Your new album ’24 Hrs’ is your 4th consecutive number 1 album that must be a great feeling?
Amazing. I’m very proud of that you know to have 4 consecutive number 1 albums is brilliant. I never expected in my wildest dreams that I would’ve got this far so, it’s really really amazing so thank you.
What do you reckon has been the appeal of your music and yourself to make you the most successful male artist to ever come from the X Factor?
I dunno, I’d like to think that I’ve done some great songs and, think people love what I do. This album’s probably the most heartbreaking, most honest album that I’ve done. I think with previous albums I have a lot of fun, my album’s are happy and people enjoy listening to them. Its just luck you know that people like me and people have bought my albums and I’m very lucky that they do, I’m very very grateful.
You mention this is your most honest album to date, do you feel you are constantly progressing as an artist and songwriter?
Yeah 50/50 I mean, I did run out of ideas, I wanted to do something different and I felt with this album I just didn’t know where to go next. What I was gonna do? I felt like writing about what’s been actually, genuinely happening was the right thing to do. I’m just really happy that I did this album and the fact that it went to number 1 and people really like it. At the start of the year I was like ‘what am I gonna write about? What am I gonna do?’. I wrote most of my hits so this album was just an opportunity to do something different and to keep my fans interested and show them a different side to me and I’m really happy and proud of how well it’s done and I can’t wait for people to hear the second track from the album next year with the other single that we’re gonna release it’s exciting.
Is there a particular track on this album that you’re most proud of you, that you really want people to hear?
I think ’24 Hrs’ and ‘Flaws’ are the two songs on the album that I’m really proud of because for me ’24 Hrs’ the
song was something else, a different song that I’ve never done before, production wise and the feel of the song, but also ‘Flaws’ was, I feel like one of the best songs that I’ve written with the guys that I wrote with. It was really sad but I think you have to listen to the songs really to kinda get the idea of what I mean but I love writing really happy feel-good songs but at the same time I mean it’s nice to show people a different side to me and show some emotion and that’s what this album was about.
You’ve got a huge run of outdoor shows that will see you come to Newbury Racecourse on the 19th August, how do they vary – from the indoors to the outdoor?
It’s really fun being outside and you know the show that we’re doing at Newbury is a different gig for me. I’ve never done anything like this before, I’ve done racecourse gigs in the past but not this sort of size and I’m really proud to do it. I can’t wait I mean, go to a racecourse during the day and have a little flutter and then do a gig in the evening, perfect.
How do you go about choosing your set list?
It’s gonna be difficult, you know five albums but you’ve just gotta play the hits and the songs that people know; that’s what I’ll do with the set make it as entertaining as possible. I’ll throw in a few covers there as well, have a bit of a laugh with the fans and it’ll be a really fun day out and I promise any fan that comes along, it’ll be a right laugh from the start of the day to the end of it.
Have you got ay kind of pre-stage ritual that you do before you go on?
Me and the band have a little huddle up before the show and we sing one of our songs, well not a song, a song that we’ve
got as a team and we’ve been doing it for the last six/seven years so it’s a bit of a ritual. I’m sure we’ll be sinking a few
shots before the show as well just to get into the racecourse spirit.
It must be great being able to get out and play to your fans, essentially in their areas without them having to travel a few hours into a major city?
These are shows you get to see the real people; they are days out, family days at racecourses it’s slightly different you
know. Over the years I’ve done loads of different festivals, I just feel like going to a racecourse is so different and people get to see a different vibe, different set, different sound and you get to see different people. You know, there’s some of these people that come to the racecourse who are people that maybe have never been to a music festival before so, it’s nice that, I just thought its refreshing for me to do a gig like this. I mean I’m really looking forward to having a day out with my mates at Newbury racecourse as well as everyone else and then at the end of it, get up and sing and just have some fun.
The day that you’re headlining is ladies day. Could you ever be tempted to be a judge for the best outfit?
(laughs) Yes of course, line the ladies up and I’ll pick the best outfit!
When you go out on tour playing these types of shows, do you get to see much of the locality?Obviously for Newbury for instance, Downton Abbey’s just a couple miles away from the track.
I haven’t been to many racecourses over the last few years as I’ve been so busy but I love the atmosphere, I love the people, you got out there and put a few bets on and the only problem for me on the day of these racecourse gigs is not to be drinking too much! So I’ve had a few little sly beers, it doesn’t get much better in the summer. If you’re a fan of my music or not it’ll be a fantastic day out.
Residents come to these events because it’s an opportunity to see an artist like you on their doorstep, there’s always been fantastic reactions at the courses to the music nights.
That’s the great thing about doing these racecourse events it’s about going to different parts of the country, different areas that necessarily other artists might not have been to for a while. For me it’s just great to be involved and, like I say I can’t wait to get go out to see all the fans it’s gonna be a great one and I’m sure I’ll have a massive hangover at the end of it but I’ll enjoy it.
Tickets on sale now!
Tickets for both dates are available at www.newburyracecourse.co.uk
01635 40015 – during office hours.