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truly talented
post Sep 23 2015, 01:56 PM
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Will Young Interview: íWe are super selfishÖ helping others should be mandatoryí

Hanna Flint for 23 Sep 2015 12:05 pm

Will Young is running late. Heís coming into London from his farmhouse in Oxfordshire and of course Londonís traffic has got the better of him.

But when he walks into the room, sporting a trendy beard, a bright smile and a sincere apology, it pushes all thoughts of tardiness out of the window.
Because heís exactly how people have described him: polite, intelligent, warm and excited about getting back on tour, the upcoming release of his new single, Joy, and chatting to all about itÖ

How does it feel to have 85% Proof hit number one after being so quiet on the music front?

Itís amazing. I think itís all about having faith in the music and not getting terrified that no oneís going to buy it, thatís the bottom line, isnít it? I donít have that, Iím not terrified and so it makes me happy to take time away. I donít feel like I want to get headlines, that would be the wrong thing for me to try and do business. So I just try and concentrate on making the best record I can. Getting the number one was just really cool, especially with it being 13, nearly 14 years since I had found out I had got to the last 50 of Pop Idol.

And considering the shelf-life of reality TV singers, youíve done pretty wellÖ

I think everyone has a shelf-life, because people have been on reality shows for much longer, thereís been more of a set up for it. But itís a tough industry, I was speaking to an amazing artist the other day who told me Ďif I donít have a hit, then Iím gone.í You know itís hard to say Ďwell donít think about ití because this is their career and this is a really hard job.

Do you think that artists these days are having to become more than an act, but a brand in order to financially survive and be seen when the stakes are higher than ever?

I donít think you have to be, I think everyone has different career choices, I think that we have so much amazing music in this country, and thereís an appetite for music. Even though streaming means you donít get much revenue from record sales, people want to see music, so live has just gone up and up with so many festivals and outdoor gigs.

Festivals werenít so big when you were first starting outÖ

Live has changed so much in the last six years. From when I first did Glastonbury all my touring changed and I can now do these amazing shows. Iím doing a show, BBC Radio 2 in Hyde Park, and Iíve ordered these massive balloons like eight foot wide, how cool is that?

So itís a more interactive experience for you?

Exactly. So for this tour, the beginning is going to be like a finale. Itís an idea that Iíve wanted to do. Iíve got braver and braver in my live shows ever since I did Cabaret, which was so dark and incredible. I was wearing fat suits, balloons, corsetsÖ it got me realising I could do more of this in my pop career.

Certainly seems more value for money considering the cost of ticket prices these daysÖ

Ticket prices are expensive, I have kept an eye on my prices because I donít want to fleece people. I mean my tour prices are much cheaper than Cabaret. For pop tours it has to be at a level, and I want to make my tour to be as much of an experience as I can.

So the music is obviously going well, but what about the acting career?

Thereís five things Iím working on right now. Iím writing a comedy-drama which I canít tell you much about, and another pilot with a friend, another TV thing and two theatre projects.

Can we expect those any time soon?

I donít know, it just sort of potters along in the background, in between records and Iím kind of happy about that. I know thereís one definite thing for when Iíve finished this tour, but that will be 2017, a TV thing. I love it because I like to have fingers in lots of different things and it keeps me energised. Itís nice to have all those things because it allows me to focus on my music more, and stops me being scared. And thatís the key thing for being creative, you canít be half-hearted.

Do you ever fancy doing a complete soundtrack for a movie?

Iím not a good enough musician, and thatís not putting myself down, I just think for soundtracks youíve got to be a producer and play a lot of instruments and I just donít. Musicals Iíd do; Iíve got a plan for a musical and I know who I want to do it with but that will be like 2018 or 2019. It would be an ensemble piece with no lead, itís going to be pretty cool!

Career wise you seem rather busy, but can you see yourself starting a family any time soon?

Yes, Iím so broody itís terrifying. Everytime I see someone with a baby I ask if I can pick them up. I canít wait, I didnít think I would but now I do.

So how do you think youíd do it.. would you adopt?

I donít know itís a hard one really. Itís not as simple as you might think, because you take on the things that the child already has. A childís formative years are 0-2 so if I was to adopt Iíd want to be aware of whatís happened to that child. I would probably go to specialists who can help with traumas, because children do get traumas if they are pulled away from their parents. The other thing Iíd like to do in the future is foster. Right now I donít have the routine to do that but in the future I know I will end up doing stuff with kids. I want to create a place where kids can go out of the city and enjoy the countryside.

Do you think that children these days are using too much technology and not experiencing the real world as much as you did when you were younger?

I think that children need to go back to nature. Growing up in the countryside, Iíve just come in from the countryside, and itís so uplifting. At some point I will create a space where kids can go, with dormitories, and charities can use it. Itís going to be somewhere in Scotland and Iím so excited about it. It wonít be for ten years though, but itís something thatís not about me. The singles and tours are about me, but this wonít be and itís a privilege to be in a place where I can do that. Itís amazing.

It certainly makes things like worrying about album sales etc. seem like first world problems, especially now considering there are Syrian refugees dying everyday in their pursuit of a better lifeÖ

Exactly, who gives a s**t? Oh I didnít get in that magazineÖ who gives a s**t? The problem with this job is you can become such a navel gazer. And I completely agree with you, this Syrian crisis is terrible, if I werenít busy with things Iíd go over there because these people need help. I think if everyone took one evening a week, which I think should be mandatory, one evening a week to do something for other people. Two hours one night, how brilliant would that be?

So people should be doing more?

I think we are super selfish, we think about Ďoh, I want that new car, I want that new shirtí, and Iím the same. I think we should think more universally. A friend of mine sees a gay guy in his eighties, sees him once a week, and thatís just brilliant. Thereís nothing better than when I go mentor kids. I did something with PACE, a young LGBT charity, and I sat there for two hours and talked to these young kidsÖ I came away feeling wonderful.

Will Youngís album 85% Proof is out now. His latest single Joy comes out Friday 25 September.

On a selfish note I'm pleased any acting role doesn't appear to be on the cards before 2017 and that 2016 remains all about the music. Love also that he's very conscious about not fleecing his fans.

This post has been edited by truly talented: Sep 23 2015, 01:58 PM
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post Sep 23 2015, 06:57 PM
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Thanks TT. He's been doing some really good interesting interviews recently.
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