Has it really been four years since Sam Sparro released 'Black & Gold'? While we wonder just what we've been doing with ourselves, Sam Sparro has been busy setting up camp in LA and working on a follow-up album to his eponymous debut.
Digital Spy met up with him to talk about the record Return To Paradise, what he makes of today's charts and why he fancies LMFAO.
It's been a while since we've heard from you; what have you been up to over the last few years?
"It's been about two-and-a-half years since I finished touring the record. I've been doing some travelling, some living, I've set up home in LA, I've got two dogs..."
Sounds like fun. Did you go anywhere nice?
"The best place was Hawaii; it's such an incredible place! I've also been in the studio a lot. I wrote about 60 songs for the album and slowly started whittling them down. I met up with some other artists and wrote and recorded with them as well."
60 songs is a lot. How did you cut that down?
"It was very hard. I still think in those old school ways about an album, even though a lot of people don't anymore. Some of the songs that I left out will probably appear on the next album, or maybe I'll give them to other artists."
You could release them as a bonus disc with the album?
"[Laughs] Can you imagine? I'm sure about ten people would buy it!"
Going back to 2008, 'Black & Gold' seemed to overshadow your album and its other singles. Was that annoying?
"Not really because I really liked that song. That said, I thought there was other stuff on the record that was really great as well. It would have been nice for a wider audience to pay attention to the whole album, but I'm not complaining at all! It's only my debut - there's so much emphasis on the first two albums - but that's not how you make a career. Prince's first two albums flopped and look where he is now."
There's also that second album syndrome when singers don't know how to follow their debut...
"I was adamant on making sure it was good over anything else. I didn't want to rush anything this time, which I did a little on my last record. Some of the songs on the new album have been marinating unfinished for over two years."
Did that ever become frustrating?
"I won't do it on the next album. I want to get it finished really quickly. I'd like to try a more dense recording process, which is a totally different experience."
As the title suggests, there's a sadness and sense of longing on the album. Is everything okay?
"It is a bit forlorn - I like that word! The sad songs are quite heavy going, but I was very, very sad at the time. I went through the first major break-up of my life and it was all a bit 'woe is me!'. It's nice to see people relating to 'I Wish I Never Met You' too. Weirdly enough, it was one of the easiest tracks to do on the album. It sort of wrote itself."
You also worked with Adam Lambert on his new album Trespassing; what was that like?
"I love his new album - it's a great pop album. I'm so pleased it's topped the charts in America, and I hope it connects with the UK because he deserves it. His fanbase is crazy."
He says that the general public are still a bit resistant to gay popstars. Do you agree?
"I think so, I although have no idea why that's the case. Maybe it's because the girls make gay music better than the guys. There's also a reverse sexism thing going on, where women can exploit themselves as much as they like to sell music, but the minute a male artist crosses the line it's sneered at. Not that I want to come out with a song called 'Cake' and start slapping my VJ, but I'd like to see the reaction!"
There's also a lot of "urban dance" on the charts at the moment. Are you a fan of David Guetta and Flo Rida?
"Sometimes. In small doses - and when Sia is singing them! I love 'Wild Ones' way more than I should. Sia's got such an incredible and unique tone to her voice. I see her a lot around LA hanging out with her dogs. She's so fun and I admire that she refuses to do any PR or live performances these days. The press ignored her for so long!"
Is there anyone else you'd like to work with?
"I want to do a track with Kylie. 'Timebomb' is a great track and the video is very '90s in the best possible way. I also secretly like LMFAO. When I saw the video for 'Sexy and I Know It', it kind of made me a little bit more interested."
Don't tell us you fancy them.
"I didn't say anything like that! Is my face red? OK, maybe I do."
Sam Sparro's Return To Paradise is out on June 18. Watch the music video for his latest single 'I Wish I Never Met You' below: