After proving that he is ‘Alive’ and ‘Rising’ with his phenomenal new singles this year, Ben Haenow has promised that a second album is on the horizon!
The much-loved X Factor champion toured the UK this month and it’s fair to say that he impressed crowds across the country. His previously unheard originals ‘Give Me Your Love’ and ‘Getaway’ went down a storm.
We caught up with Ben earlier this week. In our exclusive interview, the handsome singer spoke about: his recent tour, married life, his plans for Christmas, what we can expect from his new album and much more.
You can read highlights and hear our full interview with Ben Haenow below!
It’s been three years since you won The X Factor and you’re now three headline tours into your career – how did you find The Rising Tour this month?
“It was crazy. Obviously we did a tour in March so we did slightly smaller venues this time around just to kind of push out the new stuff and see what people were thinking ahead of the release next year. But yeah, people were crazy man; just as loud and just as passionate as they’ve been for the last three years really. It’s kind of made me realise why I keep going and obviously seeing everyone’s beautiful faces in the crowd still, some familiar faces and some new faces, so it’s good to keep growing the fanbase really.”
You’ve recently been recording new songs in the studio and you even performed some of them on tour – how did you choose which ones to tease first?
“It was tough really. One of them is called ‘Give Me Your Love’ and that was one that we thought was just a bit different from my normal stuff. A lot of the stuff I write about is quite personal to me but it’s not as deep. It’s more fun and we wanted to show that side of things and see how people got into that. A lot of people that listen to my music listen to ‘Something I Need’ and ‘Make It Back To Me’ with a real solid message in it and this one was kind of, as much as it does have a message, a lot less deep than the other songs.
“The other one was ‘Getaway’ and that, for me, was lyrically probably the one that I’m most proud of from the second part of the writing. We did the first EP (which is now going to become the first part of the album) and for me, ‘Getaway’ was just lyrically one of the more accomplished songs I feel that we’ve written. We wanted to show two new sides really.”
As you said, ‘Getaway’ is one of the songs that you’re really proud of. For people who haven’t yet heard it, how would you describe the song?
“‘Getaway’, for me, is essentially a song kind of about the reminiscence of when you were younger. It’s about all the plans and dreams you have and how life sometimes gets in the way of that. In the blink of an eye, life just passes by and you were so young and ambitious. The things that you wanted and all the chances you had to chase those dreams kind of seem to have gone away in the blink of an eye. It’s about not giving up on that. Whatever age you are, it’s never too late. It’s a song saying it’s never too late. You should keep that passion and keep those dreams alive so I guess that was really the inspiration for it.”
You’ve spoke about your second album coming out in February – can you tell us more about that? Is it completed?
Ben: “Absolutely. We’re done with it now. We’re just kind of getting a couple of mixes back. All the songs have been written and sent off so we’re waiting to get the stuff back. There’s a couple of little changes going between us and the producer just trying to finalise everything but it is complete man. All of the songs are done.”
CelebMix: “Do you know the title yet?”
Ben: “At the moment, we’re still working on a title. I don’t know whether to take it from one of the tracks or whether to just think of something a bit more philosophical. We’ve got a little bit of time so over Christmas, I’ll be thinking of that and maybe get some of the fans to suggest some stuff.”
Musically, will it be similar to your debut album or are you taking things in a slightly different direction this time?
“I think it’s been taken in a slightly different direction. Obviously being able to write stuff again with my brother, we were kind of just back to writing stuff on guitar and vocals. I think that kind of comes across in the production of the songs. Last time, it was quite a poppy vibe and quite a sort of patchwork of songs. I think there’s a bit more of a thread to this one and it feels a bit more honest to me really. It’s definitely taking stuff in a slightly new direction. There’s nods to stuff like ‘Something I Need’ which, for me, was the right sort of vibe. We’ve gone with that and then as with the Elvis cover, there’s a bit more of the rocky sort of vibe. So taking it slightly away but not too far that fans can’t associate with it.”
We love the snippet you posted of a new song featuring the lyrics ‘We can make time stand still’ – have you completed that track and will it be on the album?
“It’s done. ‘Time Stand Still’ is a really kind of spacious song so there’s not much going on in it with regards to actual music. It’s just really simple melodies and stuff but it was one of the ones I enjoyed writing and it’s something a bit different.”
Since our last interview, you’ve become a married man. Congratulations to you and Jess. How was the wedding and how are you finding married life?
“Unreal. Absolutely unreal. I think it was a long time coming for sure; even particularly from the start of the show (The X Factor) when I think I mentioned that I was looking to marry Jess. I mean we’ve been together for about 11 or 12 years. As I say, everything just goes passed so quickly. It was like three years down the line and it hadn’t happened so once all that had kind of blown over, it was kind of getting things back to focusing on personal relationships. Family, friends and particularly for Jess. It really felt like the right time to do it and I cried the whole way through the wedding day. But yeah, absolutely blown away dude. Married life is amazing and I do feel like a different man. It’s given me a bit more focus to kind of do what I’m doing really.”
You got married in Italy and the location looked beautiful from your photos – was it everything you’d hoped and dreamed of?
“It was more than that. I’m not saying that I wasn’t going to be invested in my wedding day but I guess from a man’s perspective, I was just like it’ll be an amazing day and I can’t wait to marry her but I didn’t think I’d get so caught up in the beauty of the place, of the moment and the emotion that I actually felt at the time. It was much more than I could ever have imagined and every day is kind of still better than I thought or could have imagined it would be.”
What are your plans for Christmas? Are you someone who loves this time of year or are you not particularly festive?
“I’m buzzing for it. I’m normally getting ready to celebrate Christmas a couple of months before. With the tour and that coming in first, there was a lot to think about that so it’s kind of crept up on me this time. We love it. It’s a very family-oriented time for us. Obviously it’s my first married Christmas as well so maybe I can get the wife to do the cooking.” (laughs)
Looking back, what would you say some of your highlights from this year are?
“Obviously the wedding, for me, was an incredible thing and I think probably the highlight. Then getting to do two tours; the March tour was absolutely amazing and finishing off again this tour. South Africa giving us the deal there and Warner ADA giving us distribution. Literally dude. 2017, for me, the last half has kind of brought me back up again. As stupid as it sounds, that’s why we called it The Rising Tour. It does kind of feel like things are on the rise again.”
What can we expect from you in 2018?
“Just more man. Obviously the album’s coming out and really that’s when the work comes in. When you get new material coming out, it gives people a chance to then book you up for stuff. We’re hoping for another tour again towards the end of the year I guess but maybe more summer because it was freezing. Just that and getting out there playing more live stuff dude. Releasing the album, playing live and hopefully continuing to grow with the support of everyone and everything else.”
If you could leave a message for your fans, what would you say?
“I say it every show and I think people sometimes feel like I’m waffling but the support that people have given me has been incredible. To go from winning The X Factor to being dropped and for the supporters to continue following me around and sending me messages of support and being there at the shows. They are everything to me in that respect and I couldn’t do it without them. Again, it’s restored my faith in people. They’re an incredible bunch. Everybody who has come to a show, I pretty much owe my heart to otherwise I wouldn’t be out there doing it. It would just be a massive thank you and a big sloppy kiss.”
Ben’s endearing new single ‘Rising’ is available here on iTunes and here on other digital platforms. The touching song follows previous independent releases: ‘Alive‘ and ‘Forgive & Forget‘. All three tracks will feature on Ben’s second album next year.
As mentioned in the interview, Ben sadly had no choice but to postpone three shows this month due to laryngitis. The silver lining is that his rescheduled shows have already been announced so if you missed out this year or simply want to go again, make sure you grab tickets for The Rising Tour here.
Both personally and professionally, it’s been another fantastic year for Ben Haenow. His undeniable talent is sure to bring him even more success in 2018 and we can’t wait to hear his second album. We will keep you updated with more Ben Haenow articles and exclusives in the near future.
Are you excited for Ben Haenow’s second album next year? Will you be attending one of his upcoming headline shows? Let us know over on Twitter @CelebMix!