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Music Interview

Bryn Christopher

By
Bryn Christopher
Bryn Christopher's debut single, a spinetingling neo-soul number called 'The Quest', is getting him noticed on both sides of the Atlantic. It's taken up residence on the UK's leading radio stations in recent weeks, while more than 18 million Americans heard it on the season finale of Grey's Anatomy last month. But who, you're probably wondering, is this Bryn Christopher chap? We gave him a call to find out.

How did you get into music?
"Well, I was into music when I was really young but I didn't know how to take it further. My friend was at stage school in London, so she said: 'Why don't you come along too?' My mum couldn't afford to move me to London so I went to a stage school in Birmingham instead."

Did you enjoy it?
"No, I hated it! It was just run really badly and it was all about kissing peoples' bottoms there. I don't do that."

But it got you a job in panto, I hear.
"Yes! I was 16 and it was my first paid job in music. I played Prince Charming in Cinderella."

Is that something you'll be wanting to return to?
"I hope not! If next year I'm doing panto again I'm going to be very depressed. Not that it's hard, but it's just really horrible to do."

What's your new single, 'The Quest', about?
"It's loosely inspired by my brother going to fight in the Iraq war. I was thinking about what he was doing there, why he wanted to fight and whether he was doing the right thing. I was going through a weird spiritual phase, actually, so I just thought, 'Why not write a song about this?'"

You wrote it on your mobile, didn't you?
"Well, what actually happened was I thought of a few lyrics when I was out and I didn't have a pen to hand, so I wrote them down as a text in my phone. Actually, sometimes I do hum a melody and record it on my phone, but 'The Quest' didn't come about that way."

The song was played on the season finale of Grey's Anatomy last month. Has that had much of an impact?
"Well, my MySpace has gone really mental with people leaving me lovely comments. I didn't think it would be like this because I wasn't expecting them to use so much of the song. They repeated the chorus about a million times, so it's no wonder people have started to like it!"

The UK is producing a lot of successful soul singers at the moment: Duffy, Adele, James Morrison. Do you feel an affinity with those artists?
"I think being put in their category is a cool thing, because I really rate all of them as singers. I think it's really exciting that England's becoming known for producing such good soul singers."

It's opening a lot of doors in America, too.
"They've opened doors for lots of things. The labels can't sign anything that isn't good now. You know, they're not going to put out another Steps in this climate, are they? When you're up against people like James Morrison and Duffy, you have to be good."

You supported Amy Winehouse on her last tour - her infamous last tour. How was it for you?
"For me and my band it was loads of fun - we got to tour around the best venues in England with the biggest artist of the time! I didn't actually meet her though, not once. She had her own problems to be dealing with at the time I guess."

Did you watch her performances?
"I watched a couple of them. I caught the one in Birmingham where she got booed and there was loads of press coverage afterwards. Her husband had just gone to prison and I think it was all getting a bit much for her, so it was understandable that she struggled a bit. The thing is, she still delivered one or two songs that were just ridiculously good. She made me want to raise my game!"

'The Quest' is out on download now.

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