'My boyfriend keeps me sane': Cher Lloyd credits her beau Craig Monk with keeping her feet firmly on the ground

Cher Lloyd is a rare gem in an industry where young stars are trained to give media-savvy answers that give little away.

The Malvern teenager is also a chameleon, with the art of reinventing herself which often holds the key for popstars and their longevity.

But despite her maturity, catapulting to fame before her 18th birthday is still a hard nut to swallow - and it's boyfriend Craig Monk who she credits with keeping her feet firmly on the ground.

Keeping her grounded: Cher Lloyd credits boyfriend Craig Monk for making her feel 'normal'

Keeping her grounded: Cher Lloyd credits boyfriend Craig Monk for making her feel 'normal'

During an exclusive interview with Mail Online, Cher revealed: 'My boyfriend keeps me sane. He tells me to keep a grip, he’ll say “You've got the best thing ever, realise you are the luckiest person ever”.

'He whips me back into shape a little bit.'

Cher spilled the beans on her ‘geeky’ side, saying despite her edgy costumes and confrontational lyrics, she's still just a child at heart.

She said: ‘I am a proper geek, I find the most stupid things funny. Me and my boyfriend play the most stupid game that we made up.

‘You know washing tablets you put in your washing machine, we've made up this game called Catch The Tablet, and every night we play it.

‘I stand on one side of the room and he stands on the other, and then we'll throw it to see if we can catch it, we'll throw it high, low, wherever and at the end of the game we'll see who can throw the tablet into the washing machine. That's my life! We're such geeks.

'He always wins, never me. I got it in there once and I nearly cried.'

VIP treatment: Cher and Craig are whisked away after her performance on The X Factor results show last Sunday

VIP treatment: Cher and Craig are whisked away after her performance on The X Factor results show last Sunday

Cher, who now lives with her beau, met the trainee hairdresser after visiting Four Salon in Mayfair where he works.

The 21-year-old is frequently seen accompanying his girlfriend to appearances, even tweeting her last Sunday after her performance on The X Factor live show which saw Sophie Habibis sent home.

He wrote: 'SMASHED IT!!!!!!!! :D @CherLloyd proud of you cher bear!x Oh and I love you :)'

But back to business, and Cher says her recording new album Sticks + Stones was both a ‘painstaking and fun’ process.

She said: 'At times it was so far away from home, and it's not a holiday even though I'm in the most amazing places. I went to Miami, LA, New York, Sweden... it was just full on work, from early hours in the morning to late at night, but it was an amazing experience as well. I loved it.

'The amount of times we got the tracks through and I've gone, "That needs to be changed. I need to do that bit differently," I've done that for so long, that it's got to a point where I don't need to fault it anymore.

Rising star: Cher poses with balloons in a shot from her video With Ur Love

Rising star: Cher poses with balloons in a shot from her video With Ur Love

'I'm done with messing around with, it's finished. I listen to it, which is good.'

As the title suggests, the message insinuates 'words will never hurt me', something Cher has had to overcome following a frequent influx of Twitter abuse on the social networking site.

She said: 'It's something that my mum used to say. I had a bit of a rough time at school, I was always the odd one out.

'I was a weirdo, a bit of a freak. I'd come home moaning every single day and she'd say “sticks and stones”, that's why I called it that.'

But despite elevating to the top of the charts with debut single Swagger Jagger, there are still things which make Cher feel like she’s growing up too fast.

Speaking of her ‘old’ life, she confided: 'I missed out on quite a bit, although I guess I didn't miss out as it's probably saved me.

Catapulting to fame: Cher was pictured outside the ITV Studios to promote her new album on Daybreak

Catapulting to fame: Cher was pictured outside the ITV Studios to promote her new album on Daybreak

‘I never actually had the chance to get to the age of 18, going out and having a wicked time, but I did that by making a career for myself. I went out and did the biggest thing ever.

‘It gets me a little upset sometimes to think I wasn't with all of my friends on their birthdays when they go on crazy nights out, but now I go out on 'grown-up' nights to very swanky places.

'I feel like a bit of a div when I'm there, but I'm loving it. I like a glass of rosé every now and again, but I'm not a big drinker.

'I don't think I've ever experienced that, so I don't know what I'm missing. I think I grew up too fast.’

Thankfully Cher has a supportive team behind her who have replaced her friendship circle from back home.

She heaped praise on one particular individual, saying: ‘My A&R guy is called Savan and he's become more of a best friend, it's so nice to have a good enough team to be there for you even when it's not "work hours".

Where it all began: Cher revisited X Factor last Sunday, where she started her career last year

Where it all began: Cher revisited X Factor last Sunday, where she started her career last year

All grown up: Cher poses confidently in her X Factor costume as she shows the current contestants how it's done
All grown up: Cher poses confidently in her X Factor costume as she shows the current contestants how it's done

All grown up: Cher poses confidently in her X Factor costume as she shows the current contestants how it's done

‘It's got to a point now with the record label that we all get along and we all know what's right for me as an artist; I couldn't fault them.

'I'm never pushed into doing anything I don't want. As long as I've got happy people around me, it gets me along and keeps me going.

'I can't stand an unhappy person around me, as moods bounce off from one person to another. If you meet someone whose a bit of a b***h in the street and they bump into you and they've had a s**t day, they rub their mood off on to you. I don't like that, I don't want anyone doing that to me.’

And while Cher has the foundations of a family while travelling on the road, she still has the perks of no one telling her what to do.

‘I’m definitely going to get more tattoos. I don't have any planned yet, but I'd get something album related if it did well.

'By the time I'm 20, I reckon I'll probably be covered. I can't stop. It's my image. I don't do it because I think it's cool, it's the way that I want to look.

The girl's got swagger: Cher shot to No1 with her debut single Swagger Jagger

The girl's got swagger: Cher shot to No1 with her debut single Swagger Jagger

'I like the pain. It's quite weird for me to say that. It makes me feel human if I feel pain.'

While Cher is humble when she speaks of the people around her, she is also grateful for her admirers.

She said: ‘I recognise the same fan's faces popping up at various places, I know half of their names. I love it, it's because they're so into it and passionate about it. I love it when someone really shows their feelings towards what you do and I do find it very flattering.

‘I wouldn't say I found it weird, it’s really nice if people do look up to me.

'It's good that they're able to connect with me and they do know that I am a human being, no different to anyone else. I'd hate to be treated differently.’

Chameleon: Despite being in the showbiz industry less than a year, Cher has already mastered the art of reinventing herself

Chameleon: Despite being in the showbiz industry less than a year, Cher has already mastered the art of reinventing herself

Cher, who found her fame on The X Factor stage, returned to the reality show last Sunday and has fallen for one of the contestants.

‘I love Johnny (Robinson). There's just something about that guy.

'He's got a spark and I just want to give him a squeeze and a hug and say, "Keep going mate."'

Number 1 album? Sticks + Stones is available for download on Sunday

Number 1 album? Sticks + Stones is available for download on Sunday

When quizzed if she could ever see herself on a judging panel one day, the young starlet seemed tempted by giving her own opinion, but modestly said it was too early for her to have one of the iconic seats.

She said: 'I'm quite a "say how it is" person, I don't beat around the bush. I

'f I don't like something, I'll say, but I wouldn't actually say at this point that I'd be a judge, because I'm so young and haven't learned all the things I want to learn yet, there's so many different things I want to do first.

'Who am I to judge anyone? I've just started.'

When asked what was left to achieve for a girl who seems to have it all, she said: ‘I would say, to get more people to like me, but no. I don't have to make people like me, they should like me for me.

'I would like to do a tour, but not yet. It's good to just get more experience. I want to mingle a little bit, get right stuck in.'

With Ur Love is available to download now. Debut album Sticks + Stones is available from Monday.


 

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