Olly Murs, singer songwriter and television presenter, chats with Kevin Cooper about his wardrobe malfunction, touring with Robbie Williams, his latest album 24 HRS and next year’s tour of the UK
Olly Murs is an English singer songwriter and television presenter. He rose to fame after finishing as the runner up in the sixth series of The X Factor in 2009. He released his self titled album, Olly Murs in 2010, which went on to sell over 600,000 copies and was certified double platinum by the BPI. In 2011 his follow up album, In Case You Didn’t Know entered the charts at number one. Two subsequent albums, Right Place Right Time and Never Been Better were also hugely successful and as of December 2014, Murs has sold over 10 million albums worldwide,
In May 2011, it was announced that Murs would return to The X Factor to co-present the spin-off show The Xtra Factor with Caroline Flack. He was reunited with her in 2015 when they replaced Dermott O’Leary as co-presenters of the twelfth series of The X Factor.
With his new single You Don’t Know Love, making a huge impression on the charts, Murs has announced the release of a new album called 24 HRS in November and a tour of the UK next year.
Whilst taking a well earned break, he took some time to have a chat with Kevin Cooper and this is what he had to say.
Hi Olly how are you?
I’m very well Kevin, thank you for asking but more to the point how are you today?
I’m really great thank you and firstly let me thank you for taking the time to speak to me today.
It’s a real pleasure, not a problem at all.
And just how is life treating Olly Murs?
Life’s great, I have just had a great few days. I have just headlined the Fusion Festival in Liverpool which was great and I also got to perform the new single on Strictly Come Dancing which I have to say was fantastic. So all in all it’s been a great few days, really fantastic.
You mention the new single You Don’t Know Love, are you happy with just how well it has been received?
Yes, I have to say that I am really happy. I think that it is a different time for the charts, things are very different; it is a big streaming chart now and it is very different to how things used to be. I am absolutely delighted with the single; it has been the number one airplay record for four weeks and it is still in the top three as we speak. At the weekend the single was at number twenty-two on iTunes which is great seeing as the song has been out now for nine weeks. After Strictly it jumped straight back into the top three, which was amazing and totally unexpected.
So as I have said it is a different time, a different chart to what it was a few years ago; there are a lot of heavyweight American artists in there, a lot depends upon your popularity on Spotify and all these different things. It is a very different chart but having said all of that the song is doing great and I am delighted.
Is your new album 24 HRS still on schedule to be released on November 11th 2016?
Yes, that’s right it’s all set for 11th November 2016 and I am delighted, I really can’t wait. I feel like it is the best album that I have ever recorded. I know that a lot of artists say that every time they release a new album but I have to tell you that I am very, very excited about this album. There are a lot of songs on there that I want people to hear. I am just super excited and I have a lot of exciting things coming up and I really can’t wait. It’s all fantastic and the second single will be coming out really soon. I have got so much coming up and I am just so happy that I can get the album finished and get it out there.
Without having to kill me afterwards, just what can you tell me about the album?
(Laughter) to be honest with you it has been very well documented that I had a break up last year in my relationship and it seems that this album has that little bit of a vibe to it. There are obviously a few elements of the album that are a little bit about my ex-partner and about our relationship but it is also very much about moving on. It is about the next step in your relationship and being able to get over the hurt and moving on. It has got some really good feel-good tracks on it, in fact it has got a bit of everything. There is something on there for every fan. I can’t wait for them to hear the up-tempo stuff together with the ballads that are on there. I have to say that it has got everything.
Have you written all of the songs?
With the exception of one song on the album I have written all of the songs on there. (Laughter) I almost told you then who wrote it which I can’t do (laughter). I came very close to telling you then. What I can say is that there is one song on the album that I didn’t write but all of the other songs I have co-written with some fabulous writers, a lot of whom are my mates, and there are some guys from Essex who I have got to know over the years and who I have formed fabulous relationships with. They are all fantastic song writers. I think that was why I was able to open up and speak about certain things that I would probably have never spoken about.
Does writing come easy to you or is it something that you are having to work at?
I will be honest with you, when I was asked to write for the first three albums it was certainly something that I had never been asked to do before. I was just an Essex lad who worked in a Call Centre doing sales. I had never before written a song in my life so the first couple of albums I have to say that it was a learning curve for me. It was almost as if I was doing an apprenticeship; I was learning my trade. Then after two years it really started to feel natural for me to be writing and co-writing songs for my albums. Then whenever I wrote a number one song or a song that did really well I suddenly began to realise that I was a decent songwriter and that I could do it (laughter).
And then over the years it has simply developed from there and now I am a super confident songwriter. Now that I have worked with the likes of Paul Weller I have thought to myself ‘hang on I must be a decent songwriter’ (laughter).
You will be touring the UK in March 2017. Are you looking forward to being back out on the road?
Yes, I really can’t wait. Touring is the best part of my job really. When you write the album its fantastic but there is no better feeling, any artist will tell you, when you come out onto the stage to do a performance and the whole audience sings your songs; it really is a great feeling. I can’t wait for that to happen. Obviously that all kicks off next year in March.
I have been fortunate to photograph your last two gigs here in Nottingham and the whole project seems to get bigger and bigger. Will it be even bigger this time around?
(Laughter) to be honest with you I don’t know how we can get any bigger than last year (laughter). We will try not to get any bigger but develop what we have tried to do in the past three years whenever we have visited Nottingham. We have gone from a really small theatre stage that started off down in Rhyl, Wales to now doing these big, big shows. It is something that I take a lot of pride in and put an enormous amount of effort in to. It is important to give the fans an amazing show. It is important to me that every time I play a show the fans enjoy it. Fingers crossed I can’t wait for the next tour and I can assure you that it is going to be a lot of fun.
Just spare me a thought here in Nottingham. I’m getting older and it’s bloody hard trying to keep up with you on such a big stage. Slow down for me once in a while (laughter).
(Hysterical laughter) yes I will try, I promise that I will try to (laughter).
On the subject of your tours and photographers I have to say that you have made my life miserable. Last year during your gig at The Sheffield Arena you had, what we will call, a wardrobe malfunction.
Oh god yes I remember it well (laughter).
You gave a photographer friend of mine, Robin Burns your microphone whist you adjusted your wardrobe and he has dined out on it every day since. He is becoming totally unbearable (laughter).
(Laughter) what can I say to you other than these things happen, and you have got to improvise. Robin was in the right place at the right time (laughter). He helped me out and I thank him for that.
You have briefly mentioned Strictly Come Dancing and as we all know Will Young is currently participating this year. Is it something that you would ever consider doing?
I think that you should never say never to anything such as that in life. The one thing that I do like about Strictly is that it is a great show; there is no real pressure, you can dance and enjoy it. However, for me at the moment I have done the X Factor; I have been a contestant on a reality show and I have always said that it was a great experience but I quite like what I am doing at the moment. So at this moment in time what I will say is that you never know, you never know. Obviously the reaction from my recent appearance on the show was fantastic and it is lovely for me to be asked to do the show so you never say never as you never know when you may do it. However, at the moment I have to say that I am happy doing my music.
Looking back do you think that you were lucky to have avoided the curse of the X Factor winners?
(Hysterical laughter) I don’t know (laughter). It all depends; every artist, ever winner and every runner-up are all so very different. They all have their own style of music. I have always said that I would like to think that if I had won the show I would have had the same career. Obviously finishing second did help me because I was able to get myself out there far quicker than the winner. I have to say that whilst I take on board your question there have been some successful winners too, people like James Arthur was successful, Alexander Burke did really well when she came out, Leona Lewis was obviously massively successful and Little Mix won the show. So there are definitely a few winners who have gone on and had some reasonable success. It can happen.
Three years ago I was fortunate to see you supporting Robbie Williams at Wembley on his Take The Crown Stadium Tour. How was that for you?
That was brilliant; it was absolutely fantastic to do a tour with Robbie. I was thrilled when he asked me to come along and do it. For me it was a real honour. We are friends and we get on great, we always have such a laugh together. The energy that we have together performing is fantastic. For me what I found the most amazing thing about that tour was that I was the support act, and I had never been a support act on such a large tour as that. I really had no idea what to expect. I never knew if there would be ten thousand people out there listening to me or seventy thousand (laughter). What I found remarkable was that a lot of Robbie’s fans were coming in early to see me and listen to me.
On the UK leg of the tour I had seventy thousand people waiting for me to come on and that made me even more nervous (laughter). It certainly made me realise that being up there on stage in front of that many people was exactly what I wanted. It was what I had dreamt about. It was a fantastic experience for me especially when they knew all of the words to my songs. It really did feel incredible and hopefully I will get the chance to play stadiums again sometime in the future. That would be epic.
On that note Olly let me once again thank you for taking the time to speak to me. It’s been great.
It’s been a pleasure Kevin and I hope to see you when I get to Nottingham. Top man, you take care and bye for now.