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Event Info
Will Young tickets at Royal & Derngate, Northampton
Wed 18 Sep 2024
AEG Presents
Royal & Derngate, Northampton, United Kingdom
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AEG Presents

AEG Presents
Royal & Derngate
Guildhall Road
Northampton, United Kingdom NN1 1DP
Wed 18 Sep 2024
Doors Open: 19:00
Onsale: Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 10:00 BST
Age Restriction: 14+, under 16 must be accompanied by an adult (18+)

Bio: Will Young

“I’m remembering my roots of pop and completely welcoming it. It’s time to celebrate and have fun.” This, coming from one of Britain’s best-loved and steadfast pop singer-songwriters of the 2000s, signals a shimmering return to form.
Will Young celebrated 20 years since his momentous Pop Idol win with a greatest hits album and sell-out national tour in 2022, a glorious recap of a career thus far that has seen all eight of his studio albums hitting Top 3 in the UK - four of which were No.1.  Along the way, he picked up accolades across the entertainment spectrum including the two BRIT Awards, an Ivor Novello plus an Olivier nomination for Best Actor in A Musical for his role as Emcee in Cabaret.  It would also be remiss to ignore the 10 million albums he has sold worldwide, but as validating as these accomplishments are, they don’t drive or define him. The secret to Will’s longevity and colourful career lies in his artistic instinct and connection with his audience.
In recent years, this conduit for connection has expanded and deepened through his top-charting podcasts and books in the LGBTQIA+ mental health and wellbeing space, documentary and stage work - notably his recent role in the critically-lauded one-man play by Simon Stephens: Songs From Far Away. The beauty and balance between celebrating his pop hits and embarking on a new challenge became fuel for his forthcoming ninth studio album - his first album of original material in five years.
“It has been a brilliant thing to go back to the stage. I’ve managed to run the music alongside the acting,” Will said, looking back on the past year.
“I think it did help me go towards the fun of making music even more. Performing a monologue night after night was invigorating and a huge challenge, yet so rewarding and energising.”
With his new music being a return to “joyous pop”; Will reunites with Andy Cato of Groove Armada, his long-term writing partners Jim and Mima Elliot (who worked on Will’s defining album, Echoes) and new collaborators, pHD, the Scandinavian pop production/writing duo who has worked with Kylie, Little Mix and One Direction.
“I think for me it was about finally feeling more content and being able to go back to embracing joyous unashamed pop music,” Will said. “I get what a great pop song does. Probably coming from a talent show and the snobbery that has come with that over the years, I would sometimes rail against pop but now I love it.”
On recording the first single ‘Falling Deep’, a song that sits between The Police and The Weeknd; immediately a classic, musicals-like chorus line came up as an inspiration and I can see why. It also invited images of Flashdance.

“With this album, the training I’ve done in dance and acting has hugely helped for the filmed visuals. The song immediately made my mind go to the late 70s and early 80s. I wanted the fun and nostalgia of that time but to modernise it, and I’m so proud of the result.”
A blend of pop nostalgia with the vibrant present translates to the visuals for ‘Falling Deep’ too, with Will adamant to only feature dancers around his own age.
“The ‘Falling Deep’ video is a nod to chorus line and I wanted to work with dancers my age as I think sometimes there can be such a focus on youth in the dance world for all performers, and older performers come with such grace and wisdom,” he said.
“It was a fantastic day actually, working with people my age. We all knew what a Nintendo Gameboy was and I think especially women can be overlooked as they age, so it felt very important to work with men and women for the project”.
A theme that appears to underscore the album is the joys and complexities of life in your 40s. There are uplifting radio-ready bops like ‘Light It Up’, complete with a contagious chorus, bound to be a highlight on Will’s forthcoming tour to come later this year. A song that speaks to embracing your individuality, he sings: “So don’t change the way that you are, can’t you see that you’ve come so far? Don’t let them change you.”
The lyrics double as an empowering mantra and also reflects how Will has navigated the industry for over two decades. Doing things slightly differently and questioning norms. We got to know him when he was the only contestant to speak back to the TV baddie Simon Cowell. He was publicly open about his sexuality in a time when people were encouraged not to be. He moved very quickly away from the brand of pop that he was expected to produce and began to work with people who weren’t the norm from Nitin Sawhney to Groove Armada. His collaboration, ‘History’ with Groove Armada, set him on the path of embracing mid-tempo electropop which led to what he calls his most complete pop album Echoes, the first time he worked with producer Richard X.
Will has been a passionate advocate for mental health wellbeing through talks and his mentoring work in recent years. He started the No.1 LGBTQIA+ podcast Homosapiens and followed it up with his wellbeing podcast The Wellbeing Lab. He also wrote a book on gay shame, To Be A Gay Man, and released a Top 5-selling mental health handbook Be Yourself and Happier: The A-Z of Wellbeing. In 2022, Will also released a searingly honest documentary about living with his late twin brother Rupert’s alcoholism. The project was widely praised by viewers and critics alike, with The Guardian describing Will Young: Losing My Twin Rupertas an “unflinching portrait of 20 years of sadness that acknowledges the complexity around addiction with compassion and courage”.
The threads of vulnerability that endeared Will to so many appear to hem this new album. The introspective ballad ‘The Worst’ feels like a Classic Will Young record, a song he’s said “has a lot of pain in it and yet optimism and hope”. It’s asking, “Is this possible? Could I get over the line and be happy?”.
The wistful atmosphere continues with one of the album’s most interesting songs, ‘Midnight’. The moody electronic-pop number toes the line between wonderment at how he has gotten so old and also admission of repetitive mistakes late at night when he’s alone. There are also hints of his humour in the tongue-in-cheek heartbreaking quip, “Why does no-one tell me they are married?”.
All signs point to this new album being a continuation of Echoes’ pop perfection, as Will declared, “I really hope this is the go-to pop album for a dance, for a cry and for a celebration. I know I do all three with it.”
“It feels empowering to write songs about what it is to be mid-40s, in a different shape, still frustrated with certain aspects of my life,” Will said. “It’s fun to embrace my age and not think I have to be ever youthful. I’m clearly not!”
With age comes perspective and becoming more unapologetic in standing up for what you believe in. As a life-long animal activist, Will made headlines in 2021 for handcuffing himself to a gate in protest against animal testing in science.
“I think the break from writing a studio album has allowed me to look outwards more, probably,” he reflects. “It started with handcuffing myself to the gates,” said Will of his peaceful protest against MBR acres who breed puppies for testing. “I thought I had to do something, then the campaigning snowballed from there.”
Partly as a result of tireless work protecting animals, Will is soon set to receive an honorary doctorate from Exeter University for philanthropy and his role in the arts. “I’m chuffed with the doctorate. It is very touching. The beauty is I can make the time for all these projects,” he said.
To accompany the new album, Will is looking forward to embarking on a brand new national tour, playing places he hadn’t previously covered.
“I’m very excited about touring at the end of the year and I will be going to a lot of places I haven’t been as I wanted to go to smaller venues, so I could properly get around the country rather than just playing the big cities. That will be really fun. Plus, I’ve visited most bric-a-brac shops, so I need to break fresh ground. I’m hoping the tour will basically be a pop version of the antiques road trip!”
For a performer who thrives on stage, having done eight sold-out national tours and countless festival appearances (he has performed at Glastonbury three times); it feels like he’s hitting a new stride with renewed vigour.

“Whatever I do though,” Will said, contemplatively. “I can finally connect to the fun of it all and that is a place I never thought I would get back to so I’ll take it.”
“It has been such a tough time and to be out the other side, it is just so exciting to produce a complete pop album. The crafting of pop music can be so fun and the challenge to sing those songs is something I’ve relished.”


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