Olly Murs

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At a Glance

Birthname: Oliver Stanley Murs
Nationality: British
Born: May 14 1984


Biography

Statistics never lie. But facts and figures only ever tell part of the story and, when that story concerns Olly Murs, they leave out the most important part of the equation. Three multiplatinum albums, four No 1 singles, sell-out arena tours, total record sales exceeding 10m. That’s impressive. No, it’s HUGE. And plenty of artists would be happy with those stats, would hang their gold and platinum discs on the wall, and sit back and count their royalty returns. But Olly is made of different stuff. There’s a restlessness to him, a need for challenges, for creative fulfilment, that no amount of ... Read more

Statistics never lie. But facts and figures only ever tell part of the story and, when that story concerns Olly Murs, they leave out the most important part of the equation. Three multiplatinum albums, four No 1 singles, sell-out arena tours, total record sales exceeding 10m. That’s impressive. No, it’s HUGE. And plenty of artists would be happy with those stats, would hang their gold and platinum discs on the wall, and sit back and count their royalty returns. But Olly is made of different stuff. There’s a restlessness to him, a need for challenges, for creative fulfilment, that no amount of commercial number-crunching could ever satisfy. Put simply, he’s on a mission. And, on his sensational new album, the aptly titled Never Been Better, he has come closer than ever before to accomplishing it. This is the record his whole life has been leading up to. A set of songs that mix the immediately identifiable with the shock of the new.
For the new album, Olly stuck with what he calls “the backbone”, working as before with Steve Robson, Claude Kelly and Wayne Hector. But he also looked further afield, collaborating with Ryan Tedder on the song Seasons. A chance encounter at this year’s Teenage Cancer Trust concerts at the Royal Albert Hall led to Olly’s most surprising collaboration yet. When Paul Weller approached him backstage and told him how much he admired Olly’s cover of his seminal solo track, Broken Stones, Olly was, he admits, “starstruck – and blown away.” But the Modfather wasn’t done. Casually, he asked Olly if he was working on a new album. Yes, said Mr Murs. “I’d love to write a song with you,” muttered the man from The Jam. Which is how, several weeks later, Olly found himself eyeball-to-eyeball with one of his heroes at Paul’s Surrey recording studio. “It’s a story I know I’m going to still be telling when I’m 65,” Olly laughs, “sat in a bar, with people who’ve forgotten who I am. You know, ‘Tell you what, mate, I worked with that Paul Weller once.’ ‘Yeah – pull the other one.’ When he said he wanted to write with me, I was thinking, ‘Yeah, here we go. As if that’s ever going to happen.’ And he went, ‘Seriously – I’ll send this idea I’ve had over tomorrow.’”
The resulting song, Let Me In, builds from Paul’s characteristically plaintive verses into Olly’s chorus, which soars over a classic-soul setting, and sees him lay down arguably the best vocal performance of his life. “He got his guitar out,” says Olly, recalling the session, “and went: ‘Where do you see the chorus going?’ I mean, I was terrified, but it was the most incredible experience, too. I literally just went for it. I had to. On my way back, he sent me the song, and I just sat in the car listening to it. And the next day, I’m on my way to my mum’s, with the vinyl albums he’s signed for her, and he calls me and goes: ‘That’s a brilliant song we’ve done.’ To get that recognition from someone as iconic as he is was phenomenal.”
Let Me In is just one example among many on the album of how Olly’s voice has changed and matured over the years. “I know I say it every time I make a new album,” he says, “but it’s true: your experience grows, your outlooks changes. It’s that footballer-player thing: they start playing with the big hitters when they’re 22, 23, and they’re good, but when they reach their peak at about 30, they’re stronger, they’re fitter, they’re more experienced. I only really started singing four or five years ago; singing seriously. Before then, I’d sing maybe once a month, just for a laugh; and now, I’m singing every day, and inevitably, the muscles in my voice have got stronger. And I’m much more aware of my range now, the notes I can hit, the things I can do with it.”
That same sense of growth, of new and broader horizons, has occurred with Olly’s songwriting, too. “I’ve been much more involved this time,” he says, “and I love that. I’ve got a strong ear for what works, and a sense of where my career should be going. I definitely have a vision in my head, but I don’t want people just to accept that and not challenge it. Look, there are plenty of artists who get to a certain point and they don’t want to be contradicted. I never want to be like that. It’s what’s best for the music, that’s the most important thing. I love to work with other people, to get the ideas bouncing around. There’s been a lot of give-and-take on this album, a lot of to-and-fro, but that’s how I like it. I’m working with people who have been doing this for years, who are at the top of their game. I’d be mad to ignore that.”
Choosing which songs to release as singles from the new album was Olly’s biggest headache, but he’s well aware how good a position that is to be in. It’s no exaggeration to say that Never Been Better is packed with potential candidates. The title track seems an obvious choice, with its propulsive rhythm and life-affirming lyric. “I’d been at the Royal Albert Hall the night before the session for that song,” Olly says, “I was watching Roger Daltrey performing with Wilko Johnson, and there was this bass line that was amazing. I went into the studio the next morning really vibing about it and said: ‘Scrap everything we’ve done, I want to do something big. Big, huge, massive. So we came up with this anthemic bass line that really pushed the music, and out of that came Never Been Better. I wanted to write a song that expressed where I am right now, which is me, having the best time of my life, living the dream.”
First single Wrapped Up, meanwhile, is a song you can see tearing the roof off on Olly’s next tour. Featuring Travie McCoy, it’s all funk-guitar swagger, mirrorball strings, driving bass and euphoric backing vocals. The heartbreaking, piano-led Tomorrow and Nothing Without You are the lighters-aloft, lump-in-the-throat moments. Beautiful to Me finds Olly reassuring his girl that he will always be there for her, on an earworm chorus of incredible tenderness. Up rides in on a four-to-the-floor beat, banjo and acoustic guitar propelling the song towards a chorus on which Demi Lovato joins Olly to deliver the sucker punch.
The unifying factor on all of these songs, indeed, on the entire album, is Olly’s singing. Put simply, he nails it, time after time. If you were looking for confirmation that Olly is in a great place right now, this is where you’ll find it. As a singer and as a writer, as an artist with three albums under his belt and a new one set to smash it, as a performer with the ability to hold an audience of tens of thousands in the palm of his hand, Olly has cemented his status as one of pop music’s biggest and most enduring stars. “With every album, you take more risks,” he says. “I’m 30 now, and I was 26 when I did the first album. And it’s been two years since Right Place, Right Time – though it doesn’t feel like it. So this is me, two years on, and I think the new record reflects that. I think this album is my ‘I mean it’ album. It’s time to come out of my shell and get a bit more serious.” You heard the man. He’s back – and he’s never been better.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

Statistics never lie. But facts and figures only ever tell part of the story and, when that story concerns Olly Murs, they leave out the most important part of the equation. Three multiplatinum albums, four No 1 singles, sell-out arena tours, total record sales exceeding 10m. That’s impressive. No, it’s HUGE. And plenty of artists would be happy with those stats, would hang their gold and platinum discs on the wall, and sit back and count their royalty returns. But Olly is made of different stuff. There’s a restlessness to him, a need for challenges, for creative fulfilment, that no amount of commercial number-crunching could ever satisfy. Put simply, he’s on a mission. And, on his sensational new album, the aptly titled Never Been Better, he has come closer than ever before to accomplishing it. This is the record his whole life has been leading up to. A set of songs that mix the immediately identifiable with the shock of the new.
For the new album, Olly stuck with what he calls “the backbone”, working as before with Steve Robson, Claude Kelly and Wayne Hector. But he also looked further afield, collaborating with Ryan Tedder on the song Seasons. A chance encounter at this year’s Teenage Cancer Trust concerts at the Royal Albert Hall led to Olly’s most surprising collaboration yet. When Paul Weller approached him backstage and told him how much he admired Olly’s cover of his seminal solo track, Broken Stones, Olly was, he admits, “starstruck – and blown away.” But the Modfather wasn’t done. Casually, he asked Olly if he was working on a new album. Yes, said Mr Murs. “I’d love to write a song with you,” muttered the man from The Jam. Which is how, several weeks later, Olly found himself eyeball-to-eyeball with one of his heroes at Paul’s Surrey recording studio. “It’s a story I know I’m going to still be telling when I’m 65,” Olly laughs, “sat in a bar, with people who’ve forgotten who I am. You know, ‘Tell you what, mate, I worked with that Paul Weller once.’ ‘Yeah – pull the other one.’ When he said he wanted to write with me, I was thinking, ‘Yeah, here we go. As if that’s ever going to happen.’ And he went, ‘Seriously – I’ll send this idea I’ve had over tomorrow.’”
The resulting song, Let Me In, builds from Paul’s characteristically plaintive verses into Olly’s chorus, which soars over a classic-soul setting, and sees him lay down arguably the best vocal performance of his life. “He got his guitar out,” says Olly, recalling the session, “and went: ‘Where do you see the chorus going?’ I mean, I was terrified, but it was the most incredible experience, too. I literally just went for it. I had to. On my way back, he sent me the song, and I just sat in the car listening to it. And the next day, I’m on my way to my mum’s, with the vinyl albums he’s signed for her, and he calls me and goes: ‘That’s a brilliant song we’ve done.’ To get that recognition from someone as iconic as he is was phenomenal.”
Let Me In is just one example among many on the album of how Olly’s voice has changed and matured over the years. “I know I say it every time I make a new album,” he says, “but it’s true: your experience grows, your outlooks changes. It’s that footballer-player thing: they start playing with the big hitters when they’re 22, 23, and they’re good, but when they reach their peak at about 30, they’re stronger, they’re fitter, they’re more experienced. I only really started singing four or five years ago; singing seriously. Before then, I’d sing maybe once a month, just for a laugh; and now, I’m singing every day, and inevitably, the muscles in my voice have got stronger. And I’m much more aware of my range now, the notes I can hit, the things I can do with it.”
That same sense of growth, of new and broader horizons, has occurred with Olly’s songwriting, too. “I’ve been much more involved this time,” he says, “and I love that. I’ve got a strong ear for what works, and a sense of where my career should be going. I definitely have a vision in my head, but I don’t want people just to accept that and not challenge it. Look, there are plenty of artists who get to a certain point and they don’t want to be contradicted. I never want to be like that. It’s what’s best for the music, that’s the most important thing. I love to work with other people, to get the ideas bouncing around. There’s been a lot of give-and-take on this album, a lot of to-and-fro, but that’s how I like it. I’m working with people who have been doing this for years, who are at the top of their game. I’d be mad to ignore that.”
Choosing which songs to release as singles from the new album was Olly’s biggest headache, but he’s well aware how good a position that is to be in. It’s no exaggeration to say that Never Been Better is packed with potential candidates. The title track seems an obvious choice, with its propulsive rhythm and life-affirming lyric. “I’d been at the Royal Albert Hall the night before the session for that song,” Olly says, “I was watching Roger Daltrey performing with Wilko Johnson, and there was this bass line that was amazing. I went into the studio the next morning really vibing about it and said: ‘Scrap everything we’ve done, I want to do something big. Big, huge, massive. So we came up with this anthemic bass line that really pushed the music, and out of that came Never Been Better. I wanted to write a song that expressed where I am right now, which is me, having the best time of my life, living the dream.”
First single Wrapped Up, meanwhile, is a song you can see tearing the roof off on Olly’s next tour. Featuring Travie McCoy, it’s all funk-guitar swagger, mirrorball strings, driving bass and euphoric backing vocals. The heartbreaking, piano-led Tomorrow and Nothing Without You are the lighters-aloft, lump-in-the-throat moments. Beautiful to Me finds Olly reassuring his girl that he will always be there for her, on an earworm chorus of incredible tenderness. Up rides in on a four-to-the-floor beat, banjo and acoustic guitar propelling the song towards a chorus on which Demi Lovato joins Olly to deliver the sucker punch.
The unifying factor on all of these songs, indeed, on the entire album, is Olly’s singing. Put simply, he nails it, time after time. If you were looking for confirmation that Olly is in a great place right now, this is where you’ll find it. As a singer and as a writer, as an artist with three albums under his belt and a new one set to smash it, as a performer with the ability to hold an audience of tens of thousands in the palm of his hand, Olly has cemented his status as one of pop music’s biggest and most enduring stars. “With every album, you take more risks,” he says. “I’m 30 now, and I was 26 when I did the first album. And it’s been two years since Right Place, Right Time – though it doesn’t feel like it. So this is me, two years on, and I think the new record reflects that. I think this album is my ‘I mean it’ album. It’s time to come out of my shell and get a bit more serious.” You heard the man. He’s back – and he’s never been better.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

Statistics never lie. But facts and figures only ever tell part of the story and, when that story concerns Olly Murs, they leave out the most important part of the equation. Three multiplatinum albums, four No 1 singles, sell-out arena tours, total record sales exceeding 10m. That’s impressive. No, it’s HUGE. And plenty of artists would be happy with those stats, would hang their gold and platinum discs on the wall, and sit back and count their royalty returns. But Olly is made of different stuff. There’s a restlessness to him, a need for challenges, for creative fulfilment, that no amount of commercial number-crunching could ever satisfy. Put simply, he’s on a mission. And, on his sensational new album, the aptly titled Never Been Better, he has come closer than ever before to accomplishing it. This is the record his whole life has been leading up to. A set of songs that mix the immediately identifiable with the shock of the new.
For the new album, Olly stuck with what he calls “the backbone”, working as before with Steve Robson, Claude Kelly and Wayne Hector. But he also looked further afield, collaborating with Ryan Tedder on the song Seasons. A chance encounter at this year’s Teenage Cancer Trust concerts at the Royal Albert Hall led to Olly’s most surprising collaboration yet. When Paul Weller approached him backstage and told him how much he admired Olly’s cover of his seminal solo track, Broken Stones, Olly was, he admits, “starstruck – and blown away.” But the Modfather wasn’t done. Casually, he asked Olly if he was working on a new album. Yes, said Mr Murs. “I’d love to write a song with you,” muttered the man from The Jam. Which is how, several weeks later, Olly found himself eyeball-to-eyeball with one of his heroes at Paul’s Surrey recording studio. “It’s a story I know I’m going to still be telling when I’m 65,” Olly laughs, “sat in a bar, with people who’ve forgotten who I am. You know, ‘Tell you what, mate, I worked with that Paul Weller once.’ ‘Yeah – pull the other one.’ When he said he wanted to write with me, I was thinking, ‘Yeah, here we go. As if that’s ever going to happen.’ And he went, ‘Seriously – I’ll send this idea I’ve had over tomorrow.’”
The resulting song, Let Me In, builds from Paul’s characteristically plaintive verses into Olly’s chorus, which soars over a classic-soul setting, and sees him lay down arguably the best vocal performance of his life. “He got his guitar out,” says Olly, recalling the session, “and went: ‘Where do you see the chorus going?’ I mean, I was terrified, but it was the most incredible experience, too. I literally just went for it. I had to. On my way back, he sent me the song, and I just sat in the car listening to it. And the next day, I’m on my way to my mum’s, with the vinyl albums he’s signed for her, and he calls me and goes: ‘That’s a brilliant song we’ve done.’ To get that recognition from someone as iconic as he is was phenomenal.”
Let Me In is just one example among many on the album of how Olly’s voice has changed and matured over the years. “I know I say it every time I make a new album,” he says, “but it’s true: your experience grows, your outlooks changes. It’s that footballer-player thing: they start playing with the big hitters when they’re 22, 23, and they’re good, but when they reach their peak at about 30, they’re stronger, they’re fitter, they’re more experienced. I only really started singing four or five years ago; singing seriously. Before then, I’d sing maybe once a month, just for a laugh; and now, I’m singing every day, and inevitably, the muscles in my voice have got stronger. And I’m much more aware of my range now, the notes I can hit, the things I can do with it.”
That same sense of growth, of new and broader horizons, has occurred with Olly’s songwriting, too. “I’ve been much more involved this time,” he says, “and I love that. I’ve got a strong ear for what works, and a sense of where my career should be going. I definitely have a vision in my head, but I don’t want people just to accept that and not challenge it. Look, there are plenty of artists who get to a certain point and they don’t want to be contradicted. I never want to be like that. It’s what’s best for the music, that’s the most important thing. I love to work with other people, to get the ideas bouncing around. There’s been a lot of give-and-take on this album, a lot of to-and-fro, but that’s how I like it. I’m working with people who have been doing this for years, who are at the top of their game. I’d be mad to ignore that.”
Choosing which songs to release as singles from the new album was Olly’s biggest headache, but he’s well aware how good a position that is to be in. It’s no exaggeration to say that Never Been Better is packed with potential candidates. The title track seems an obvious choice, with its propulsive rhythm and life-affirming lyric. “I’d been at the Royal Albert Hall the night before the session for that song,” Olly says, “I was watching Roger Daltrey performing with Wilko Johnson, and there was this bass line that was amazing. I went into the studio the next morning really vibing about it and said: ‘Scrap everything we’ve done, I want to do something big. Big, huge, massive. So we came up with this anthemic bass line that really pushed the music, and out of that came Never Been Better. I wanted to write a song that expressed where I am right now, which is me, having the best time of my life, living the dream.”
First single Wrapped Up, meanwhile, is a song you can see tearing the roof off on Olly’s next tour. Featuring Travie McCoy, it’s all funk-guitar swagger, mirrorball strings, driving bass and euphoric backing vocals. The heartbreaking, piano-led Tomorrow and Nothing Without You are the lighters-aloft, lump-in-the-throat moments. Beautiful to Me finds Olly reassuring his girl that he will always be there for her, on an earworm chorus of incredible tenderness. Up rides in on a four-to-the-floor beat, banjo and acoustic guitar propelling the song towards a chorus on which Demi Lovato joins Olly to deliver the sucker punch.
The unifying factor on all of these songs, indeed, on the entire album, is Olly’s singing. Put simply, he nails it, time after time. If you were looking for confirmation that Olly is in a great place right now, this is where you’ll find it. As a singer and as a writer, as an artist with three albums under his belt and a new one set to smash it, as a performer with the ability to hold an audience of tens of thousands in the palm of his hand, Olly has cemented his status as one of pop music’s biggest and most enduring stars. “With every album, you take more risks,” he says. “I’m 30 now, and I was 26 when I did the first album. And it’s been two years since Right Place, Right Time – though it doesn’t feel like it. So this is me, two years on, and I think the new record reflects that. I think this album is my ‘I mean it’ album. It’s time to come out of my shell and get a bit more serious.” You heard the man. He’s back – and he’s never been better.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

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