After recently finishing a successful tour across the UK and releasing the final cut from his latest album '85% Proof', we got the opportunity to catch up with Will Young to find out all about new single 'Brave Man', the incredible video behind it and much more.
You've had a bit of time to breathe now since the release of '85% Proof', so how did you find the response to that record?
I feel it has been great, although I don't read reviews, so I guess the measure is in the sales, so it going to number one was fantastic. Also, the reaction to the live performances on tour which were electric, and the tour sold out.
Why did you decide to release 'Brave Man' as the album's final single?
It was always going to be released and it just came to be that it ended up being the last single. In a way it really sums up the impetus behind the whole record, that of considered fearlessness.
The video for the track has become a huge talking piece - where did the idea for the trans angle come from?
It wasn't so much about a trans angle, rather the honest authentic telling of a story. The story topic came to me as I was sitting in my car and it just fitted perfectly with the ethos of the song. The treatment was honest and we worked with a trans casting director so there was a lot of integrity to the production. I am really proud of it, and of everyone that was part of it.
There was huge debate following the video release, with some great positive reaction but also some criticism - how do you respond to some of that?
For me, criticism is a 'critique' of a piece of art. Therefore, I don't break it down into positive or negative. As long as I know that the creation of something was done with integrity and honour then whatever debate follows is all beneficial. In order to make social change you have to challenge misconceptions, and understand, and I think the video is just one of the many things that are helping to do that.
How do you feel opinions towards the trans community are shifting and changing as of late?
I feel there is certainly now a more knowledgeable awareness of what it is to be trans, it is something I am just beginning to comprehend myself and I sense people are getting more of an understanding of what gender truly is.
You've just finished touring, how did you find the live shows this time round?
They have been the best shows I have ever done. The band have been wonderful, the creativity I feel has been full of wonder and delight and the humour is just as bad as it has always been! The audiences were brilliant too and that's always the mark of a great show, if they respond as you hope they will. I haven't played live for three years so it was a challenge, and an absolute pleasure, to get back on stage and perform.
Do you enjoy the touring life?
Yes and no. I miss home but I enjoy the community and sense of family that comes with performing every night. The routine of touring is comforting, you know what is expected of you each day, you're surrounded by the same faces, and then you get to do what we love most every night. But I am always happy when it comes to an end and I finally get to go home!
Going forward, do you have any big definitive aims or goals for your career?
I am in the process of finishing a life manual, using techniques and understandings that I have learnt along the way to aid in living a life rather than rushing or battling through it.
I am looking forward to finishing two scripts that I am working on and also hoping that at least one drama idea I have comes to fruition.
And I would like to return to some more Muay Thai Kickboxing training, and develop my own perfume that smells like my own body odour. I'm going to call it BO.
Finally, what should we expect from you in the coming weeks and months?
A huge amount of eating!
Will Young's new single 'Brave Men' and album '85% Proof' are out now.
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