If we mentioned James Arthur, a couple of his hit tracks would automatically come to mind – like “Empty Space”, or “Say You Won’t Let Go”. It’s undeniable that this talented singer-songwriter has produced quality tracks throughout his career.
The winner of the ninth season of the English competition “X Factor” has released his fourth album entitled “It’ll All Make Sense in The End” earlier this November. The album consists of 14 songs altogether. This latest record has a mixture of different genres and recently, we had the chance to chat with this talented soul about his new album and more.
1) Your album is titled “It’ll All Make Sense”. What made the most sense when you’ve finished this album?
“Just a feeling of pride — I feel very proud that I was able to follow through on the idea that I had for this album. The execution of the idea made me proud because I just wanted to set out to make an album that felt like a coherent body of work that had a sound to it. It would have felt like an experience that maybe people hadn’t heard from me before. In terms of the guitars and the rapid; just the overall mood of the album, I feel like it was achieved and that made me proud. And the songwriting is as honest as it can be. And I’m talking very openly about my life and how I felt at that time.”
2) Your album cover is very unique; it’s you and a little boy in a world that has been destroyed. Maybe you could explain the idea behind it and the inspiration behind your album cover?
“Yeah, well, I just wanted to have this post-apocalyptic background. I felt like it was very fitting especially the way the world is at the moment. I just wanted to have chaos in the background. Because I think the moment between myself, and the younger version of (me), (have) to feel as intimate as possible, personal as possible and block out the noise.”
3) You wrote every single song on the album. How many songs did you write in total for this record? And was it hard to narrow it down?
“There was, I think, 78 songs, nearly 80 songs. They were all written in the space of like a few months. So, there was like a song a day for quite a while. Yeah, always very hard, very difficult. It’s because as a songwriter, your songs feel like your children. They feel very personal to you. So to have to cut them and accept that the world won’t hear them, or that you can’t share them with the world. This is always difficult.”
4) This album was created in the comfort of your own home instead of in the studio, like you normally do. How different was the experience and did the environment have any effect on the end product of your album?
“Yeah, good question. I don’t know whether it means that the quality is any better or worse. All I know is that the process was much more enjoyable for me. I felt very comfortable and that allows you to be vulnerable and it allows you to be honest, and I enjoyed it a lot.
I enjoyed making this project. I felt more sense of control over how it was presented and perceived. So, I enjoyed it very much. I’d definitely work more like this moving forward now that the restrictions have eased, and I’ll always go work with other people and different studios, but I will always enjoy working in my own space more than any other. And I guess that’s it’s a good formula.”
5) What was it like filming for the music video for “Ride”?
“It was a lot of fun because as you can see there’s like sick cars in the video. Yeah, it was just a lot of fun, it was a different video for me, it was kind of like a hip hop video; something I’ve wanted to do for a little while. So, I was very pleased with it.”
6) Did you had any input in what went into the visuals?
“Yeah, always. I’ve said a long time ago I wanted to make a video for “Ride” and I wanted there to be cars lighting the set, you know? Dan Massie, who directed the video, he really brought the vision to life and made it look really, really aesthetically pleasing.”
7) One of your songs, “Emily”, is dedicated to your future daughter. What actually inspired you to write “Emily”, and what’s the significance of the name “Emily”?
“I was just thinking about what it would be like to be a dad. I think at the time, you know, during the pandemic, there wasn’t a lot to do but think and reflect and process and all that stuff. And I was writing music and I came up with the idea, because in my personal life, having a kid was like, actually something that could happen. So I had to think about that.
And I came up with the idea of writing a song to my daughter. And Emily was always a name that I always kind of joked about being my daughter’s name. I liked the name Emily Arthur. I thought it sounded cool. So yeah, I just thought well, let’s write a song for Emily. You know, whenever she is alive and kicking.”
8) The little girl that played your daughter in the music video was really cute as well. Was it easy to work with her?
9) So, contemplating about starting a family and all, do you have any idea how many kids you want in the future?
“I haven’t really thought about how many I’d want. I would be very happy with however many God gave me, I guess. I’ll embrace whatever happens. I’d love at least one or two. Who knows. Let’s see how busy we get.”
10) Also, you have been releasing episodes called “Making Sense Of It All”. Have all the episodes been filmed? And how many episodes do you have in mind to release?
“I think there might be one or two left. I think there’ll be the behind-the-scenes from the “Ride” video that will come out soon. But I think that might be it. Maybe one more, and I’ll bring up a deluxe album next year. So, maybe the final episode will be with the deluxe album.”
11) For this record, did you manage to work with anyone new?
“I did. I got to work with some new producers and collaborators; Yami Bell, I got to work with Chris Loco, Max Wolfgang who agreed to work with. New collaborators, new friends. We tried writing songs together and it worked out great for me. I didn’t work with any other artists on this project. But I’ll be working with someone in the deluxe album, but I can’t tell you who yet.”
12) Since this album was filmed during lockdown, what did you learn about yourself during this past year?
“I learned that I can be anywhere in the world and create music, and do my job. So, I decided to move back to my hometown because I realised during the pandemic that I could do my job from home a lot of the time. Yeah, I just learned to exercise mindfulness a lot more, and to be in the moment much more, definitely.”
Talking to James Arthur has made us realise how much more brilliant he is in person! And did we hear about a deluxe album featuring other big names coming up next year? So exciting! We can’t wait to hear more masterpieces from him!
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