Sam Bailey is treading the boards at The Wales Millenium Theare this week in Chicago and has been thrilling audiences playing Mama Morton in the hit musical. She first burst onto our screens in 2013 where she went on to win the X Factor. Sam has since gone on to have a number one single and album and completed a very successful tour. 2016 is looking good for the Essex mum, she's currently touring in a hit show, she has a new single and album coming out and has announced a 2017 tour.
W&W: Hi Sam, how's tricks?
Sam: Great mate, just got back from holidays on Sunday and straight back to work.
W&W: Yes! Chicago... Tell us about it
Sam: It's such a good musical and I play Mama Morton she's a prison warden, keeper of the keys, don't know why they picked me haha! I've really enjoyed it, she's such a great character, she's calculated and the girls love her, she helps the girls out and she gets money in return, she's quite a character.
W&W: And is this your first time in musical theatre?
Sam: Yeah, it's my first time.
W&W: How have you found the transition from being a pop star to theatre star?
Sam: Its something I've always wanted to do, get my teeth into, I've never had any acting lessons and I've just done six months touring with Chicago and Cardiff is my last week. I've really really enjoyed it. I'd love to do more, I'd love to do Les Mis, Oliver, We Will Rock You and so many other shows. This won't be the last time you'll see me do musical theatre. Theatre can give you longevity where as the pop world has a limited shelf life.
W&W: And I think it's great to have familiar faces take on musical theatre, I'm sure it attracts a whole new audience.
Sam: Absolutely, I know people come if there's a good cast, I know people are coming to see me and cast members like John Partridge so that's good, it's introducing people to theatre. And it's so different from Panto where you can be yourself to a certain extent but with musical theatre you have to be another character and you have to convince the audience your someone else. It's been a huge learning experience for me and Cardiff is my last stop!
W&W: Ah but it was kind of like your first stop!
Sam: haha.. Yeah I used to perform here way back long before X Factor. Sunday's at The Golden Cross and I used to play The Canadian a long long time ago. Good times. I love Cardiff.
W&W: And you'll be back next year? On tour?
Sam: Yes! I got my single coming out in August and the album shortly after and I'll be back in Cardiff next year with my tour, I can't wait! The single is called 'Sing My Heart Out' and is released on August 5th, it's about me going on X Factor, why I did the show and why I sing basically.
W&W: So no regrets doing X Factor?
Sam: None, none at all. For me the X Factor changed my life I haven't got a bad word to say about it. The experience is hard, really really hard and when you come off it it's tough being thrust into the limelight. I can't thank X Factor enough it's changed my life.
W&W: I think it's what you make of it, I think it's up to the individual what they do with that success after the show.
Sam: Absolutely, some get sucked into the celebrity world which can be a trap but I just kept my feet firmly on the ground, I still shop at Primark! The show has given me an extension on the house, a brand new kitchen and another child. The money I won on the show went on an extension, it's what I always wanted.
W&W: How hard is it being on tour and away from the family?
Sam: I'm not gonna lie, it's hard, I got a little one coming up to the terrible twos and it's hard, when I'm there she clings to me and doesn't let me go. I've been touring for six months so I'm like a Sunday mum and FaceTime is like my best friend. It's been really really tough but this Essex mum being in Chicago was able to fund my album and I'm doing lots of shows in Butlins this summer so the family can come stay with me so that's great. I'm lucky I do a job where my kids can come with me.
W&W: Just remind them as they get older that in 2016 you was crowned celebrity mum of the year!!
Sam: Haha.. I will.
W&W: Ok so you've had a Nathan Wyburn portrait made when you was on X Factor.
Sam: I did, I loved it.
W&W: So if you was to have a portrait made of you now using food, what food would be used and why?
Sam: Bon Bons!! Absolutely I'm addicted to Bon Bons! I get repeat orders off Amazon haha!
W&W: Ok Bon Bons it is!
Sam: It could get expensive tho!
W&W: Sam thanks for your time, have a great time in Cardiff with Chicago the musical. Hopefully catch up soon on your tour.
Sam: Absolutely, cheers guys!
Sam is currently playing Mama Morton in Chicago at The Wales Millennium Centre.
Her single 'Sing My Heart Out' is released on Aug 5th followed by a brand new album.
The Sing My Heart Out Tour hits Cardiff in 2017.