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  Lauren Waterworth chats to Newsround
Updated 20 May 2002, 08.47

Touring with Westlife and signed to Pete Waterman, 13-year-old Lauren Waterworth is the young girl with the big voice.

Pete Waterman has taken you under his wing as his latest pop prodigy, how did it all happen?

I started singing when I was about four years old and just loved it, I've always had a passion for it. When I was 11, I sent off my CD to Pete. He listened to it and said he would like to meet up. He didn't know I was so young, so although he signed me at 11 we waited until now to release something.

What do your mates think about it all?

They think it's really cool. I don't see myself as special, I just see me as Lauren, I still squabble with my brother! I have a very close family and love them to pieces. I used to go to high school but now have a private tutor. It helps to keep it balanced because you can't just drop out of school.

You are currently on tour with Westlife, any goss?

I've always got gossip! It's amazing on tour, the guys are so luscious! I'm in Manchester tomorrow night so I am really excited because it gives me a chance to perform in front of my friends and family. I did have this awful moment when I was singing and the music stopped. I was in the middle of the performance in Sheffield and didn't know what to do so I just said "Come on Sheffield!" and got the crowd going!

Any funny stories to tell?

During the tour I was playing footie with the lads because we have football and netball posts in the arena. Nicky kicked the ball to me and I was trying to impress Kian so I took a shot at the goal and knocked over the sound desk and then hit a man on the head in the process! Kian said "Way to go Lauren!"

Have they given you any advice?

Nicky said to me: "The only advice I can give you Lauren is to feel the crowd and the music."

Tell us about your debut single Baby Now That I Found You

It was an original hit for a group called the Foundations. It's a pop song but not bubblegum candy-coated pop. I'm not slating bubblegum pop, it's just different to what I do. My song is a bit more country than bubblegum, with more feeling and more emotion, a bit like Dolly Parton.

So what do you think of manufactured bubblegum pop?

Some bands are manufactured to do a TV programme but to an extent every band has to be manufactured. Everyone's the same, they've all got a stylist and a choreographer and a producer. Sometimes people get the wrong idea of manufactured. I'm only 13, I'll leave it to them!

Do you have any input then?

I do have some input but it is Pete's job, he's the producer. I have input with style. The guys have been brilliant with songs, they pick them and then I interpret them in my own style.

Your new song has some pretty adult lyrics talking about things such as love. What do you think about singing about things that you may not have experienced?

I suppose that people always sing older lyrics. When you sing a song on a piece of paper, it's hard for a child like me to understand but can relate and feel them.

Australian teen Nikki Webster is releasing her single the week after yours. What do you think of the competition?

I've seen her video and I thinks she's great. I hope I get to meet her someday. You are going to get me into trouble but if it was a chart battle between Australia and Britain, I would say Britain! There was this magazine article that I was reading about Nikki and me and it said I was sugar-coated candy floss and that she was a diva, so everyone's got different tastes. But I'm really going to try my best and I'm not going to let my parents down.

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