James Arthur has told Sky News he is often compared to Lewis Capaldi – which is why he was well-suited to taking on a track co-written by the star.
The former X Factor winner and chart-topper teamed up with dance DJ Sigala to release Lasting Lover, with Capaldi credited as one of the songwriters.
Arthur says he has a similar vocal style to the Scottish star.
“A lot of people compare us in terms of the way that we sing, and I guess that’s what made it feel like something I could bring something to,” he told Sky News.
“The type of music that I make isn’t dance music so whenever I’ve got involved in anything in that lane, I’ve always said it has to be something really good and something that suits me.”
Arthur and Sigala, real name Bruce Fielder, might not seem the most obvious combination – one a DJ known for dance tracks, the other an X Factor protege – but the unlikely collaboration has proved a success.
The pair worked together on the song during the coronavirus lockdown, only eventually meeting in person when they shot the video.
After performing it for the first time on Britain’s Got Talent, with no audience, Arthur said it felt like being part of Charlie Brooker’s dystopian TV series Black Mirror.
“It was enjoyable, just, it’s different,” he said. “We’re in a studio that’s relatively empty aside from a big screen with lots of people watching from home, so yeah, it was a little bit bizarre.”
While making a track together without meeting might sound challenging, Fielder, who is best known for hits including Easy Love, Sweet Lovin’, Heaven On My Mind and Came Here For Love, says it is not that unusual.
“There’s a lot of music that has been made over the last few years that the artists have never met or they’ve just collaborated over email and things like that,” he said.
“It’s not really preferable for me, I was really keen to get as involved as we possibly could – and the limit was basically Zoom and phone calls, we were chatting to each other a lot.
“I instantly realised that James was as passionate about his music as I am about mine, which was really refreshing because it’s not the same for all artists, some people just want to sing the song, get out of the way and move on.”
When Fielder first heard the song, it was an acoustic track, and he said he initially wasn’t sure it was for him.
“But I kept listening, I kept going back to it and finding myself sort of playing it every now and then,” he said. “I really fell in love with the song and the lyrics and, you know, the heart of the whole thing.
“It was kind of like a nice new challenge to turn something that was that much of a ballad originally, try and make it into a club song or a radio dance track.”
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Arthur was supposed to be touring in the US almost all of this year, but he said the forced change to his plans had worked out for the best.
“It was kind of a blessing for me because I needed a bit of a break, I think I was a little bit burnt out.
“It allowed me to have a bit of a break and then make an album which I finished writing today, basically, that’s ready to go, so I’m buzzing about that.”