In the darkness, Ben Haenow lights up the room. His talent’s the fire that keeps on burning through!
Since winning The X Factor, it’s fair to say that Ben Haenow’s dreams have come true. He’s completed his very first headline tour, his debut album has just been certified gold in the UK and he’s even enjoying huge levels of success in South Africa.
We caught up with Ben earlier this month. In our exclusive interview, the Croydon-born singer spoke about: working with Kelly Clarkson, rocking the stage with his brother and more. He also took part in a fun song titles round so make sure you listen out for that.
You can read some highlights from the interview and hear our chat with Ben in full below!
You completed your very first headline tour last month – how did you find it?
“It was unreal man; the best experience of my career so far for sure. Yeah, it was unreal just seeing people’s faces out there singing. It was wicked.”
Are there any songs that you particularly enjoyed performing live?
“I think every one really. Obviously ‘Something I Need’ was a big one but of the ones we wrote, ‘Testify’ seemed to be a big crowd-pleaser. ‘Brother’ was probably one of my favourites and actually having my brother up there on stage as well. All of them man.”
We love your debut album and it even made it to the top 10 of the album charts; congratulations. How did you find the response to the record?
“Yeah, it was great. I just recently found out that it’s gone gold in the UK as well so it’s still out there and still going. People’s response to it has been unbelievable; the Haeniacs my fans call themselves and they’ve been the best fans ever. The support that they’ve shown me through the album and the feedback I get about all of the songs. Obviously seeing them there at the tour, all singing their hearts out, was a testament to it really.”
You dueted with Kelly Clarkson for ‘Second Hand Heart’ – how was it working with her?
“She was unreal. She was a true professional; someone who’s got so far in their career and has had so many hits and done so much great stuff really. To meet her and for her to be so kind of down to Earth and lovely – that was kind of inspiring for me really. It was nice to see someone who’s done so well still stay so humble and grounded really. She was amazing man; her voice is unreal.”
It’s clear from ‘Brother’ and ‘Every Tear You Cry’ that family is very important to you. How does it feel to have your brother Alex as your guitarist?
“It’s kind of the dream really. It feels right; it’s kind of how we started and how we got into it. It was together kind of writing songs and playing songs together. It feels right to have him up there on stage with me and now we’re kind of in talks with people; we’ve got some exciting stuff going on moving forward. It’s great to have him with me there. It’s great to have my family involved man; I love them.”
Looking back, if you were to release a few more singles and music videos from the album – which songs would you pick?
“I think ‘Way Back When’ – I was really fond of that song. ‘Brother’ obviously I’d love to release; it’s kind of a bit more uptempo and a bit more rocky. ‘Start Again’ I think would have been a good one to have a video for it.”
How far are you into the process of making a second album? Have you started writing some tracks or brainstorming ideas? Obviously the first album hasn’t been out too long.
“Yeah, that’s the thing Mark man. At the moment, that’s still in the really early stages. We’re having a lot of meetings with people and I myself have been kind of writing a little bit; I’m just kind of enjoying doing that anyway you know. Nothing is set at all for a second album at the moment; it’s just all kind of in the early stages.”
What does the rest of 2016 have in store for Ben Haenow?
“A lot more live shows. Obviously we’ve just come off the tour and we’ve got a lot of stuff happening in the summer and over the next couple of months as well. Just a lot more live shows; getting out there and playing a lot and seeing the fans. That’s what I got into it for and love doing so just getting out there and playing as much as I can.”
If you could leave a message for your fans, what would you say?
“I would say you guys are absolutely unbelievable. None of this is possible without you. I had the best time of my life on the tour and that was all thanks to them. The album has gone gold and that is all thanks to them. I’m talking to you Mark and that is all thanks to them. I can’t honestly thank the fans enough; they’re my world. They’re why I carry on doing this and have the ability to carry on doing it. So thank you so much to everybody.”
The deluxe edition of Ben Haenow’s self-titled album is available here on iTunes. ‘One Night’, ‘Ready For You’, Greatest Mistake’ and ‘Every Tear You Cry’ are the bonus tracks on the extended edition of the record and they’re seriously worth every penny.
Want to know more about Ben? Back in March, we wrote an article about his incredible journey so far – make sure you read that here for further details about his career to date.
So what does the future hold? As Ben said, he’s got lots more gigs lined up and we should hopefully be seeing the extra special ‘All Yours’ video online very soon.
At the moment, a second album is only in the very early stages so it might be a while before we hear that but we’re sure it’ll be worth the wait. In the meantime, we’d definitely recommend that you attend one of Ben’s forthcoming gigs. He’s a born showman.
Did you go to one of Ben’s headline shows last month? Let us know over on Twitter @CelebMix or leave a message in the comments section below!