo's gonna be around for a while.

How involved are you in the design process for the clothing?

I am there at the very, very beginning till the very end. I look over every single detail. Nothing gets passed without my approval. I have a very strong vision, and I feel that if I'm going to attach my name to anything, it has to be 100% me. I will not release an item on Glo if I don't have the confidence to wear it myself, and I pride myself on that. I've put so much time and love into this streetwear brand, and I just hope that it shows, I really do.

Will fans get to see you perform on tour any time soon?

I really hope so. I feel like that's when I come alive, and the music lives when it's performed live, so I really hope that sometime next year I'll get to go on tour again.

Are there any songs that your fans might not expect that you're really itching to play live again?

For me, "Killin' It" has always been a song that I absolutely love to perform. It feels so "me", and that's the song that Tove Lo wrote, actually. I absolutely love that song, but I have so many songs that I've had over the years that are great live. "Sweet Despair" is another one. It's a bit of a tearjerker.

Do you know when your fans can expect a new single?

I really, really hope it's at the beginning of next year. I already have so many options, and it's just about me choosing the one that I want to go with.

Anything you'd like to tell your fans?

Thank you so much for being so patient. I mean, my fans have waited so long to hear new material from me, and I really want them to know that I will always release music that is 100% me. It might take a little bit longer, but it's worth the wait.

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