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OLLY MURS | INTERVIEW

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Interview

The Essex-born cheeky chappy is returning to our side of the bridge once more, this time playing Singleton Park, Swansea. Deniece Cusack got together with Olly to find out what he’s been up to and what we can expect from his Swansea show.

Olly Murs was once an unlikely candidate for success – let’s not forget he didn’t actually win his series of X Factor back in 2009, coming in as runner-up to the now long-forgotten Joe McElderry, and he was also in the dreaded grave-dodging over-25s category. Yet despite all this, he won the nation’s collective heart, and remains one of the most successful X Factor alumni.

He answers the phone in his recognisable Essex twang, chirpy and friendly from the word go when I ask where he is in the world. True to form, he tells me he’s sitting in his mum’s garden in Essex enjoying the sun. No obscure hotel rooms in the middle of China for this guy.

Olly excitedly tells me all about the upcoming tour and how he’s looking forward to playing in Swansea this time. The reason for this, he tells me, is that he wanted to be fair to fans and play parts of the UK he had never graced before.

24 Hrs, Olly’s fifth studio album, was released back in November 2016 and he’s still riding high on the success. Sporting an edgier, cooler sound, Olly tells Buzz it was “my breakup album … I had my first real heartbreak in a long time and I wanted to write about it, whereas all my other albums had been more light hearted and upbeat.”

Was he worried that this new sound and tone might estrange some fans? “Not at all. This album was quite therapeutic for me so, successful or not, it was something I needed to do to help me heal. Luckily though that hasn’t been the case and it’s been really well received.”

In his own words, 24 Hrs is “less retro than his usual stuff – more modern, honest, sad but still cheeky.”

Anyone with even a passing familiarity with Olly Murs will know he’s practically trademarked the cheeky-chappy persona. Speaking to him today, though, it’s quite clear that there’s more to him than meets the eye. He comes across as passionate and mature, and very knowledgeable about his music to boot. Enthusing at length about his passion for house, he assures us that he has no intentions to take up DJing. “I just enjoy letting loose and having a a good old dance from time to time.”

Excepting last year’s heartbreak, it’s a matter of record that Olly Murs is also the ultimate bachelor, forever unlucky in love. Does he feel that his fame makes it difficult to forge new relationships?

“I’m lucky, in that I have great family and mates from before X Factor that keep me quite grounded, but it’s definitely more difficult to meet nice girls. You never know whether they like you for you. And even if you get past that stage, if she’s not in the industry it’s a very tough, intrusive lifestyle to lead – which I chose to be in and she hasn’t.”

So Olly Murs finds it tough to meet a girl? I’m sure there will be plenty of lovely Welsh ladies in Swansea this August willing to offer him a cwtch. Speaking of Swansea, what can those lucky ticket holders expect from Mr Murs’ performance?

“I like to think I put on more of a show than a concert. Ladies, wear your flat shoes and gents, wear your antiperspirant because there will be lots of dancing. It’s going to be one big party atmosphere. I want things to get sweaty and rowdy!”

Olly Murs, Singleton Park, Swansea, Sat 12 Aug. Tickets: £39.50/£55 Platinum Enclosure. Info: www.swansea.gov.uk/singletonpark

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