Gavin James opens up about devastating break-up that inspired new album

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Gavin James opens up about devastating break-up that inspired new album
Gavin James opens up about devastating break-up that inspired new album

Gavin James has opened up about the devastating break-up that has inspired much of his new album, which is due for release later this year.

The Dublin star is currently working on the highly anticipated follow-up to his hugely successful debut album Bitter Pill; the sophomore offering Only Ticket Home is due for release later this year.

Ahead of his headline appearance at this year’s Electric Picnic, he spoke to The Beat about love and loss, his battles with homesickness and his newfound love of travelling and poultry produce.

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“There’s always so many different types of chicken everywhere you go,” he laughed.

“Especially in America. That’s really what I do – I go to new places and eat chicken wings.”

The master of soulful love songs gave fans a taster of his new album when he released the monster hit Always last April.

It’s a beautiful track laden with soaring vocals, infectious hook and accompanied by a full band that helps set the tone for the album.

Gavin James at the Morrison Hotel

“Always was one of the first songs I recorded for the album and set the mood for every other song on the album after that sonically, so as people listen to the album, there is a natural flow to the album.

“It’s all about loss for me, it was about ending a relationship last year and then immediately regretting it, so it’s pretty apologetic as a tune.

“However, the song can have a lot of different meanings and I’m excited for people to listen to it and make their mind up themselves about what it means to them.”

The 27-year-old Hearts On Fire hitmaker has been on a steady upward trajectory since starting out just over six years ago.

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Music and gigs

In that time he has gone from playing pubs in Temple Bar to selling out arenas following the release of Nervous, which was adapted into a remix with Mark McCabe in 2016 and became known as The Ohh Song.

Last year was a particularly big year for the talented singer songwriter. He spent much of the year away on tour in America with Niall Horan before headlining several other high profile gigs across Europe.

To do what he does, James spends a lot of time on the road – a reality that has taken him some time to make his peace with.

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“When I started I wasn’t mad about travelling at all,” he said.

“But doing a tour with James Blunt a few years back opened my eyes to the positives, now I can’t get enough.

“You also realise that things at home rarely change. It’s always there to come back to.”

James is currently in Amsterdam, exploring the city before playing a show on Saturday night in the Dutch capital.

“My highlight of 2017 was playing in Amsterdam,” he said.

“It was the first arena I had played outside of Ireland.”

“My friend Craig Gallagher played before me on the night and I couldn’t hear the crowd at all, I was like ‘oh no, f*ck, there’s nobody here.’

“I went out for a look – the whole place was packed.

“They were just really respectful and really into the music.”

Gavin James headlined an intimate acoustic set, or Hearth Session, against the backdrop of a roaring Bord na Móna fire in the Parlour at Whelan’s. (Image: Marc O’Sullivan)

Building his brand up over time has given James an appreciation for what he does and has meant he has managed to ease himself into life as a successful touring musician with as little stress as possible.

“Everything happened quite slowly which was great in a way, it’s been a gradual rise so there hasn’t been much stress at all,” he said.

“I enjoy the grind of it, I just love playing gigs.

“The challenge at the moment is building fanbases in different areas of the world.”

Over the last three years he has appeared on the Late Late Show with James Corden, Jimmy Fallon Show, Late Late Show, BBC One Show, Blue Peter and special guest appearances on The Voice Holland and Norway.

He has also appeared on Dancing With The Stars before a tour of Brazil.

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“Going to Brazil was incredible, one of my songs was featured in a soap opera over there which is crazy.

“The show is apparently watched by millions of people,every time the two main characters meet they play my tune. I ended up going over and doing an acting slot in the TV show before going on a tour over there.

“Grey’s Anatomy was another good one, I remember they featured Run by Snow Patrol which kicked things off in a big way for them.

“It’s the go-to show for sad singer-songwriters to get noticed.”

Source: Celebrity News Ireland