Challenging stereotypes Christine and the Queens hopes to empower others

Heloise Letissier, or as she is known on stage, Christine and the Queens. Credit: ITV News

She is so tiny in the flesh - and I'm only 5ft 2in heels, and when Heloise Letissier speaks, she tackles all the big subjects with ease and intelligence and perfect English.

France's best selling music star has made a big impact here since her debut album Chaleur Humaine was translated last year for the British market.

No other debut album sold as many copies in 2016.

When I begin by asking her about winning two NME awards last week and being up for a Brit Award this week she immediately begins talking about how her fellow nominees are all such strong women, how that diversity is so welcome today and how it has allowed her - she describes herself as "weird and awkward" - to have room at the top table.

The UK has been good to Heloise - it was here where her alter ego Christine was born - when, broken hearted after a break up, she famously met three drag queens in London's Soho who persuaded her to follow music as a career.

It is also where she says there is more freedom to be herself, not as many questions she says about being "queer" or always dressing in suits as there is in her native France which still has she says more of a macho culture.

She's not looked back since Christine and the Queens came into being.

Challenging stereotypes about women and sexuality, she has become a spokesperson for the LGBT community, hoping she can empower young children who, like her, feel like outsiders.

She worries about discrimination in the LGBT community, harassment in the street but hopes that when people see her on stage, it sparks a conversation about how women are all shapes and sizes, of all persuasions.

Heloise is recording her follow-up album right now and it will, she says, be tougher than the first.

The upcoming album will deal with the rise of the far-right in Europe, figures like Marine Le Pen will make minorities feel even more marginalised she says, but she hopes President Trump's arrival will encourage French people to worry more about what is happening in their own country.

But first there is the prospect of a Brit Award this Wednesday for Best International Female.

She'll have to beat Beyoncé again - and she adores Beyoncé - but she is genuinely happy just to have been nominated in the same category - the self confessed outsider now very much part of the in crowd!