Aled Jones on why he ‘definitely wasn’t a child star’
- Credit: Archant
Louisa Baldwin spoke to singers Aled Jones and Russell Watson as they come together In Harmony for their new tour.
Two of Britain's best voices are bringing their new tour to the Ipswich Regent and the duo are hoping fans leave walking on air.
The pair will be performing at the Regent on Thursday, October 3 and the show will celebrate the release of their latest album In Harmony which includes classic songs and hymns including Ave Marie, You Raise Me Up and May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You.
Aled was born in north Wales and found fame as a choirboy where he was chosen to sing on the single version of Walking in the Air from The Snowman in 1985 which reached number five in the charts.
Since then he has been made an MBE, release over 30 albums, with over 10 million album sales, performed for the Pope and the Royal family and he is also a successful presenter on Songs of Praise and his Classic FM Sunday Breakfast Show.
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Aled will perform alongside long-term friend Russell Watson, who went from humble beginnings in Lancashire to one of the nation's biggest-selling classical stars, with six top ten albums selling seven million copies, performing for US presidents Bill Clinton and George W Bush and starring at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Manchester.
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What can people expect from the tour and what songs will you perform?
R: It is going to be absolutely brilliant and from the moment we step on that stage our first intention is to take the audience on a journey and there will be a lot of jokes too.
Whatever has happened that day, whether good or bad, we want to take them on a journey with music and the banter and connection we have on stage from 20 years of friendship - we want them to have felt a series of emotions and our intention is to make them laugh and cry.
The concert features songs from the In Harmony album we made together before Christmas and this kind of tour has never been done before.
Have you been to region before?
A: I am always touring and they take you back to the same area and I have filmed around East Anglia for Songs of Praise and Escape to the Country.
Aled, what was it like being famous so young and did it make it challenging to launch your career as an adult?
A: I definitely wasn't a child star with my hair in ringlets, I was a kid in right place at right time who loved singing and I had opportunities come my way that I never thought I would as a schoolboy at a comprehensive in north Wales.
There was a lot less pressure back then and I love the feeling when I get on stage as much as I did then.
I've been lucky to continue doing this as an adult and I studied music so if people said I was rubbish at least I could say I was trained rubbish.
Do you think there is still interest in Songs of Praise - are people turning their back on religion?
A: I don't think that is the case as Songs of Praise is as popular as it has ever been and provides comfort to people and especially the elderly and kids these days have a lot more pressure.
Why do you think Wales produces so many good singers?
A: Because of the clean air.
Russell, how did you start out in the industry?
R: I won a local talent competition in Salford, which I entered for a bit of fun, and started a career singing pop covers in local clubs and did that for nine years and then developed into doing musical theatre.
You have had a number of health scares over the years - how do you bounce back from that?
R: I had a tumour and needed radiotherapy and like any artist whose career has spanned as long as mine, I have been a recording artist for 20 years and been a professional singer for 30, life experience creates layers and a greater respect and attitude to life.
You left school with no GCSEs and worked as a bolt cutter - do you see yourself as an inspiration to others?
R: It's difficult to see yourself as an inspiration but a lot of people write to me on social media and saw the struggle I went through with my illness and how I fought back.
What has been the highlight of your careers?
R: I have so many highlights, singing for the Pope, the Duke of Edinburgh's 90th birthday and the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games which was made even more special as it was in Manchester.
A: Making a record with Russell.
The show starts at 7.30pm on October 3 and tickets cost from £32.50 to £58 and can be purchased at ipswichregent.ticketsolve.com or call the box office on 01473 433100.