Music is meant to be joyful," says James Arthur. That's a statement of the obvious, perhaps. But, as the singer knows all too well, it's easy to lose sight of that simple truth. Easier still to start questioning the worth of music, and to doubt the value of your role in it. James put some time in, too much time, at that particular coal face, and he isn't about to make the same mistake again. Revitalised, stronger, healthier and, vocally, better than he's ever been, the singer is returning with a storming new single, Naked, which coincides with an 11-date tour of British arenas. When the tour winds up in Bournemouth on November 30, he'll be straight back to work on his third album, which is due for release in the spring of next year. The devil makes work for idle hands, but James knows his tricks too well. "The key thing I've discovered," he continues, "is that you have to hold on to that enjoyment, and not let other pressures take over. This is everything to me, it's where I get all my validation from, it's my true purpose. I love this job, and I love giving all I have to it."
Right now, he has a sensational new sino promote, and a tour to prepare for. Back doing what he does best, and loves most, James Arthur is continuing to write new chapters in one of the more remarkable stories in recent pop history, and reconnecting with that "passion and purity". He spent years finding his feet, losing his way, picking himself up and throwing himself back into the fray. Making music isn't a choice, he says, it's a compulsion. Listen to Naked, to the rumble and urgency of James's extraordinary voice, and you understand at once what he means when he says: "Passion is surrender. You can't hesitate, try to second-guess yourself. You just have to let go and dive in. I'm much more conscious now of the passage of time, of the importance of making decisions that will benefit me in the future. I'm growing up, finally. And it's exciting. I feel ready for the rest of my life now. I'm a singer. Nothing else matters."