Out of the dark

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Music - NUI TE KOHA

CH­ERYL Cole is open to in­ter­pre­ta­tion.

The lat­est anal­y­sis sur­round­ing the pop singer, judge and for­mer WAG ( pic­tured), is a new song ti­tled Screw You.

It says: ‘‘ From my heart, I must have been too big for you/ So caught up in the love I felt for you/ I burned down, like a flame I held for you . . . I loved you so much but you never gave a f---/ So screw you.’’

Com­men­ta­tors say the an­gry ode is aimed at her for­mer hus­band, foot­baller Ash­ley Cole, who she di­vorced af­ter four years of mar­riage when it was re­vealed he had af­fairs with five women.

Cole says the song is not about Ash­ley, but un­der­stands the spec­u­la­tion.

She laughs: ‘‘ I can’t say anything and peo­ple over- an­a­lyse ev­ery­thing I do.

‘‘ Even things I wear. I wore a pair of jeans once with Xs on them. They said I was send­ing out a mes­sage to X Fac­tor.

‘‘ It’s ab­so­lutely in­sane. I can’t do anything. What­ever they want to make of it, they can make of it.

‘‘ Peo­ple are go­ing to make that con­nec­tion. It’s not about [ Ash­ley]. But peo­ple will think that any­way.’’

But Cole said she finds strength in the song and a like- minded cut ti­tled Love Killer.

‘‘ I felt that not only can I re­late to it, but it feels em­pow­er­ing to be able to sing th­ese things.

‘‘ They are strong and em­pow­er­ing with a mes­sage. It is re­ally im­por­tant for me to feel those things.’’

Her new al­bum, A Mil­lion Lights, is also about find­ing the con­fi­dence to stand alone.

It fol­lows dark times of di­vorce, a dis­missal and a near- death ex­pe­ri­ence.

Two years ago, Cole con­tracted malaria dur­ing a trip to Africa and while in in­ten­sive care was given 24 hours to sur­vive.

‘‘ I thought I was go­ing to die,’’ she said.

‘‘ And I thought ‘ if I’m go­ing to die I want to die soon’ be­cause I was in so much pain.’’

To­day, Cole says the ex­pe­ri­ence has helped her seek the good things in life. ‘‘ It changed my view,’’ she says. ‘‘ I’ve got a new ap­pre­ci­a­tion for life and how good a po­si­tion my life is in right now.’’

She is philo­soph­i­cal about her X Fac­tor de­ba­cle, on which Cole was in­vited by cre­ator Si­mon Cow­ell to be a judge on the US ver­sion of the show only to be sacked af­ter one episode.

Asked what happened, she replies: ‘‘ That’s a good ques­tion. That is some­thing you should ask Si­mon.’’

Cole per­formed for the Queen as part of the Di­a­mond Ju­bilee cel­e­bra­tions re­cently – a long way from where she started.

Ten years ago, she was Ch­eryl Tweedy, one of five girls in a group called Girls Aloud.

She grew up on a coun­cil es­tate in north­ern Eng­land.

‘‘ It was tough,’’ she says.‘‘ Who would have thought this girl from a coun­cil es­tate would be singing for the Queen?

‘‘ I al­ways wanted to be a per­former, to sing and dance.

‘‘ I never gave my­self a sec­ond op­tion. It’s like a fairy­tale.’’

A Mil­lion Lights is an­other chap­ter of the story. It fea­tures col­lab­o­ra­tions with Calvin Har­ris, Will. I. Am and Alex Da Kid.

‘‘ I feel I’ve come into my own. I feel like I’m fine to be on my own, I know my­self as a per­former and a woman,’’ she said. A MIL­LION LIGHTS is out now

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