She’s hit the charts hard, but it has not gone to her head. Tim Hughes talks to Louisa Rose Allen – aka Foxes

You know you’ve arrived when you see your face on a billboard the size of a building. Just ask Foxes. The vulpine singer-songwriter — real name Louisa Rose Allen — admits to being amused, and a little perplexed, while playing a New Year show in Las Vegas, to find her giant visage gazing out over a highway. After all, things like that don’t normally happen to girls from Southampton.

“I was playing a show at The Palms,” she laughs. “Vegas does everything so big — and my face was the size of a building. I felt like Britney Spears. I thought it made no sense; it’s too weird for words. There was Elton’s face and mine! I don’t know if you get used to that sort of thing.”

Foxes is talking from her home in trendy Dalston, East London, where she is touching base before taking to the road again, to promote single Let Go For Tonight and songs from her forthcoming album Glorious — out on March 3. “I haven’t been in London for a while,” she says. “I am always away. I never expected to have such a crazy year as this!”

It’s not only having her mug on advertising hoardings that is leaving Foxes in a bit of a spin. She has also been a hit in America’s Billboard charts. Her song Clarity, a collaboration with electro-house producer and Lady Gaga-collaborator Zedd (Anton Zaslavski), was a top 10 hit on America’s Billboard Hot 100 chart while her single Youth went to the top of the Billboard Dance Chart. It’s all a far cry from her early days singing to her mum and sister, and entertaining small crowds at open-mic sessions.

The turning point for Louisa was Youth, the result of a collaboration with producer Ghostwriter. Fans included Katy Perry, who tipped her as a name to watch, and the makers of TV’s Gossip Girl, who used the song in the show. Admirers also included Mercury nominees Rudimental (she appears on their single Right Here) and Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy — who sought her out after hearing her song at his birthday party. She went on to star on their tune Just One Yesterday — joining the band onstage at Reading Festival.

“It feels really unreal, it’s crazy,” she says. “People say what’s it like working with Fall Out Boy and being in the Billboard Top 10, and I have to think ‘did that really happen? I don’t understand!’

“I’ve seen so much and it’s been so exciting. I’ve learned so much by working with different people over the past year and have been given lots of advice. “Fall Out Boy are like big brothers. They are so nice and down to earth. When we played at Reading, Pete said: ‘take it all in and appreciate every moment as you don’t know how long it’s going to last’. So I did; I took it all in.

“It was nice to get that kind of experience; there was an incredible atmosphere.” But, she goes on: “As much fun as it has been working with other people, the most exciting thing was having my own single out and seeing the reaction to it. That was special.”

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Foxes describes her music as “cinematic, anthemic and personal”. “It’s pop, but I like pop music that comes from a different angle and that is alternative,” she explains. “I’ve always wanted to do something that’s a bit different. ‘Soundtrack’ is a good way to describe it, as you can have music without lyrics and still get a feeling.

“It starts from an organic place and has got happy and sad moments to it. It’s about me growing up and not wanting to grow up. “I’m a big kid! But I believe in telling a message that’s positive.” She says her name was inspired by both an early song and a “haunting and beautiful” dream her mum had about foxes running down the street howling. And she admits to always having had a yearning to perform. So has she always been a bit of a show-off? “I was when I was little and loved singing along to Disney songs, but not know,” she giggles. “Now I’m the opposite. Friends have to tell me about things because I avoid that side of it.” Does that mean she didn’t pose for a picture with that billboard ad? “No freaking way!” she laughs. “It was quite hilarious!”

Oxford Mail:

Foxes’ humility is endearing. She refuses to let sudden fame go to her head. “I don’t take it for granted as it could go at any point,” she says. “I still hang out with my old mates and don’t have a long phonebook of celebrities. My friends are the same ones I’ve had since I was a baby. They are all creative people and have given so much; I feel they’re on a raft with me. “It’s been a long ride, that’s for sure, but I feel in a good place and on top of things. I just want to enjoy it — and will!”

O2 Academy, Oxford
February 28
Tickets: £8 from