Can you talk to us more about your single “Alive”?
It was written as a thank you to the fans essentially for keeping my dreams alive. It was the first song I wrote for the new album. We had just come off tour and I was blown away by the support of people coming to the shows night after night, it was inspiring to me.
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
After my first tour, I had a load of new experiences to draw inspiration from and write new songs.
How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
It was great, we had a launch party for the single, we played a show at a venue we hired and had a load of fans there when filming. It was a crazy night and the vibe was incredible.
How was the recording and writing process for the album?
The creative freedom was a great thing this time round. I have written all the songs with my brother so it was almost like going back to my roots. I think the lyric and the sound have a more honest feel to them
Looking back if I recall this very well, you didn’t encounter too much of any hustle going through to your win on X Factor – throughout that period, did that confirm in any way that this was your purpose in life?
I have always enjoyed singing and when I started to think I wanted a career in music, I started taking things more seriously but never really felt that this was destiny. I think hard work and preparation go a long way into creating luck or fate. Even during the show, I don’t think I ever felt it was written in the stars, however I do believe in doing something you love for a living.
How did that experience help you grow?
Performing in bigger venues to more people and more regularly really helped me to grow in confidence. It’s always a scary thing singing in front of anyone let alone the judges of a TV show. I think after a while, it became a bit more natural. I really enjoy being on stage now.
After having worked with Simon Cowell throughout this whole process – what made you want to part ways?
I didn’t get much choice to be fair lol… when someone says ‘you’re fired’ you can’t really object to it…
Was it an easy decision? What made you want to take this decision?
Being an independent artist, I have much more creative control and freedom with the sound. It’s very liberating.
Have you had to go back from scratch as an independent artist?
Not at all. The experience of The X Factor opened lots of doors and I met a lot of industry contacts and people who I didn’t know before. Being able to access those contacts and friends has been a huge help.
What have you felt has been some of the PROs of taking the DIY artist approach?
Total creative freedom and less pressure overall. I like being able to take time to write songs and get everything perfect.
How has marriage influence your writing and yourself as an artist?
Getting married was the happiest day of my life. I wrote a song called ‘Rising’ about my wife and she is a huge influence on this new album.
Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
It’s about my journey from The X Factor until now and the ups and downs in between. My family and my friends have all been a huge influence in the tracks too.
Any plans to hit the road?
Indeed, I’ve got a load of shows over the summer and festivals booked in.
What else is happening next in Ben Haenow’s world?
I want to get out and play shows, show people the new album and new material! Lots of interesting things are coming soon out in South Africa and a hopefully UK and Europe tour later this year.