Leona Lewis is ready for Christmas. The three-time Grammy Award and seven-time Brit Award nominee has just flown back to London from her home in Los Angeles to begin rehearsals for a UK tour, which will see the X Factor phenomenon perform a selection of Christmas classics and greatest hits while also celebrating the 10th anniversary of her acclaimed studio album, Christmas, With Love. She may be based out of the guard-gated Hidden Hills these days, but London always feels like coming home, Lewis shares.
“Oh my gosh, definitely!” she insists in her immediately identifiable (and unaffected) East London accent. Aside from one “gotten” that sneaks into the interview, no hint of an L.A twang is detectable – she still drops her T’s, pronouncing the word, ‘Bri-ish’.
“I don't spend crazy amounts of time away from the UK, so hopefully it doesn't slip,” she says sincerely. “I'm back and forth quite a lot, and now I have the baby, [Lewis and her husband, professional dancer and choreographer, Dennis Jauch welcomed a daughter into their lives in 2022], I come back for longer periods of time. This is always going to be home for me. It’s where I grew up; it's where my family are.”
Now aged 38, Lewis may have embraced an L.A lifestyle, (recently opening plant-based, vegan coffee shops in Pasadena and Studio City), sold over 35 million records worldwide and broken numerous records, (her X Factor winner’s single was downloaded 50,000 times within 30 minutes, her first record was the best-selling debut album by a female artist in the 21st century – while its lead single, Bleeding Love was the best-selling single of 2007 – and she is the first British female solo artist to reach the top five with eight singles), but when she’s in the UK, it’s the simple things that make her happy.
“I definitely miss a good roast dinner,” she answers straight away when asked what British cuisine she misses when in the US, instantly delighted to talk about food. “Going and getting a lovely roast dinner on a Sunday with my family; I miss that for sure. It's just so warming and hearty. It's the lead up to the big Christmas dinner. I cook it myself, but I like going out to a pub or to my local when I'm here.”