What’s on Southwest has always been a great fan of Will Young and we have featured many articles over the years. He is a lovely guy and a genuine musician and I am sure if you catch him at any of his live performances you are in for a fantastic night!
Your ’20 Years’ tour starts in a few weeks – what can fans expect at the shows?
We are going to be doing what it says on the tin. I released a Greatest Hits album this year and I’m going to be performing all of my singles – possibly even in order of their release. It will be a true musical voyage through time. I also will have a request section where people in the audience can message in to hear any song from my back catalogue – which is rather daunting as there’s about 140 to choose from.
How is the request section of the show going to work?
I tried this a couple of years ago, but as more of a Q&A. I had a website where people could message in and ask questions and I would read them out live on stage from my iPad. This year I thought why not change it to requests for any song from my catalogue. I think it gives fans the opportunity to hear that one song they’ve maybe never heard me sing live before.
What is life on the road like for you, do you have a specific routine?
It’s very much about routine, especially the nearer to stage time I get. I aways like to exercise and I make sure I do a lot of stretching. Then I have a routine of always showering before and after and I do my vocal warm-up – and then I get dressed and ready for the show!
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Not really any true rituals apart from vocal warm-ups, but I always try to remember my mantra which is that this is all about having fun.
What’s on your rider, any extravagant demands?
Has touring changed for you since you won Pop Idol 20 years ago?
The main thing I have changed is that I don’t have any electronic programming in my show anymore, so everything you hear is being played live as you hear it.
What’s next for you in terms of music, writing and podcasting?
Next is a new studio album I’ve been working on for about a year now, on and off. I’m still very much enjoying doing a lot of talks and writing on mental health, so definitely more of that. I tend to be drawn to telling people’s stories who perhaps don’t have a voice themselves, so I am hoping to do more documentaries on various topics that interest me.
We hear you are also fronting a brand new charity initiative called Wellstock and have a certain Ed Sheeran doing something a bit special for you in London soon – can you tell us all about it?
Yes, it is very exciting. Wellstock is about bringing attention and information about mental health and it is just in its infancy at present. I have partnered with the charity called SHOUT and an initiative called One Night Only to provide one-off unique events where people can donate £10 for a pair of tickets and they are chosen at random. It is a wonderful new democratic way of raising money, allowing artists to do special one-off things and raising funds for much needed causes. SHOUT is a text message service predominantly used by people under 25 who help people in crisis or who just need to talk to someone knowing they are being heard and validated. Most calls are to do with anxiety, depression and often suicidal ideations. I’m very excited about Ed’s gig – he will be performing for the first time at the Union Chapel in Islington, London on 11th October, playing old songs acoustically as well as some never heard before music. Make sure you enter and donate by texting “ED” to 84903 or visiting http://foronenightonly.org/ to enter online or by post.
20 YEARS: 20 FACTS
The original Pop Idol from the first-ever worldwide series, paving the way for artists including Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Carly Rae Jepsen and Adam Lambert
Scored the #1 biggest selling single of the noughties with ‘Evergreen/Anything Is Possible’
Released FOUR number one UK albums and EIGHT top 3 UK albums in the twenty years since winning Pop Idol, including the recent 2021 album ‘Crying on the Bathroom Floor’
Achieved FOUR number one UK singles (including ‘Leave Right Now’ and ‘Light My Fire’) and more than TEN top ten UK singles
‘Evergreen/Anything Is Possible’ officially the fastest-selling debut single of all time in the UK
Over 10 million records sold worldwide
10 Brit Award nominations and 2 wins including ‘British Breakthrough Act’ and ‘British Single of the Year’ for ‘Your Game’.
Olivier Award nomination for his 2013 role as The Emcee in Cabaret in London’s West End
Performed at the opening of the Commonwealth Games, Nelson Mandela’s Unite The Stars charity concert in South Africa in 2006 and at the Concert for Diana at Wembley Stadium in 2007
Has performed live duets with Elton John, James Brown, Queen & Burt Bacharach
Starred in the critically acclaimed 2005 film ‘Mrs. Henderson Presents’ alongside Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins and, as a result, was voted ‘Young Actor To Watch’
Will is a mental health advocate, an official ambassador for Women’s Aid as well as an animal rights activist
Author of the acclaimed 2020 Sunday Times best-selling book on gay shame, ‘To Be A Gay Man,’ with several follow-up books in the works
Will regularly guest presents the Jo Whiley Show on BBC Radio 2
‘Leave Right Now’ winner of an Ivor Novello award for ‘Best Song Musically & Lyrically’
Will has embarked on 8 x sold-out headline UK tours and performed at Glastonbury Festival three times
Successful podcaster who launched and was co-host of season 1 of hugely popular podcast ‘Homosapiens’, with new mental health podcast launching 2022.
Winner of Best Male Music Star at the Elle Style Awards, Best Newcomer at the GQ Awards and Culture Award from Attitude Magazine
Musically, Will has collaborated with Eg White (Adele), Sia, Steve Lipson (Annie Lennox), Burt Bacharach, Cathy Dennis (Britney Spears, Katy Perry) and Richard X (M.I.A, Roisin Murphy)
Visually, Will has collaborated with Wiz (Oasis), Michael Gracey (Greatest Showman) and Bailey Walsh (Massive Attack)