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Music Interview

Exclusive: Olly Murs interview: 'Cracking America has been tough'

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Olly Murs

For those not already aware, we were quite taken with Olly Murs's new album Right Place Right Time judging by the five songs we heard back in October.

With his latest single 'Troublemaker' out now and the album due next week, Digital Spy sat down with the star to talk about going into chart battle with Girls Aloud, plans to crack America and whether he intends to be on next year's Xtra Factor.

Hey Olly, how are you really doing?
"I'm good thanks! It's been an interesting week. I've been excited about my single coming out, which should be interesting going against Girls Aloud."

People seem to be quite liking 'Troublemaker', don't they?
"I feel like it's had the best response for a lead single yet! Everyone's talking about it, and a lot of people who weren't keen on me before are telling me they like it. It seems to be broadening the audience, which is always a good thing."

You performed the song on The X Factor on Sunday; were you worried about having to top last year's Muppet-themed display?
"I always make sure that X Factor performance is in my contract before signing up! It's never going to be as big as The Muppets - I think this year was for me to showcase me as an artist. There's no point trying to repeat something as iconic as last year's performance."

You're in the middle of a good-old fashioned chart battle with Girls Aloud's comeback track this week; how do you rate your chances?
"It's great to be going up against them! 'Something New' is a charity song, so you can't not want something to do well that's for a good cause. Selfishly, as an artist, of course you want it to go to number one. It'll be an interesting battle, but we'll see what happens!"

The song features Flo Rida, who isn't someone we're normally a fan of, but it sort of works on this song.
"Thanks! To be honest, the collaboration was a bit random. I said one day that I'd like him on the track, my label made contact with Sony in the US and fortunately he jumped on it."

He seems to do that a lot though, doesn't he?
"I don't think Flo Rida gets on just any song. If you look at the songs he has done - even The Saturdays one - was a hit. If it's not good enough then he won't do it. We had an anxious wait for his rap to come back, but fortunately it turned out great."

© ITV



Your new album is out next week; how does it compare to your last one?
"I think this album broadens to a much wider demographic. I've always been keen to make my music appealing to people of all ages, but I think this album is potentially much bigger than that. My fans will still love it because it's me, but there are a few more ballads on there than they may be used to. It would be silly to try and recreate some of the singles we've already done that have been successful."

People often say your songs have a similar pattern to them, though.
"I've taken all the ska and the old-school Motown rhythms out of this record completely. 'Troublemaker' is a much funkier sound, I think. It's still me though, it needs to be in-keeping with the kind of artist you are."

There are a lot of big sounds on the album. We're very excited about a song on there called 'Army of Two'; will it be a single at some point?
"Thanks very much! That's one song that is actually about the fans. It's such a hard thing to write a song for your fans without sounding naff and thanking them for spending money on you. It could also be about a relationship with someone, but we wrote it with the fans in mind. We're like an army who work together to keep pushing forward. I want to grow with my fans like Robbie [Williams] did. He's still able to have hit records because he's grown with his fanbase."

How are things going in America?
"It's been tough. Obviously I'm doing Xtra Factor as well, which is nice to get my mind off music for a while, but for me America is a big step. I'm not going to sit here and say I'm having massive success out there, because I'm not. 'Heart Skips A Beat' did okay out there, it's laid some great foundations, but I haven't spent enough time out there yet. I need to use that foundation I've built from the One Direction tour and hope things take off further. If it doesn't work out there with 'Troublemaker' and Flo Rida then so be it - at least I tried."

It must be tricky with lots of commitments in the UK...
"I don't suppose I'll be doing Xtra Factor next year, but you never know. Next year is going to be all about music for me and selling the album. I think this record has more singles on it than any of my previous ones, so fingers crossed we can put lots out and they do well."

Olly Murs's 'Troublemaker' is out now. His new album, Right Place Right Time, follows on November 26.

Watch the 'Troublemaker' video below:

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