Almost a year after winning The X Factor, singer Louisa Johnson will debut her new single So Good on Friday 28 October. The 18-year-old says fans can expect to hear "raunchier" songs in the future, distancing her new image from the girl-next-door seen in the ITV series in 2015. But with a talent as big as hers, is it necessary to sexualise her music so early-on in her career?
In a candid interview with The Sun, the Tears singer admits that her X Factor winner's single – a cover of Bob Dylan's Forever Young – was not the best choice of song. Forever Young reached number nine on the UK chart in December 2015 and became the first X Factor winner's single in 12 years not to claim the number one spot.
Reflecting on her debut single, Johnson said: "I didn't really gel with it that much – everyone knows it wasn't the best song. I didn't really like it, but it was just one of those things. It got to a higher spot than I thought it was going to get."
With a staggered start, it is no surprise that Johnson is keen to make a departure from the ballad chosen as her first single.
Teasing her future material, Johnson added: "There's definitely a few raunchier songs on the album, but there is stuff for everyone, which I think is really important. None of it's fake, it's all very much real. It's all how I feel, how I act and what I do, but I didn't get to show that side on The X Factor because it's a competition and I wanted to get through each week."
Johnson's transformation is evident through her social media where she often shares photos of herself in her underwear or scantily-clad. One image Johnson posted of herself wearing lingerie attracted attention from the media but it was promptly taken down not long after being posted.
Analysing Johnson's new direction, body language expert Judi James suggests that the singer may feel pressured to compete with other sexualised pop stars.
James told IBTimes UK: "Yes, Louisa's career will be floating in a very large pond at the moment and, as a solo female pitting to get a grab at the market dominated by Miley [Cyrus], Rihanna and Katy Perry, the pressure will be on to convert from sweet teen to shock/sexual diva as quickly as possible."
James continued: "Sadly it's a ritual that stars like Britney [Spears] and [Justin] Bieber felt the pressure to do to avoid being seen as a cheesy role model that an adolescent market would grow out of. This can cause unbearable difficulties for some of the biggest names though and is probably more about profile than talent."