If you’ve yet to hear of Etham, then trust us when we tell you that he’ll soon be name on everyone’s lips.
With a string of singles to his name, including his most recent release ‘Future’, the singer-songwriter has already captured the hearts of many listeners across the world thanks to his soulful voice. Even global superstar Shawn Mendes considers himself a fan!
Last Saturday, Etham performed at BST Hyde Park, delivering a stunning set on the Summer Stage. Before he went on stage, we sat down with him to discuss ‘Future’, words of encouragement from Shawn, and more.
You’re performing on the Summer Stage today, how are you feeling ahead of your performance?
I’m excited! It’s good to be back, it’s always really good fun here. It’s a lovely festival, why wouldn’t you want to hang out in Hyde Park?
Exactly, it’s such an iconic venue and we’re lucky that the sun’s out again unlike yesterday!
It started raining yesterday didn’t it? A bit of the old England came back.
Definitely! Are you looking forward to watching anyone in particular today?
Bruno Mars is definitely who I’m looking forward to the most although I’m hoping to catch Liv Dawson on the Barclaycard Stage. I love her, she’s great, so awesome. Sadly Tom Walker is playing the same time as me, it always happens! He played the same time as me at Barn on the Farm, and he’s playing the same time as me at this festival, all I want to do is watch him!
Let’s talk about your latest single ‘Future’ – can you tell us about the inspiration behind it?
It’s kind of a love song but it actually has a dark twist to it now because the girl I wrote it about, we’re no longer together. The video has a bit of an edgy, dark turn to it because it is quite a lovey love song and that came from a place where I was in love with somebody. Now it’s got a weird twist to it.
You mentioned the video, and that’s just been released. What was the filming experience like?
Really odd! It was so odd as you’ve got your camera crew and then everyone around you, and you’ve got to kind of perform and be an actor almost. It was a bit uncomfortable I have to say, but then I was like “you know what, you only get one shot”. You get three takes with every shot so you’ve got to give it your best. I definitely did my best but now when I watch it, I’ve only watched it the once, but I can see exactly where I can improve and do better in each video that I do. It was an amazing experience.
Well we really enjoyed it and we love how you’ve put the message of the song across.
So we’re fans of yours, but we hear that Shawn Mendes is a big fan too? How do you feel about that?
It’s cool! I only bumped into him quickly, it was briefly behind one of his shows and he just said that he liked some of the covers that I was doing back when I was 15. I haven’t seen him or spoken to him for a while but I mean he’s killing it, he’s an extremely busy guy selling out stadiums and arenas and whatnot. It’s cool that I met him and had a chat, he’s a really nice lad.
Did he give you any words of encouragement?
Yes, he said it’s all about content. Just getting everything out, just do it and keep going. Once you’ve taken a break from putting music out and stuff like that, there’s nothing for people to come back to and keep going to your page for. I think that’s what he was getting at because one of the main things I do remember him saying was “what’s going on? The last videos you put out were like two years ago”. I came back saying that we were taking our time sort of thing, but really if you’ve got enough content to put out then just stop waiting and put it out. We’re taking that on board quite a lot. It’s been something that’s come to reality quite a lot this year. I’m just going to put so much music this year because it’s important.
So what’s next in terms of music and touring? We know you have a show booked for September…
Yeah, I have a show in London on September 5! I also just finished recording the vocal for my next single literally two days ago and we’re hoping to get that out really soon. An amazing guy called Mike Spencer’s producing it and he’s done such a good job of it, I’m so happy with it and that was just the first draft that he did. We’ve still got to go through a few little things so I’m hoping it’s going to sound incredible. Hopefully that will be out in the next two months.
I don’t really want to wait around anymore. As soon as I’m happy with it and we’re happy with the sound, then we’ll put it out and get it going. On top of that, we’re going to be doing a lot of acoustic stuff on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram just to tease some songs I’ve written and to get some reactions to see if everyone’s feeling it. I’m going to do a few covers as well, just keeping really active. There’s going to be so much music coming out soon!
We’re really looking forward to it! Final question, what would you say has been the highlight of your year so far?
I did a writing trip in Sweden and we wrote one my favourite songs that I’ve ever written. That was something else, I wish I could relive it.
[Etham’s friend whispers ‘Justin Timberlake’]
Oh yeah, I did see Justin Timberlake on Wednesday which was incredible!
How was the atmosphere considering the England semi-final was shown beforehand and the result didn’t go the way people had hoped?
It was odd! We watched the game, I couldn’t watch the last five minutes but obviously it didn’t end well. For me, I’m such a huge JT fan that as soon as the football finished I was just like “oh well, JT’s on now so it doesn’t matter”. I turned into a massive fangirl from then on and lost my voice a little bit as well. He was incredible. They’re definitely the two main highlights for me but Sweden, definitely the biggest highlight.
‘Future’ is available now.
Check out our BST Hyde Park review here and keep your eyes peeled for more exclusive chats from the festival.
Fan of Etham? Let us know on Twitter @CelebMix