Following the successful release of his debut album and the news he would be heading out on his first headline tour, we got the opportunity to catch up with Ben Haenow to find out all about his plans for the future, his dream collaborations and much more in a new and exclusive interview...
You're back touring the UK later this month - what should fans coming to those shows expect?
Well, I've got a band together so we're going for a bit of an old school rock and roll vibe. Obviously, playing all the tracks from the album and maybe a few little surprises!
Do you enjoy the touring lifestyle?
This is my first real tour, like, actually living on the bus with everyone, so it's going to be a new experience for me, but it's really exciting... My own tour bus! (laughs) And I'm with a great bunch of people so I'm really looking forward to it. I love playing live and having the chance to travel the country and play in a different town every day is going to be unreal.
The tour's in support of your recent self-titled album - how did you find the response from fans to that record?
The ongoing support from the fans has been incredible. They're the ones who have made all this possible. The response to the album was overwhelming. People saying how proud they are and how much they loved the record. They have been amazing and I can't wait to meet them all out on tour.
What was the experience like creating your first album and going to LA to record?
I feel like the luckiest guy alive. Not many people get to go to LA and Nashville to write their debut album. It was such an amazing experience to work with the producer and writers both here and abroad. It was all very new to me and everyone was so nice. I've made some good friends and learned so much working with everyone who was involved in the making of the album.
Going forward, do you have any definitive aims or goals for your career?
Well, heading out on my first ever tour has been always been dream of mine. I'd say a career goal is to tour the world. South Africa have been huge supporters as well as other countries so I'd love to keep building my fanbase up enough to tour do a world tour.
You worked with Kelly Clarkson on 'Second Hand Heart' - if you could work with anyone on future music, who would you choose and why?
I'd love to work with Ed Sheeran. He's a legend. I was lucky enough to share a stage with him but it would be something else to get into the studio with him. He is such an incredible songwriter.
You're no longer working with Syco Entertainment or Simon Cowell, but how do you look back and reflect on that time?
It was such an incredible experience. They gave me the opportunity to do some of the most amazing things I've ever done. I was able to work with some of the biggest names in the industry to help make and release my own album and none of that would have been possible without The X Factor itself, or Sony and Syco. I really do appreciate all that they did for me, and it's given me such a great platform to continue with music as a career.
How is work on your next album going?
Everything is in the very early stages at the moment. We only released the last album in October last year and it's still out there going strong, but I'm always writing when I can so there are a few tracks I'm playing with at the moment.
Where do you draw influence and inspiration from as an artist?
Other artists and music I guess, my tastes in music has widened as I got older so I'm into lots of different stuff, but i really like the blues. Blues songs are all like well written stories.
Aside from the tour, what should we expect from you in the coming weeks and months?
Got lots of live shows coming up after the tour too. I'm looking forward to playing some of the festivals over the next few months, and just generally being out on a stage near you!
Check out Ben's full list of tour dates across the UK below:
- 15.04 - Manchester - Academy 2
- 16.04 - Newcastle - Academy
- 17.04 - Glasgow - O2 ABC
- 19.04 - Croydon - Fairfield Halls
- 20.04 - Ipswich - Regent
- 21.04 - Birmingham - Institute
- 22.04 - Bristol - O2 Academy
- 23.04 - Sheffield - O2 Academy
You can get your tickets at http://gigst.rs/BenHaenow