Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy

Reality TV Interview

Shayne Ward

By
Shayne Ward
Before lovely Joe, before Burkey, even before Leona and 'Bleeding Love', there was Shayne. His debut album gave us 'That's My Goal' and 'No Promises', his follow-up sold nearly half a million copies... and then it all went as quiet as Dannii Minogue's dressing room before a pre-live show visit from Sharon Osbourne. What's Mr Ward been up to over the last three years? We gave him a call - don't worry, not in a 'No U Hang Up' kinda way - to find out.

Your last album came out in November 2007. What happened next?
"I've literally been crafting this beauty of an album! For the last two-and-a-half years we've been doing writing camps all over America - working with over 50 different producers I reckon - trying to make sure this album offers something different from the first two. That's why it's taken so long!"

Is the album completely finished now?
"I'd say it's 99.99%. There's always that chance that if a song comes in at the last minute that Simon really likes, then it could make the final cut. We're probably going to go for a lean, mean ten-track album, but as I say you never know for definite."

Which producers have made the final tracklisting? There were rumours that you've been working with RedOne and Taio Cruz.
"You know, none of the RedOne tracks have made the cut. I worked with RedOne before his Lady GaGa stuff came out actually, which is pretty cool to be able to say. I did a couple of tracks with Taio Cruz too, but they're not going on the album either. This time out, a lot of my old producers really stepped up their game and came out with some real epic pop anthems. There are a few tracks by Savan Kotecha - I worked with him on my first two albums and he's gone on to write stuff like 'If U Seek Amy' and 'DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love', so he's really on top of his game at the moment. There's also tracks I did with Quiz and Larossi, who've worked with The Saturdays, and Lucas Secon, who co-wrote the new Kylie single."

How would you describe 'Gotta Be Somebody', the lead single?
"It's like nothing I've ever done before. It's very energetic and epic. I wanted it to be powerful and impactful and I think it's exactly that. It's just huge basically!"

It's a song that would lend itself to a big X Factor performance. Is that on the cards?
"Of course! I'd love to perform on the The X Factor because it's always such an incredible night. It feels like I haven't been back for ages, so we'll just have to wait and see, but fingers crossed."

Last year a group of your fans staged a protest against Simon Cowell after your album's release date was pushed back. How did you feel about that?
"Well, my feelings were pretty mixed as you can probably imagine, but it was incredibly flattering that my fans took it upon themselves to go out there and set up a protest on my behalf. I can understand why they were getting impatient because it has been a long gap between albums. I think they just really wanted some answers about what was going on."

Have you ever felt sidelined by Syco?
"Not at all. If I did, I wouldn't still be with the label and the third album wouldn't be going ahead. Syco have been great actually - we've really gone back to the drawing board and talked a lot about what we wanted this third album to be. Honestly, it was the best thing we could have done."

Your last album sold close to half a million copies in the UK, but perhaps because Leona's been so successful, people didn't seem to acknowledge it. Do you think your achievements have been underestimated?
"Of course, but I try not to focus on anyone's sales but my own. As you say, to sell half a million albums in this day and age is pretty incredible and I think it's a reflection of the great songs I had on the last album and the loyalty of my fanbase of course."

Are you watching this year's X Factor?
"I can't keep away from it - I just think it's hilarious! Cher's definitely stood out for me so far, but I'm really looking forward to Boot Camp because every year they seem to hold back a few really good acts. You might only see them briefly at the audition stage, but then when you see them properly at Boot Camp, you're like 'Wow!'"

Joe McElderry's pretty much in the same position you were in four or five years ago. What advice would you give to him?
"Advice for Joe? Well, first of all I'd congratulate him on his bravery in coming out, but then I'd just tell him to stay focused and enjoy everything as much as he can. He comes across as this lovely happy kid who's always smiling and that's what we all love about him."

Do you feel a sense of camaraderie with the other Syco popstars?
"Oh absolutely - and Syco's not just a great music label, but a great TV company too. You know, it's great to wake up every morning and say 'Simon Cowell's my boss!' He's always so full of ideas, he's such a hard worker - which I like to think I am too - and he's got a great team behind him."

How involved is Simon with your career these days?
"Nothing gets past Simon - not the songs, not the video, not the album cover! He's just so passionate about everything. Oh God, if Simon says it, it goes! I mean, I'm not going to argue with Simon Cowell and his track record, am I?!"

Shayne Ward releases 'Gotta Be Somebody' on November 7. The album Obsession follows on November 15.

You May Like