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James Blunt: I connect with an audience, not a critic | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis

It will be the first ever Indian gig on April 9 for pop rock and folk rock star James Blunt. As he readies to take Bengaluru by storm, the British singer and songwriter busts the myth that his biggest hit You’re Beautiful is a love song and describes what being a musician means to him — being perceived as ‘cool’ is not it. He also talks about why he’d rather pander to audiences than critics.

THE INDIAN DEBUT

James has done five world tours, but this is his first performance in India. “I’m saving the best for last. I’ve been on a tour to the North and South America, Europe, Australia and Asia. So, we have practised around the rest of the world before we get to India! It’s going to be a big party for us,” he says. He also hopes to see as much of the city as he can. “We will try to meet new people, see the sights and try the food,” says James.

ON HIS SETLIST 

Even though called the Afterlove (his fifth studio album) World Tour, James will play material from his earlier albums, like You’re Beautiful, 1973, Goodbye My Lover, and Bonfire Heart. Needless to say, one song everyone will look forward to the most will be You’re Beautiful. He says about the importance of the track in his career, “Any musician, when starting in the business, would kill for a megahit like You’re Beautiful. For me, in spite of all the hard work, without that song, I would probably only be touring North London.” So, it doesn’t bother him if the track overshadows all his other works. “No way! I love the song,” he emphasises.

IT’S A SAD SONG

For most people, You’re Beautiful (from his debut Back to Bedlam, 2003) is a romantic dedication. However, it’s anything but that! It’s about a man stalking someone else’s girl. “In many ways, it’s quite a sad song,” James reveals, “That’s the beauty of music. When you put a song out, it becomes the audience’s and they can understand it any way they like. Many people think that my shows will be quiet and sad like the song but they are always surprised. The show will be an emotional rollercoaster with some rocky as well as quiet moments,” he elaborates.

MAGIC IN MUSIC

Describing the 15 years of his career, the former soldier says that music is magical. “It’s about conveying an emotion and connecting with another human being. Politicians drive us apart while music brings us together. Strangers have come together in one room and connected through the songs no matter what the colour of their skin. For me, that’s been most important,” he avers about his journey.

NOT CATERING TO CRITICS

James has always acknowledged that his music is not critically-acclaimed. But that does not bother him. “As musicians go, I’m not perceived as cool. But, I don’t care because I don’t write songs to be cool because life isn’t cool. I write about experiences and emotions and want to connect at a human level. We’re not cool when we’re afraid or real or open. We are humans. Cool doesn’t exist in the real world. I connect with an audience, not a critic. It seems to be pretty good that way,” he concludes.



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