INTERVIEW Olly Murs

After a whirlwind 2015, I caught up with Olly Murs to talk all about his new album, his childish video for Grow Up and plans for his 2017 tour.

Words: Becky Weaver

It’s a busy Tuesday afternoon when Olly calls me. He’s just finished signing 4,000 album covers in his flat before heading off to do some work for TV. Life is moving fast for the 32-year-old, but he’s still as charming as ever.

It’s been a really busy year for the cheeky Essexman, after presenting The X Factor with Caroline Flack, he returned to the studio and is now releasing his fifth album in seven years.

“The X Factor was a really great experience for me,” he says, “But I’m a singer and I always found myself wanting to go out and perform. I enjoyed my time on the show but it’s been great to bring my focus back to music.

“I haven’t been following it this year. I keep my weekends to myself now, I like to spend time with my family and friends. When I’m on tour I don’t get to see much of them.”

2015 was a tough year for Olly, after splitting with his girlfriend of three years, he began to pen 24HRS. “I needed a way to express what I was feeling at the time. I’d never written anything so personal before, I think it’s the most honest album that I’ve ever done.”

Although the album reflects heartbreak, Olly admits that it’s still packed with the upbeat music fans have grown to love over the years. “I don’t think that the music on this album is really all that different, it still has those cheeky tracks that people love,” he continues.

“It was important to come back with music that was fresh, the industry is always evolving and I want to make sure I’m producing music that I know my fans will love.”

So far we’ve heard two singles from the 12 track album. Olly burst back onto the music scene with his single You Don’t Know Love, with powerful lyrics that I’ve never heard from the happy-go-lucky singer before.

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Photo: Simon Emmett

His cheeky side seemed to appear a little more in his latest single Grow Up, despite the lyrics remaining a little sharp. “The song is me telling someone that you need to grow up and become a little more mature, it could be me, it could be anyone,” he says.

“It was such a fun video to film, it’s quite a harsh subject, so we wanted the video to be a little more light-hearted and have some humour to it.I wanted to work with the kids and have a laugh and I think the video is something that reflects the lyrics of the song really well.”

The promotion for the single also brought a bright side to the slightly dark lyrics of Grow Up. Olly released clips on his Instagram of various celebrities including Simon Cowell, Shawn Mendes and many more telling him to grow up.

“I was originally going to use this idea for Kiss Me, but I thought it would look a little strange with celebrities saying, ‘kiss me like you mean it’,”he laughs.

Olly’s career has been nothing but successful ever since he was runner-up on The X Factor back in 2009. With millions of album sales and four UK number one singles under his belt, the Troublemaker singer has now become one of the most loved artists in the industry.

The remainder of 2016 is looking pretty busy for Olly, but next year he’ll be heading back on tour where he’ll be taking to the stage of the Genting Arena for three nights. “Tour kicks off next March, it’s going to be amazing,” he beams.

“I absolutely love going on tour and Birmingham is always such a great crowd, most of my band are from the city too. One night has already sold out which is so lovely to see.”

I know all too well what to expect from Olly’s next tour. A born entertainer, I’ve seen him win over his audience with ease every time he’s visited the city.

“I haven’t got a set list in place yet but I’m definitely going to have a mix of the old and the new. It’s important that I include tracks that people love. I’d like to think that I’m the type of guy where people don’t come away from my gigs and say ‘Oh, I wish he’d played that song.’ I want fans to come along and really enjoy the show.”

Before I know it my time with Olly has come to an end, but it won’t be long before he’s back in the city and we can dance along to what is sure to be another fantastic tour.

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