English cutie and UK X Factor runner-up Olly Murs tells OK! why he loves Australia so much...
Is this your first time in Australia? Have you got to see any of the country yet?
It’s my second time. I came here in 2008 and travelled the east coast, travelled and backpacked. I loved it, I love Australia. It’s weird coming back for a second time and seeing all the same buildings. Nothing’s really changed in four years, which is quite cool. It’s just weird being back.
This time your trip’s a bit different from backpacking...
Yeah, my life’s changed a lot!
Is that a bit of a spin-out for you?
It’s just been mental! And it’s all thanks to Australia. I came here confused about what I wanted to do, and I left with a clear head. I thought, ‘I’m going to concentrate on my music and do The X Factor; I’m going to do the audition.’
How long were you here last time?
I was here for three months with not much money. I really thought it was something I should do. And when I was walking around the streets I was like, ‘What am I doing? I’m in a weird country, I’ve got no friends. What’s going on?’ But I loved it. As I said it was a great experience.
What do you think of the Aussie ladies?
I love the Aussie ladies! I think they’re really cool. I’ve met a few, and they always seem to be up for a laugh and really down-to-earth and just really cool and fashionable.
Have you been out partying while you’re here?
I haven’t! We went bowling last night, which was really good fun.
Are you a big partier back home?
Yeah, to be honest I used to be a big partier. Now, because of my life, it’s a bit harder, but it’s also because I’m never really at home – I’m working all the time. I’m very driven, I want to keep going with my success. I think with this job it’s very demanding and you have to put everything into it and focus on it and really want to pursue it. But I love a good drink and having a good night with my mates, for sure.
You’ve been branded a bit of a ladies’ man, how do you feel about that?
I don’t know if I am!
Is that a hard title to live up to?
Yes, I feel like I’m a good flirt, I like a woman’s attention. I’d say there’s much better ladies’ men out there, but I’m a good guy to have around, I’m a good laugh. I always make friends with girls and have fun with them.
Are you single at the moment?
Yes! 100 per cent.
Are you looking for someone?
I am and I’m not. I find women very complicated, when I get close to them and I settle down with them it never seems to quite work. Maybe that’s just because I haven’t found the right girl. I’m still single and enjoying it, I like mingling.
You found fame on The X Factor, what were you doing before that?
I worked at a call centre; I gave people advice on how to save money on their energy bills. I used to sell kitchens, mortgages… I sold everything.
What was the plan back then? Were you always interested in music?
I don’t know… all I remember is that I always believed my life could go somewhere else, that there was a better job for me out there than what I was doing, and luckily enough it came along in the shape of The X Factor and music.
What piece of advice has Simon Cowell given you that you’ve taken away?
Maybe it wasn’t Simon, it was more Robbie Williams actually. Robbie turned around and said to me that the most important thing for you to do now is to go and write your own songs, and that’s what I did. I think it’s been the best thing for me. The songs have really been very personality-driven songs, very much me, and I think that’s the key.
What is Robbie Williams like?
Robbie’s great. I’ve performed with him, I’ve met him, he’s a good mate of mine now. I’ve kept in contact with him for three years. He’s a real top, top guy.
He’s having a baby now, isn’t he?
Yeah, he’s settling down. He got married last year and he’s now having a baby. It’s an amazing thing for him and his family.
What would you say to other hopefuls trying out for these reality singing shows?
My best piece of advice really is that you’ve got to work really hard, and you’ve got to listen to the people around you because the industry is changing all the time
One Direction were just out here and sent the ladies crazy. They also found fame on The X Factor…
They are like five Justin Biebers put together. Girls have got so much variety, there’s always one member [to suit] everyone. And they can sing, they’re good guys, they’re fun, they’re cheeky. That was very much what I was like at 18 or 19. They’re really down-to-earth – they have the whole package as pop stars.
So let’s talk about your current album, In Case You Didn’t Know. It’s a bit of a different direction for you, musically. ..
It’s completely different. The first album was reggae and summery and very much like Australian weather, always very summery and cool. This second album I wanted to go with an old-school vibe, and it worked really well.
Were you worried about what fans might think about the new sound?
Yeah, all the time, I’m always worried about it. I’m even worried about the new album coming out being a little bit different, but I think that’s a good thing.
You can rap, right? Will there be any of that on your third album?
Oh, that! I said in an interview once that when I do karaoke competitions I love doing rappers, I like doing Vanilla Ice and Eminem, and it’s stuck with me. It’s a load of rubbish.