James Blunt has been enjoying something of a turnaround in public perception of late.
His fourth studio album ‘Moon Landing’ spent an impressive 33 weeks in the UK top 40 and thanks to his brilliant use of Twitter, he’s finally been able to shirk his former serious image.
Speaking exclusively to Yahoo Celebrity ahead of the reissue of his platinum selling album, the 40-year-old singer explained that striking a chord with the UK again came as a genuine shock.
He told us: “To me it did come as a surprise and in the UK it was particular a welcome one. We’ve been doing well around Europe but in the UK it had been quite a bit quieter over the past few years and it’s really nice to have that warmth of reaction.
“It takes me back to an album in 2004. As a result I’m having blast. I’m coming back to the UK to do an arena tour November and off the back of it we’re putting out the Apollo Edition of the album with five new songs I recorded on the road – so I’ve been having fun with it.”
As for why he felt that Moon Landing resonated so well with UK music lovers, James has a theory.
He explained: “I really didn’t [anticipate Moon Landing’s success] and I tried not to think about it too much initially when people asked me about my expectations.
“I’d tell them that I was just thinking about the recording process and that it didn’t really matter to me that much – of course that was a lie! Of course it matters.
“In the recording process I tried not to think about the music industry or the audience and tried not to write songs with a world tour in mind because if you do that, you start writing songs to try and fill the arenas with sound.
“I was doing that on my third album, I picked up an electric guitar to try and reach the person at the back. But on this one I just wrote songs for the love and the pleasure of it. Maybe when you start thinking so much about the audience you write songs that are genuine and more honest, then the audience eventually go ‘hey yeah, I can pick up on that’.”
Following his meteoric rise to fame with debut album ‘Back To Bedlam’ in 2004, James quickly became a victim of his own success, namely down to lead single ‘You’re Beautiful’.
The backlash led to James becoming the butt of many a joke – but as it turns out, this never seemed to bother him.
“No [the comments didn’t get to me]! I come from an army background and I have a pretty thick skin,” he said. “We in the army know that if you’re being abusive to someone it probably means that you hold affection toward them!”
Nowadays, James has managed to gain a cult following on Twitter thanks to his joining in on the joke, trolling his trolls with witty retorts – although his management weren’t particularly keen on his unique brand of celebrity tweeting at first.
“One of the funny things is, when I first started doing it my record label called me up to stop even though they were the ones who asked me to get on Twitter,” he explained.
“They said, ‘look, that’s all wrong, that’s not the way you should be doing it, no one is going to enjoy it’.
But now I think they’ve turned around and said, ‘hey, wasn’t that a great idea!’”
So what has James Blunt learned about himself the most over ten tumultuous years as a musician?
“Not to take myself seriously. But the same should be held to anyone in the music business,” he said.
“At the end of the day, we call all these people celebrities, celebrate them and call them VIPs. The thing with singers and actors is that they’re just singing or reading out other people’s lines.
“I’m not a doctor, I’m not saving people’s lives, or a teacher who educates, or an aid worker who rebuilds a country. That’s perhaps something we should celebrate.”
Moon Landing The Apollo Edition is available to buy and download November 3.