Gearing up for the release of her debut album 'Shy', Stacey Solomon has had a whirlwind six years since her start on The X Factor, trying her hand in a multitude of different avenues and proving she's a talent in many.

Now she's back on the music scene, allowed to create the body of work she's always wanted to put out. In a new and exclusive interview, we speak to Stacey about that work, as well as her blossoming romance with Steve-O, her debut novel and much more.

It's been six years since you started your rise to fame on The X Factor, how have you found that ride so far? And why has it taken you until now to put together your debut album?

I have loved it! X Factor taught me to enjoy every moment and I live by that every day. I want to get the most out of everything. I took opportunities like The Jump because they were offered. Why shouldn't I take the chance of a lifetime? But with the album it was different, I could have done a covers album straight away but I wanted to wait until the right opportunity came along.

What should fans expect from this collection of material?

There's a couple of 'live-bandy' sounding songs which I really enjoyed doing and there's some really chilled out acoustic songs. They go from being little sad love stories to really uplifting like, 'power-woman'. It's a little mixture of just however I felt when I got out of bed that day I guess.

Your first single 'Shy' was co-written by Rita Ora, how was the experience of working with her and why did you choose this track as your lead?

Rita Ora co-wrote 'Shy', but I did not co-write with her. I co-wrote over half the songs on the album but that was not one that I worked on. However, I was honoured that she offered me the song for the album!

A lot of the material on this record you've written yourself, how important is it for you to be allowed to express yourself through your work?

I waited for a record deal that allowed me to make an album how I wanted to make an album. That was very important to me. I was very nervous when I first went into the recording studio, but once I started writing I loved it. It was the best therapy ever.

If you could work with any artist, or writer or collaborator going forward, who would you choose and why?

Oh wow! That would be impossible to decide. There are just so many people I would love to work with.

What do you make of the British talent making waves all over the world at the moment?

It is amazing! There is so much talent in this country and I am honoured and excited that some of my favourites have helped out with my album.

At 25 you've achieved success in many different walks of life, what have been some of your highlights to-date?

I have been so lucky! I just would not be able to choose. I have loved every opportunity that has come my way. I live for each moment.

Recently we saw you getting close to Steve-O on the second series of The Jump, tell us about that. (Stacey and Steve-O have since gone public with their romance and relationship.)

Stacey / Credit: Channel 4
Stacey / Credit: Channel 4
Steve-O / Credit: Channel 4
Steve-O / Credit: Channel 4

We are still in touch and we still see each other regularly. He is in the UK a lot. His family are all here and I see him every time he comes over. Though we got along on The Jump, it was after that we really clicked.

And you're also releasing your first novel, can you give us a little bit of detail about your book?

When they first approached me about writing a novel I was like, 'Really? Me?'. Then they said they'd have someone write it for me and I just could not bear the thought of that. Not knowing what's in it and not making it personal to me. I did want to venture out into that world and see if I could give it a go. If all else fails then no one would know and I just wouldn't have put it out. I actually really enjoyed it. I got to live in fantasy land for like a month and just write about things that come from personal experience but then really overdramatise them in the world of fiction. It was quite fun and what came out at the end I was actually quite pleased with.

Finally is there anything else you can share with us about what to expect from you in the coming weeks and months?

We are hoping to do an intimate tour. I can't wait to get on the road and sing something that is mine and not just covers.

Stacey Solomon releases lead single 'Shy' on April 13, a week ahead of her debut album of the same title dropping on April 20.

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