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Reality TV Interview

Craig Colton interview: 'I doubted myself after The X Factor'

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Craig Colton press shot.


After entertaining millions on The X Factor back in 2011 with covers of Adele and Christina Perri hits, Craig Colton is ready to make his own mark in the music industry.

Digital Spy caught up with the Liverpudlian crooner to talk about his forthcoming debut album, the advice he received from Robbie Williams and how life has been since leaving the singing show.

Hi Craig! How has your day been so far?
"Well I've just been running in the park and I'm pale-skinned and I didn't put any sun tan lotion on, so my skin just burned. As soon as the sun comes out I literally have to run inside!"

Oh dear. Well first of all, it's been just over a year since you wrapped up the X Factor tour, so what have you been up to apart from running around the park?
"I've hidden away - I didn't want to go into it straight away because I wanted to change some things. I wasn't sure what type of music I wanted to do. So we took a long time in LA working with people there to make a specific sound. I didn't want it to be a reincarnation of someone else's. So we took the time to make my own sound and I'm so happy with it."

Who have you been working with?
"Do you know Christina Perri? I've been working with her and the team that wrote her song 'Jar of Hearts', because I did it on The X Factor and the producers and writers absolutely loved it. We've made about 15 songs together."

The X Factor 2011: Results Show 7

© Ken McKay/TalkbackThames/Rex Features

Craig Colton leaves The X Factor

Christina Perri

© Francois Bertheir

Christina Perri



If you've been working with Christina Perri's team, we imagine it's all sounding a bit soulful?
"Really soulful. Basically, it's just my voice. It's not massive productions, because when I perform it, I'm not going have dancers or fire streaming down. It's just music for ears and the soul."

Has Gary Barlow been involved in any way?
"He has! Gary and Robbie Williams has as well - I always send them the lyrics. I've been writing since a young age, but writing when you're a teenager is a lot different to writing an album people are going to listen to. So I write a lot of stuff and send it to Robbie and then he emails me back, breaks it down line by line, with masses of notes between each one saying what he likes and doesn't like. You can't ask for better than that from the both of them."

We bet it's quite nerve-wracking sending the lyrics off to Robbie?
"It's not when I'm sending it, it's when I see there's an email and I'm like, 'Ooh, God'. He invited me to go and see him at The O2 a few months back and it hit me that he's some huge international star helping me."

Have these songs made the album?
"Yeah, I think one of them is going to be the title of the album. I can't say what it is yet, because I'm not quite sure."

Gary Barlow - Music Industry Trust dinner, November 5 2012

© PA Images / Philip Toscano / PA Wire

Gary Barlow

Robbie Williams arriving for the 2013 Brit Awards at the O2 Arena, London

© PA Images / Ian West/PA Wire

Robbie Williams arriving for the 2013 Brit Awards



Is there a particular track you're excited for fans to hear?
"There's one or two that I'm really pleased with and I think if people don't like them, then there's nothing more I can do! They are beautiful songs. Every single song that I have I've either co-wrote or written by myself. It's stuff that's happened to me - not just about love, but life in general."

Will you touch upon your time on The X Factor?
"There's a song about giving up and me asking myself, 'Can I still do this? Is it worth it?' There was a little bit of time after the show when I thought, 'Am I good enough to do this? I'm not quite sure I'm ready'. So we wrote a song about it - it's called 'Marathon' - and it's absolutely beautiful."

Do you think writing your own music will help you shake off the X Factor tag?
"Writing my own stuff seemed natural. I wouldn't really be comfortable singing other people's songs. The thing with The X Factor is that people bring out albums so fast after the show and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I didn't want to do that - there's nothing wrong with it - but back then I just wasn't ready to do music.

"I didn't fall out of all the clubs or go to all the red carpets we were asked to do - there's a lot of stuff after the show I didn't do because I wasn't in it for the fame, I just wanted to sing. I've taken a really big risk, so if it doesn't pay, I don't know what I'm going to do! I don't have a back-up plan. I remember Robbie said to me that when you don't have a back-up plan that's a good thing, because it shows you're determined."

Little Mix, New Look, Westfield, nail collection

© WENN

Little Mix launch their nail collection in London

The X Factor Live Tour 2012 at Manchester Arena: Craig Colton

© WENN

Craig Colton



Little Mix, Misha B, Amelia Lily and Marcus Collins have released music from your series of The X Factor - have you been keeping up with their work?
"Yeah, I think because we're all such good friends. Some of the stuff I wouldn't usually listen to, but I've bought everyone's albums. It's nice to be able to support each other. But I love Little Mix's album - I think it's absolutely great. They've done so well and I'm so proud of them."

The X Factor is reverting back to small audition rooms for the next series - would you have preferred that?
"I would have quite liked the small rooms. I enjoyed everything we did because it was all still quite new. But performing in front of so many people is terrifying."

There's load of rumours that Sharon Osbourne will be making a return - would you like to see that happen?
"I love Sharon Osbourne! She's absolutely brilliant."

Watch Craig Colton perform new song 'Give Up Your Heart' below:

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