He’s sold millions of records around the world and is responsible for hits like ‘Broken Strings’ with Nelly Furtado, ‘You Give Me Something’ and ‘Please Don’t Stop The Rain’ and British singing sensation James Morrison is set to perform to thousands in Johannesburg and Cape Town as part of his ‘Up Close And Personal’ tour. Ahead of his visit to South Africa, we sat down with the talented crooner as he opened up about his music, his South African fans and more.
We’re so excited to see you perform live in South Africa! Your music is known for tapping at the heartstrings. How important is it for you to create an emotional connection with your fans?
It’s important, but on a subconscious level. People just want to hear music, but without a connection it’s just music. With a connection, it’s an experience. I try to crack jokes, acknowledge my faults and be present.
Your latest album ‘Higher Than Here’ was your first since becoming a father. How did that change the music you made on that project?
Being a father makes you want to write songs that you can stand next to and not be embarrassed by. Now she’s of the age where she’s aware that people know who her dad is, like at school and stuff – and it’s nice to see that despite my best efforts she still thinks I’m reasonably cool.
We’re really looking forward to your performances in South Africa. What do you hope fans take away from one of your shows?
It’s not for me to say what people take home with them, I can only put myself in a listeners shoes and hope that I reach all emotions in people to provoke a reaction. Goosebumps, smiles or tears will do. Or just the feeling of knowing and understanding. Lots of good vibes as well.
Other than the show, what are you looking forward to experiencing during your time in South Africa?
I want to go see the Cango Caves, The Cradle of Humankind and Table Mountain while I’m here. But you know, I’m just as much looking forward to just being in South Africa having a drink and taking it in. The nature side of it is the main reason I can’t wait to visit the country (besides my show) because it’s so spectacular that it just takes your breath away.
It’s been close to four years since you last dropped an album. Is there some new music on the way we can keep an eye out for?
Hell yeah! It’s coming real soon. I think it’s better to come around when you’ve got something nice to share and this new album is my something nice.
If you could send your South African fans a message, what would it be?
My visit has been a long time coming – but the time is here. I can’t wait to see you and your beautiful country and play you my music. No holding back. Peace and love.
James recently added a third show in Johannesburg on the 24th of January and will be supported by Stone Jets. Tickets are still available at Computicket now.
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