It’s almost been a year since Leona Lewis left Syco Music, which had been her label since winning The X Factor in 2006, and joined Island Records instead. With the newfound freedom on offer, fans haven’t been able to help but wonder where she would end up taking her music next.
Fire Under My Feet is pop, but with a retro soul vibe to it, using a minimal arrangement of light drums and ample piano, with the main melody comprising almost entirely of Lewis’ own wordless vocals in the background. This serves as the perfect backing for her powerful vocals, which give the song that real soulful vibe, and she spends a decent amount of the song belting her heart out. Mixed with the song’s lyrics—I’ve got fire under my feet / And I feel it in my heartbeat / Oh, you can’t put out these flames / You can’t keep me down in my seat—it makes for a strong self-empowerment anthem. The addition of an organ for the post-choruses where Leona starts vocalising again, mixed with the addition of strings as Lewis’ vocals get more intense as the song closes give the song the perfect feeling of progression and adds just enough power to the drop in energy in the closing seconds of the song to make it go off without a hitch.
While Leona Lewis’ music has never been bad, this feels like a step in the perfect direction for her. The minimal, natural pop sound works perfectly for her, allowing her to fully show off her performance skills and her ability to carry a song without any trickery. If Fire Under My Feet is any indication of what her upcoming album will sound like, it may be her best yet.