Olly Murs making his mark in the U.S.
English pop singer Olly Murs, who got his feet wet in America last year as an opening act for One Direction, is enthusiastic about the release of his debut U.S. album, "Right Place Right Time."
"I'm very excited," said Murs via telephone from the Columbia Records office in New York City. "I love coming to America. When you get asked and confirmed that you're going to get an album released over here, it's a great feeling."
Murs is finding success in the U.S. "Right Place Right Time" was released last week. Initial numbers weren't available at press time, however, he was named a VH1 "You Oughta Know" artist, thanks to his Flo Rida-laced single "Troublemaker." The video has been in the Top 20 of VH1's weekly countdown.
"I'm just really pleased for my career and where it's going," said Murs, a former contestant on the U.K.'s "The X Factor." "To get an opportunity to release it here in the States, as well as my own market, in the U.K., and obviously across Europe, releasing my album across the world is a great feeling."
The U.S. version of "Right Place Right Time" is a compilation of his U.K. albums. A collection called "In Case You Didn't Know" was previously slated for release in the States, however, it was postponed until further notice and replaced with "Right Place Right Time."
Murs attributes his success here to his collaboration with Flo Rida as well as hard work.
"It was great that we were able to do a partnership like this and to do so well in the States so far," Murs said about Flo Rida. "I never expected it to do this well. It's phenomenal. To sell nearly a million singles over here for any U.K. artist is quite an amazing achievement."
Americans were able to connect with the Maroon 5-influenced single "Troublemaker," Murs said. Now he is looking forward to playing it live on a tour that starts April 27, in Chicago. To warm up for the gigs, he played on "Dancing with the Stars" on Tuesday (4/23) and appears on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on Thursday (4/25).
During his career, Murs has been able to work with stellar songwriters, from whom he says he's learned a lot. He's especially fond of hit machines Steve Robson and Claude Kelly.
"The most important thing I learned was when you're writing, everything's right," Murs explained. "It might not be right for the song, but you can always say something and it might just be the idea that pops out. Whatever you say isn't wrong. Writing and being creative is about throwing as many ideas to the table as possible, then taking the best ones from it.
"I was very quiet the first year. I didn't know what to say or what to do. I remember Steve saying to me, 'Look Olly, just say what you need to say. If people like the idea, they'll say yes.' If you have something that's amazing, we'd rather hear it than you not say it. It could make a song go from being good to outstanding.'"
Murs made his mark on America during a tour last year with his Motown-friendly set opening for One Direction; he is slated to spend the summer in Europe supporting English superstar Robbie Williams.
"To come to America and do 1D's tour, it was pretty amazing," said Murs of the act with whom he shares a label. "I had never been to America before. It was an interesting place. Great times and great guys as well. I'm looking forward to doing the Robbie [Williams tour] in the summer. It's all about learning and building for me and going on to the next level. That's what I've been trying to do for the last couple years is just keep enjoying what I do, keep working hard. That's why I did the tours with 1D and that's why I'm doing the tour with Robbie Williams, to try and keep growing."
He's trying to stay happy as well. Like any other job, being a musician has its ups and downs.
"I think every day has its lulls," he said with a sigh. "Sometimes you have happy times. Sometimes you're down. Sometimes you want to go home. Sometimes you don't feel well. But the perks of this job are quite big and lucrative as well.
"There's always an award or something you might win. It sounds silly, but I got an extra couple of T-shirts that I never had before. I'm really excited about it. I did some wardrobe fittings for new clothes. There were a couple T-shirts that I liked and they were given to me. Even though I had a bad day today and I'm feeling a bit tired, the perks make it all the better. There's no point in complaining."
27 - Chicago, IL - Aragon Ballroom
28 - Milwaukee, WI - The Rave Eagles Club
30 - Detroit, MI - St. Andrew's Hall
1 - Toronto, Ontario, Canada - Phoenix Concert Theatre
4 - Cincinnati, OH - Bogart's
6 - Atlanta, GA - Center Stage Theater
7 - Lake Buena Vista, FL - House of Blues
8 - Tampa, FL - The Ritz Ybor
11 - Las Vegas, NV - Pure Nightclub
14 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
15 - Anaheim, CA - House of Blues
18 - Mansfield, MA - Comcast Center
14 - Dublin, Ireland - Aviva Stadium (with Robbie Williams)
18, 19, 21, 22 - Manchester, England - City of Manchester Stadium (with Robbie Williams)
25, 26 - Glasgow, Scotland - Hampden Park (with Robbie Williams)
29, 30 - London, England - Wembley Stadium (with Robbie Williams)
2, 5 - London, England - Wembley Stadium (with Robbie Williams)
10 - Gelsenkirchen, Germany - Veltins Arena (with Robbie Williams)
13 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Amsterdam Arena (with Robbie Williams)
17 - Vienna, Austria - Trabennbahn Krieau (with Robbie Williams)
20 - Goteborg, Sweden - Ullevi Stadium (with Robbie Williams)
22, 23 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Parken National Stadium Denmark (with Robbie Williams)
27 - Hannover, Germany - AWD Arena (with Robbie Williams)
31 - Milan, Italy - Stadio Giuseppe Meazza (with Robbie Williams)
3 - Brussels, Belgium - King Baudouin Stadium (with Robbie Williams)
7 - Munich, Germany - Olympiastadion (with Robbie Williams)
11 - Stuttgart, Germany - Mercedes-Benz Arena (with Robbie Williams)
13 - Zagreb, Croatia - Maksimir Stadium (with Robbie Williams)
16 - Zurich, Switzerland - Letzigrund Stadium (with Robbie Williams)
20 - Tallinn, Estonia - Tallinn Song Festival Grounds (with Robbie Williams)
4 - Dusseldorf, Germany - Mitsubishi Electric Halle
5 - Stuttgart, Germany - Beethoven Hall
6 - Munich, Germany - Zenith
9 - Offenburg, Germany - Stadthalle
10 - Berlin, Germany - Tempodrom
11 - Hamburg, Germany - Sporthalle Hamburg