He won the X Factor 3 years ago, and since then has released 3 albums which have all reached the top ten. We caught up for a natter before he signed albums!
So how has life been since winning the X Factor? It’s been amazing! It doesn’t seem like it’s been three years actually. We’ve done so much, we’ve spent half of it in the US actually, writing the albums and stuff like that. But yeah the first album was great you know. We reached platinum not long after just coming out. The second album, we had another top ten with ‘The Fire’. We’re in the mid-week at the moment and we’re still in the top ten so we’re clinging on. It’s a tough market this week so we’re hoping to do it again with the third album, but yeah, it’s just been amazing! I never thought I’d spend so much time in other countries writing an album, but we’ve been too-ing and fro-ing, not just writing, but doing the videos out there. Some of the photo shoots as well and stuff.
You’ve recorded with Mel C. We want to know what it’s like to work with her! It was amazing! We just get on and got on so well straight away. But we already got on before we decided to do anything together really anyway. We bumped in to each other at Isle of Wight Festival that we were both playing, and you know when someone just seems really sound? I saw her playing at an acoustic gig and she was absolutely incredible live, like it blew me away and I’d never really heard her live before on her own. So I said to my manager ‘how do we get involved’ because I remember the whole thing with Brian Adams and she’s in to that thing. We’ve got a friend in common. Do you remember the band Star Sailor? James Walsh from Star Sailor is a friend of mine and he’s done a lot of writing with Mel and he was like ‘why don’t you two get together?’ So I invited her to come to one of my shows and backstage we were just chatting away, and we’d had a few drinks by this point, and we were like ‘why don’t we do a duet?!’, ‘yeah let’s do a duet!’ I woke up the next day and I was like, was everyone just saying ‘let’s see what you think about it in the morning?’ We did and I already had a lot of that track started and we finished it with Mel and Jamie Scott and Toby Smith from Jamiroquai, and we worked with him on the second single as well.
So, who inspires you musically? Right from the word go I suppose it was Michael Jackson and weirdly enough for an eight year old at the time, Kate Bush and Peter Gabrielle. They’re both incredible and still are now! But then Pearl Jam, Eddie Vedder and Rage Against the Machine are my favourite bands still to this day and there’s not a lot of that in my music to be fair, I’m not that political, I don’t have that much to say about the establishment! (Laughs). But yeah! Anything and everything. I love that One Republic track at the moment ‘Count The Stars’ I think. It’s genius! In my songs, lyrically, it’s about the mistakes that I make usually and the situations I get myself in and out of in life are what the albums are about basically. So it dictates how happy the album is. The last one was all about my break up with my ex-girlfriend and that is a bit too melancholy at times, like ‘Common Mate’ (laughs), and this one’s a lot more ‘you knowwhat, this happened, let’s get over it!’, which is the whole sentiment of the album and the whole sentiment of the song ‘Porcelain’ which is why we called the album ‘Porcelain’ as well.
Want to read the rest from this issue released back in January 2014? Grab issue 28 here!