James Arthur says he's no longer 'chasing validity' as new album vies for number one spot

Evening Standard 0 month ago

James Arthur says he cares “less about what people think” now he’s reached his thirties.

The 2012 X Factor winner told the Evening Standard it “makes him laugh” how preoccupied he was with “chasing validity” during the early stages of his career.

It seems his fresh outlook is paying off too as on Friday, Arthur could top the UK albums chart with his latest release, You

Arthur said after turning 31 this year he made a pact with himself to “enjoy life” more and stop “wasting time” dwelling on people’s opinions. 

The London-based singer said he’s also discovered getting lots of “fresh air” and being “outside” has helped him manage stress and anxiety.

Arthur at a Brit Awards party earlier this year (Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images for Sony)

He said: “It makes me laugh. The way I used to be. I was chasing validity from people so much. I am feeling really good at the moment. I feel like I am on top of my game [...] Career wise, I feel like I am in a good place.

“On a personal level, I dunno what it is... I think when you hit 30 you go: ‘Right no more wasting time worrying about what people think and being insecure. It is time to enjoy life.’”

Arthur, whose 2016 hit Say You Won’t Let Go has been streamed on YouTube over a billion times, has been open about suffering from anxiety. 

The singer, who is originally from Middlesbrough, was forced to cancel a gig with hours to spare earlier this year due to his mental health. 

Speaking about spending more time outside of London, Arthur said: “I grew up in a seaside town. So having that fresh air is good for me I think. Being out in nature and the pace of life is good for someone in my profession. It can be quite stressful. I do enjoy being out in the wilderness.”

The singer, who is playing the Hammersmith Apollo tomorrow (Wednesday) said he was also trying to stay healthy by adopting veganism, adding: “I have to look after myself. Drink water. Eat well. I am trying to stay pretty vegan these days. It is hard. And I do grapple with cheese. It is tough.”

Arthur also spoke about pursuing an acting career, suggesting he’d love to tackle a gritty British drama like This Is England by Shane Meadows.

“I [am waiting to] see something I am passionate about. I like Shane Meadows. He does British stuff. Something like that... a British drama. I like the idea of it. Part of what I do is acting anyway.”

James Arthur performs at the Hammersmith Apollo on Thursday, October 24.

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