Having trouble planning your week in pop? Look no further!
Here are some of the best events happening this week, as listed in our Pop Diary!
- Scouting For Girls (Putney)
- Lady Gaga (Twickenham) will be performing live in the UK this week.
- Ed Sheeran will be playing the iTunes Festival
- Olly Murs will be playing the iTunes Festival
- Plan B will be playing the iTunes Festival
- Emeli Sandé will be playing the iTunes Festival
- JLS will be playing the iTunes Festival
- Conor Maynard will be playing the iTunes Festival
- The Vaccines will be signing copies of their new album ‘Come of Age’ at HMV Manchester.
- Scouting For Girls release their album ‘The Light Between Us’
- The Vaccines release their album ‘Come of Age’
- The Script ft. Will.i.am – ‘Hall of Fame’
- Smiler ft. Tawiah & Professor Green – ‘Top of the World’
- Pink – ‘Blow Me (One Last Kiss)’
- Ne-Yo – ‘Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself)’
- Cheryl – ‘Under The Sun’
TV / RADIO
- One Direction, Taylor Swift, Rihanna and Pink will perform at The MTV Video Awards 2012 will be broadcast live, with performances from (1am, MTV, Friday 7th September).
- Little Mix will be appearing on Daybreak (6am, ITV1, Monday 3rd September)
- Joe McElderry & Stacey Solomon will be chatting to the Loose Women (12.30pm, ITV1, Wednesday 5th September).
- The Vaccines will be taking over BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge (10am, BBC Radio 1, Monday 3rd September).
A boiling hot afternoon in some rather posh record company offices. Diet Coke for Mr McElderry, strong cup of tea for Maximum Pop! No sugar, please. Let’s talk…
Personal – I did a lot of songwriting and it’s the first album I’ve had writing input.
Growth – with what I’ve learnt since Popstar To Operastar and touring, my vocals are a lot stronger now and they’re showcased quite a lot on the album.
Emotional – the lyrics are strong and I think people might cry a little bit!
Do you have a favourite track?
‘What Have I Done’ is about when you’ve ended a relationship with somebody and before you can move on you need the answers. It can be a girlfriend, boyfriend, best friend, family member. There are some lyrics in there that wouldn’t relate to a family member - “lying by your side”…
That would be a very different type of song, Joe.
Haha! When you’ve had a row with somebody and the contact goes, sometimes the most difficult thing is that you just don’t talk to them anymore and it’s ended horribly.
Do your lyrics come from your own experiences?
Sometimes you don’t want to write all about you. With ‘Here’s What I Believe’, the song, so many of my friends had been cheated on and I’d heard so many stories: “he was seeing another girl for six months”, you know. I’ve experienced that as well, it’s horrible when you get cheated on. So that was more taking in information from other people.
Well now they know you’re listening for gossip, they might not tell you everything! In the writing process, is it lyrics or melodies first?
I did a writing camp and a lot of that was melody first, then lyrics. I prefer to write lyrics first because you’re not as limited. If you have some lyrics down you can’t say “well that doesn’t fit to that tune”; you make the music fit to the lyrics.
As your writing develops are you looking to include less cover versions on future albums?
I think so, but with the covers on this album we’ve been really clever and not picked obvious ones that people would expect me to do.
‘Skyscraper’ by Demi Lovato will be known by obsessive pop fans but it might be a new song to most listeners.
That song had slipped under the radar in the UK and it’s so powerful that it deserves to be well known. I hope people enjoy it! Also, I said that if we’re going to do covers on this album, they have to be completely different to the originals. I’ve done the carbon copies now. With these ones I wanted to totally change them.
Well, it’s difficult with opera or Christmas songs to stray too far from the versions people know…
Yeah, those two albums were kind of concept albums so you had to fit to the concept. With the Christmas one you couldn’t start doing a disco version of ‘Mary’s Boy Child’!
The album reminds us of your time on X Factor in that it’s quite a “mature pop” sound.
This is the album that I always should have made. It’s poppy but it’s not overly produced. I suppose it’s what I am! If you come along to my live show I’m very much about not trying to dress things up too much, just belting some tunes out and I wanted to do that. The inspiration for lots of this album was Lady Antebellum and Carrie Underwood and those country and western, hooky melodies with clever lyrics.
On X Factor you were more of a George Michael, Will Young type artist, all about the vocals, etc. Then the Wide Awake album came out and it was very…
…overproduced! It was quite Europoppy with some American pop ballads. I’m really proud of that album, I love it and there’s some great songs on there. At the time we fit to a brief because we’d found ‘Ambitions’ and we were going for it as the single. Had that song not been found the album probably would have been totally different. That happens sometimes. You get a song you think is going to be a hit and make everything fit to it. If I was to do it again I wouldn’t have had the vocals produced as much.
Yes, on ‘Someone Wake Me Up’ there was a really ludicrous Auto-Tune moment before the final chorus that felt rather unnecessary.
Yeah. I think we just tried to test things out a bit. It’s a great pop album but it shocked a lot of people. They were like, “where’s his voice?”
You did a video shoot the other day for ‘Here’s What I Believe’. How important is the visual side of your music? 1 being “I suppose we’d better do a video if we want the song to be played on TV”, 10 being Lady Gaga’s attention to image.
I’m very precise with my image but I’m quite a laid-back, reserved person so you’d never see us like Lady Gaga because I’m not that type of artist and I sometimes feel it does distract. There’s times I watch Lady Gaga, who is incredible, and I just wish she’d wear a plain dress. She’s got such a good voice that she doesn’t need to do “all of that”. Image is important and I got creatively involved in this video. I suppose I’m a 10 but in a different way. I’m very “on” with what I want to look like but it’s not as full-on as Lady Gaga!
You’ve won X Factor and Popstar To Operstar. What do you think about talent shows in general?
People will disagree with this and say “X Factor ruins the industry” but it’s hard to come from the North East and get into the music industry. It’s not as plain sailing as “I’m going to put a band together” so talent competitions are a way in for a lot of normal people who have a bit of talent. I don’t know how that’s become frowned upon. It’s quite shallow to slag it off because every popstar started off as a normal person with a dream.
I don’t want to say “you used the show” but they used that show as a platform to get where they are and it’s quite nasty and spiteful to then go, “well actually I don’t want to be associated with it anymore”. I also think it’s pretty stupid because your fanbase voted for you on that show, so are you calling your fans stupid? I think it’s silly.
Having moved on from Syco, was there ever a point where you felt let down by the X Factor?
No. Simon Cowell never was responsible for my career. I’m responsible for that. He was a business partner in my first album, like any label is! They invest money and put time in and if it works it works, if it doesn’t it doesn’t. I didn’t feel let down, I just thought, “thanks for the opportunity. I’ll see you around!” I still feel like that now. If I see Simon there’s no hard feelings between us.
Did it annoy you seeing the trailer for the new series with Alexandra and Olly and you hadn’t been invited to be in it?
Errrmm, you know, I’m signed to Universal and everybody that’s part of that trailer is part of Syco.
Well for now, for however long… Would I promote somebody that wasn’t signed to my label and could be seen as competition? Probably not. I’m not really that bothered. I take all these things with a pinch of salt and if there’s any underlying reasons why I’m not in there you’d have to ask Simon! I’m proud of X Factor and I have no issues with it.
Do you think the significance of being the winning contestant has changed?
Yes. The runners up can get on with what they want to do without much judgement. It’s becoming much more of a pressure for the winner. I work well under pressure so that was never a problem for me! But for some I think that’s where the problem lies.
Who do you predict will do well from last year’s lot?
I hope Little Mix will do well! I like Amelia Lily as well. She has a good song.
How have you changed since X Factor?
I’m stronger, gutsier and I enjoy myself more than I used to instead of stressing. At the end of the day, we’re not saving lives! We’re singing songs. I love what I do but I enjoy it, I don’t take myself too seriously.
Are there any aspects of fame that you dislike?
When people are negative. It used to be hurtful but now it’s annoying. Why would you bother? When people base their opinions on untrue facts it’s the most annoying thing EVER. People say I haven’t sold any records but it’s like hang on a minute, I’ve worked my backside off for two years and I’ve sold quite a lot of albums. But people base their opinion on the story that I left Syco nearly two years ago. It’s like, get over it! We’ve moved on from there, so when people keep dwelling on negative things from the past, I sometimes think, yawn! It’s really boring.
How is Hugo the rabbit getting on?
Hugo is really good! I feel guilty because I’m away all the time and he’s been staying with family friends who own his brother rabbit, but he comes home all the time. They’re very cute!
The deluxe edition of the new album includes a Joe McElderry tea towel. Please explain this.
That’s like a merchandise thing, a souvenir that people can have, and wave them around at the concert.
Has your mum got one yet?
She hasn’t. I would find it a little weird having a Joe McElderry tea towel in my house. It would be a little self-indulgent!
But it’s self-indulgent having that tea towel from primary school where everyone draws their portrait.
That’s true, haha!
Let’s talk Newcastle icons. Why is Cheryl Cole amazing?
She is a down-to-earth girl, she represents the North East, she’s a dignified lady and an amazing performer.
Newcastle Brown Ale?
I’ve never tasted it but apparently it’s an acquired taste. I’ve been all over the world and I’ve seen it on the top of a mountain in Colorado when skiing and in a beach bar in Florida. It’s great to have something that’s world famous!
Oh, I love Byker Grove. I used to live over the road from somebody from Byker Grove and I was obsessed with that fact. The one who fell out the window and ended up in a wheelchair.
Somebody seemed to die every series. It was quite traumatic.
It was very traumatic for children. I wish they would bring it back. I’d like a cameo!
Do you have a message for Maximum Pop! readers?
I hope they enjoy the new album and thanks for the support!
Thank you very much, Joe!
Here’s What I Believe (the album) is out on 10 September. ‘Here’s What I Believe’ (the song) is out now! Joe performs in Newcastle and London in September.
*ringgggg!!* ooh that’s the MP! phone – and the lovely Will Best is on the line…
Hello, Will! Are you looking forward to T4 On The Beach on Sunday?
I’m nervous but getting more excited every day. We had a big meeting about it this morning to go through ideas and the games we’re going to be playing. I think it’s gonna be bloody hilarious!
What can we expect to see?
T4 is about popstars, music and playing ridiculous games. Every week we play a game with a really tenuously punned title, to get either us or the popstar to look stupid! That’s going to be a big part of T4 On The Beach so we’ll have popstars firing things into the crowd from giant catapults and popping balloons between each other’s chests. I may be dressed up as a dog.
What kind of dog?
Oh, just a general dog costume! Pudsey and Ashleigh are going to be there. When I was little I used to do dog agility courses so I may be competing against a real dog while dressed as a dog myself.
So is this T4′s Got Talent?
Exactly! Pudsey’s Got Talent and then T4 Has Zero Talent.
Will Pretends To Have Talent?
Yeah, exactly. Matt might be dressed in S&M gear…
Wow. Moving on, which of the acts are you looking forward to seeing?
Labrinth because he’s amazing live, he runs around playing five instruments at the same time! I’m a big fan of Rita Ora. She’s a lovely girl, very nice to talk to and to look at(!) and I think she’ll do an amazing performance.
Rita is signed with Jay-Z’s label in America. Do you reckon Jay and Beyoncé might turn up?
They’ll probably be backstage. I’ve invited them and they’re certainly gonna try and pop down, sure. We get on pretty well!
Perhaps Beyoncé will serve ice creams.
Yeah, well she’s gonna bring the baby and they’ll just be hanging out. Most of those sorts of big names will be hanging out backstage but they just won’t want to be on the stage. It’s about letting the Brits shine on the stage but backstage of course Kanye will be there with Kim Kardashian, Jay-Z and Beyoncé. Just our mates, basically, you know?
The line-up is pleasingly British: Rizzle Kicks, Stooshe, Conor Maynard, Tulisa, Little Mix… what does this say about UK pop in 2012?
We don’t need American acts because British pop is just so strong. Look at The Wanted going off and absolutely smashing it in America!
Cover Drive promised MP! they would bring the Barbadian sunshine to the beach.
Well they’ve been told that if they don’t then they can’t play! That’s a condition for them.
That’s in their contract?
Edward Jedward famously broke his leg on the T4 On The Beach stage. Which popstar is most likely to end up with an injury this year?
Jamelia did herself an injury one year and chipped her tooth backstage with Olly Murs, and Peter Andre injured himself on stage as well, so it literally could be anyone!
We hear that yesterday you were talking balls with Adam Lambert. Care to explain?
Yeah, we were talking about fanclubs. Adam’s fanclub are called the Glamberts. I have a fanclub called the Besticles, but there’s only two of them and you know, they’re always hanging around. It was that kind of “hilarious” testicle-based banter.
Well as long as the Besticles keep you warm at night, Will.
I keep them warm! It’s a hands-on job.
Haha! So what else are you up to?
I’m very busy! It’s a bit surreal. The Crush is a monthly show on 4Music that I guest-present with a different popstar each time. The Love Shaft is a dating show for E4 that is set in a lift. That’s going really well. I get loads of tweets saying things like, “Will, this is the worst thing I’ve ever seen but I bloody love it.”
High praise indeed.
It’s the sort of show that’s made by the contestants. Some incredible people have taken part! We had a girl on there who didn’t know what a sandwich was. She didn’t understand the concept of a sandwich!
Are you still doing any modelling?
When you say “still”, er, I’ve not really done modelling! I worked in the Abercrombie & Fitch shop for a brief period. I have, bizarrely, been signed to Premier Models, in their ‘Special Division’, which is for people who could in no way actually be models but because they’re on telly somebody might want to take a picture of them.
So if the weather’s nice on Sunday will you be whipping your top off on the T4 stage?
I really hope not.
What about letting the Besticles get some sunshine?
Haha! I will be wearing a mankini but it’ll be a very small one so there’ll be one Besticle each side of the main thong.
Might we even see the love shaft?
Hahaha! If you’re very, very lucky. Only people right at the front would be able to see the love shaft, unfortunately.
If you were going to show the love shaft to any popstar on the T4OTB bill, who would it be?
Most of them have already seen the love shaft. Maybe I’d show it to Dappy and say, “what do you think? How do I measure up?” I’ve spent hours on photoshop trying to recreate the Dappy photo on myself. It’s actually harder than it looks…
Maybe try the stretch effect. It’s great to see newcomers on the T4 On The Beach bill, like Josh Osho, Lawson and Lonsdale Boys Club.
We’re here to help at T4. We start careers… and then end careers with serious injuries!
Edward Jedward is still psychologically recovering.
In that case we’ll get Jedward back and injure them again. We’ve done a lot of polls on the T4 website but I couldn’t find “which popstar would you like to seriously injure?” for some reason.
Probably for the best! Any other goss?
Not really, we’ve talked about my balls and my general crotch area. I think that’s pretty much everything we had to cover, right?
Right! Thank you very much, Will. We had the Best time talking to you!
T4 On The Beach takes place this Sunday 1st July in Weston-super-Mare. Tickets are on sale now. Visit www.channel4.com/t4.
P!nk’s back, new Aiden Grimshaw single, Olly Murs takes on America, Showcase Live and Lawson’s debut album!1
P!nk has announced her return to pop in this video where she used her croaky tones to inform us that her new single, co-written with Greg Kurstin (Lily Allen, Kelly Clarkson, The Wanted), is called ‘Blow Me (One Last Kiss)’. The song will be released July 9th and is taken from the pop-rocker’s sixth studio album.
Glossy-haired pop icon Aiden Grimshaw’s following up his top 35 *smash*debut ‘Is This Love’ with a new single ‘Curtain Call’ on August 12th, followed by album Misty Eyes a week later. Aiden’s described the theme of the album as follows: “life is worth living, but love is worth everything”. *cries a river* Have you got any tissues?
Hat loving pop star Olly Murs has announced plans for his debut US album which combines tracks from his first two European releases. In Case You Didn’t Know will be released September 25th and will follow debut single ‘Heart Skips A Beat’ featuring
Rizzle Kicks Chiddy Bang. See the complete track-list here.
Showcase Live Goss 1: *Confusing pop world collision alert* Team MP! went to London pop gig Showcase Live on Monday and saw Ed Drewett and his loveable drunken family watch MP! favourite Tich perform ‘Glad You Came’ – a song he wrote for The Wanted. And what did Ed think? He thought she was “blinkin amazing”. Check out Ed’s free download ‘Good Morning’ here.
Showcase Live Goss 2: Later that same night Professor Green and girlfriend Millie Wot Is In Made In Chelsea watched on as Ed performed tracks from his debut album. Ed previously did the sing-y bits on Green’s track ‘Need You Tonight’. We also spotted The Loveable Rogues, Dionne Bromfield and errr… Jay That Used To Be In S Club Jnrs making up the numbers.
Lawson’s Andy has let us know what we can expect from the boys’ debut album – songs about his breakup from Mollie The Sats. He said: “The vast majority of the songs on the album are about heartbreak, and which I wrote after my relationship ended” . Of new single ‘Taking Over Me’ he said “I felt it was important that we had a song on there about the good times as well as the sad”. Seriously, HAS ANYONE GOT ANY TISSUES?
Have we found the luckiest MP!er to date?! Pop fanatic Kelly used our amazing fanmail directory to get in touch with four of her favourite idols, and ALL of them replied! From Kylie Minogue, One Direction and The Wanted she got a heap of stuff signed, and Olly Murs even added a personal touch by scribbling her name. She says each one took 6-8 weeks to be sent back, and she sent all of them to the stars with a stamped addressed envelope ready to be sent back. Why don’t you try your hand at getting in touch? Check out our unbeatable fanmail address directory here.
It’s Olly Murs’ birthday today (HAPPY BIRTHDAY OLLY MURS), so in celebration we have compiled a special quiz in which you can see if you are a true Murs Mastermind. Or, if you will, a MASTERMURS. The rules? Complete the multiple choice questions below and Tweet us @maximumpop with the hashtag #MasterMurs! For example: “The @maximumpop #MasterMurs quiz answers are 1A, 2B, 3C, 4A…” and so on!
HERE WE GO:
1. What was the name of Olly Murs’ first ever single?
A. ‘Please Don’t Let Me Go’
B. ‘Thinking Of Me’
C. ‘The Climb’
2. How many times was Olly in the Bottom Two on The X Factor?
3. What is Olly’s middle name?
4. What did he sing in his first X Factor audition?
B. ‘Twist and Shout’
C. ‘A Fool In Love’
5. In what year was Olly born?
6. What is Olly’s lowest-charting single so far?
A. ‘Heart On My Sleeve’
B. ‘Oh My Goodness’
7. Olly was beaten by Joe McElderry in the 2009 X Factor final. Who came third?
A. One Direction
B. Eoghan Quigg
C. Stacey Solomon
8. Which football team did he play semi-professionally for before turning to music?
A. Manchester United
B. Witham Town
C. Braintree Town
9. How much did he win on his first Deal Or No Deal visit?
10. How many official music videos has Olly appeared in, as of 14 May 2012? (Forthcoming videos, fan videos, acoustic videos etc not included)
Olly Murs is joining One Direction on their US tour very soon, and he’ll also be releasing ‘Heart Skips A Beat’ over there as his debut single. However, where Rizzle Kicks provided the Rachel Bilson-filled guest rap on the UK cut, the US version features Chiddy Bang instead. Take a listen below. What do you think? Leave your comments below.
In between his X-Factor hosting, US breaking and hat wearing duties, Olly Murs still has to a job to do as an in-demand and much-loved pop star – which is why he’s just announced a new tour for 2013. After selling 150,000 tickets for his previous sold out arena tour, the cheeky chappy will set off on the road again Sat 2nd March in Sheffield and finish up at London’s O2 Arena on Friday 29th March. Get all the dates after the jump or watch this snazzy video:
As if One Direction and The Wanted weren’t quite enough, US pop fans will soon be introduced to Olly Murs as well. The cheeky Essex boy will be supporting Harry, Zayn, Louis, Liam and Niall on 19 of their 27 North American tour dates, kicking off in Toronto, Canada on May 29 and wrapping up in Florida on July 1.
Don’t worry if you can’t be at the Sport Relief concert in London’s O2 Arena this Saturday. BBC3 are broadcasting a huge hour and a half of the show, so you won’t miss JLS, Rizzle Kicks and Olly Murs performing a whole host of their biggest hits. Set an alarm for 21:20 on Saturday 24th March, or just keep a bookmark of our Pop Diary, because you don’t want to miss this. Hit like below if you’ll be watching.