British pop star Leona Lewis had to get in the Christmas spirit months early this year while she worked on her festive album during the summer.

The Bleeding Love hitmaker began work on her album Christmas, With Love early in 2013 and found herself in the strange position of spending her time trawling through festive classics in the middle of the British summer time.

She tells British magazine Elle, “I thought, ‘Oh, this is going to be so weird. How am I going to feel Christmas-y?’ First off, I recorded it in the U.K., which is not the sunniest (place). Of course this summer was literally like the sunniest on record."

But Lewis says the odd situation turned out to be more of a help than a hindrance as she uncovered Christmas classics she may have overlooked if she had not had to focus her research so carefully.

She adds, "It ended up being a blessing in disguise because I started playing loads of Christmas songs and really kind of delving into all of these kind of classics. And I discovered some really amazing recordings that I probably never would have had I not had to really get into that kind of Christmas vibe.”