POOR old Leona Lewis. You’d think as Britain’s biggest pop star – sorry, Cheryl – she could get a bite to eat when she wants one, but no.
“There’s nothing to eat, the only vegetarian thing they’ve got on the menu is a cheese sandwich,” she says between mouthfuls of the apple she’s found and is now virtually inhaling. “I’m starving.”
We’re in a hotel suite of an oddly down-market hotel chain a few miles away from Central London. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but as the country’s favourite singer, who has shifted more than 8m copies of her debut album since its release in 2007, you might expect to find her in more salubrious, city-centre surroundings.
“I’m still the same girl that went to that first X Factor audition,” says the singer, who is playing the Echo Arena in May.
Perhaps this explains why she’s eschewed a lavish setting.
“I’ve matured, which just comes with getting older and growing up, but still I’m very much the same. A bit wiser and that’s about it.
“I still have my family very close to me, they’re the people I trust,” she adds. “It’s not that I don’t accept new people, because I do have a lot of new people I really think I can rely on, but it’s just natural to have your family around you if you love and trust them.”
The north Londoner, now 24, is the first UK singer to top the US album chart with their debut album. Her recently released second album, Echo, unsurprisingly sits atop the UK chart and is expected to fare equally well Stateside and in other territories where she’s now a bona fide star.
Despite such success, Leona admits the promotional side of her career still feels alien to her, yet she’s already aware of things she’s going to do differently this time around.
“There are things, just with regard to photo shoots and stuff like that,” she says, not willing to elaborate further.