"You can't stop clickin' at me, writin' 'bout me, tweetin' 'bout me," 18-year-old Cher Lloyd sings on her debut single, "Swagger Jagger."
She isn't wrong. Ever since the British singer found fame as a finalist on last year's season of "The X Factor," Lloyd has provoked intense Internet buzz and fiercely divided opinions among music fans. The combination propelled "Swagger Jagger" to No. 1 on the U.K. singles chart. The track's video, which mixes edgy dance synths and beats with an infectious, sweetly sung chorus, has more than 8 million YouTube views. A highly confident, opinionated teen with a cocky street attitude -- and who's been known to lay into people on Twitter, where she has more than 500,000 followers -- Lloyd signed with Syco Music/Sony Music Entertainment after finishing fourth in the "X Factor" finals.
Video: Cher Lloyd, "Swagger Jagger"
"Cher Lloyd is one of those artists the public tends to love or hate but rarely ignore," says John Hirst, music manager at leading U.K. entertainment retailer HMV. "Even when people aren't fans, they've been talking about her on Facebook and Twitter. This has all helped generate great word-of-mouth and build momentum around her release."
"The Lloyd campaign focused heavily on social media, mobile and other digital platforms," Syco Music managing director Sonny Takhar says. "Her fans love to know everything they can about her world and are hungry for content." Behind-the-scenes video diaries, personal blogs and the artist's highly active Twitter feed are just some of the promotional platforms that were utilized throughout the single campaign. The support of national top 40 station BBC Radio 1, which A-listed "Swagger Jagger," placing the track on regular daily rotation, was also an important sales driver, says Takhar, who calls Lloyd "a very different kind of artist" versus traditional music talent show contestants.
"She was fearless in her song choices; she was uncompromising with regards to her styling and creative staging... she had everything a label looks for when wanting to sign a true artist," he says.
Lloyd's debut album is due to be released in the United Kingdom on Nov. 7. The record will feature collaborations with Busta Rhymes, Mike Posner and British rapper Dot Rotten. Syco anticipates a global rollout commencing in 2012 and is optimistic that it has a future international star on its hands. "In a world where there is too much vanilla," Takhar says, "Cher is an artist that has absolutely cut through."