Suscribe to our paper back magazine through paypal 1 year (16.00) 2 years (28.00) Contact

American Dream

 1035045887 American Dream

Olly Murs” cour­tesy of Colum­bia Records

484243825 American Dream

Olly Murs and Rob­bie Williams” photo by Ken McKay / Rex USA, 2009

 American Dream

Olly and Miss Piggy” photo by Idil Sukan / Draw HQ, 2011

 American Dream

Paul Lar­son and Olly Murs, photo by Erica Lyn, 2013

 American Dream

Right Place, Right Time, Colum­bia Records

 480482404 American Dream
 1170747067 American Dream
 111044564 American Dream
 2144232808 American Dream
 924049433 American Dream

Olly Murs had visions “to be… famous and sell records and be an inter­na­tional super­star,” when he first graced the stage of the British X Fac­tor in 2009. Those visions have mate­ri­al­ized into three suc­cess­ful albums and four num­ber one sin­gles in the U.K., and a stab at star­dom in North America.

I met Olly Murs on a spe­cial night of his life, two hours before his very first con­cert as the head­lin­ing act in the U.S. The British pop­star had toured North Amer­ica as the opener for One Direc­tion last year, but this time, he was the star.

It’s mas­sive for me… this is a huge con­cert. It’s New York. It’s Amer­ica,” he said, sit­ting in the lobby of Irv­ing Plaza, one floor below the con­cert hall where he would per­form to a sell-out crowd. “I’m intrigued to see how many fans know my songs.”

I, too, won­dered what kind of U.S. fans a British artist could have who had yet to release an album state­side. I admit­ted to the charis­matic Mr. Murs that my own knowl­edge of him was lim­ited to what I had learned online in the two months since British pop sen­sa­tion Rob­bie Williams had announced Olly would be the sup­port act for his Euro­pean sta­dium tour this sum­mer. I haven’t missed a Rob­bie tour in ten years.

Robbie’s always been there for me,” he said. “I mean, Robbie’s my best friend.”  Williams had ral­lied for and even sang with Murs, who became the runner-up on The X Fac­tor. “He taught me to make sure I write my own song, which I did.”

Murs returned to the X Fac­tor stage in 2011, as a radi­ant exam­ple of a TV com­pe­ti­tion suc­cess story. The hand­some lad from the East of Eng­land sang his own 1950s-inspired song “Dance with Me Tonight,” backed by some of Jim Henson’s most beloved Mup­pets. “Obvi­ously you see the puppeteers…but when Miss Piggy comes to life, she really is Miss Piggy. She even threw a diva strop [strop refers to tantrum] onstage which was really hilar­i­ous, where she said that she wanted more lines to sing… I was like, ‘Unfor­tu­nately, Miss Piggy, this is my song, not yours.’”

That song, plus “Trou­ble­maker,” both num­ber one sin­gles in Eng­land, will appear on Murs’ first U.S. album in April. The lyrics of “Trou­ble­maker,” about a toxic yet irre­sistible girl­friend, drew from the songwriter’s own expe­ri­ence. “It’s not a healthy rela­tion­ship. I think we all love chal­lenges in life and we meet a girl… that’s that chal­leng­ing, it’s like, I want a piece of that.”

Charm­ing a “tough” New York crowd was not chal­leng­ing for the 28-year-old that night. Mostly female, mostly young, and mostly fans who’d learned about Olly through social media dur­ing his tour with One Direc­tion eight months prior, they mostly knew every line of every song, and loudly sang along. Once Murs was con­vinced they knew his music, he still tested them. “What’s my mid­dle name?”

Stan­ley!” shouted the entire room, includ­ing me. Thanks, Wikipedia!

When he spot­ted one of his male fans giv­ing him the thumbs up from the bal­cony dur­ing the infec­tious “Heart Skips a Beat,” he mir­rored the ges­ture and waved at me. Thanks, Olly!

You can now find his ges­tures, sug­ges­tive wig­gles and teases about remov­ing arti­cles of his cloth­ing that night on YouTube, as well as his lead­ing the entire crowd in what became an all-night sing-along. What you will not find from boot­legged footage of his first solo con­cert in the U.S. are any major embar­rass­ing moments. The same can’t be said for his per­for­mance in Sheffield, Eng­land, a year ago, when a kneel­ing young star sud­denly spread his legs too wide, split­ting his pants, “and obvi­ously my briefs fell out,” he laughed. Half a year later, he “stacked it onstage” in Sur­rey, stum­bling down a slip­pery stair­case. The tum­ble went on YouTube, and the evening news. Rob­bie Williams came to the res­cue with a sup­port­ive e-mail.

He just said, ‘Mate, you’re not the only per­son who did it,’ and he actu­ally put a link down, and when I clicked the link it was actu­ally him falling over on stage on a big con­cert… He’s got a sense of humor like me, so it’s great.”

As our inter­view came to an end, I wished the soul­ful singer great suc­cess in Amer­ica. “Thank you,” he smiled, “and I’ll see you at the Rob­bie Williams’ tour.”


The album Right Place, Right Time is set for release on April 16 in North Amer­ica. Watch for Olly’s per­for­mance on 90210 the same month.

- Paul Lar­son
See Paul Lar­son on Bor­der­less North, Thurs­days at 8:30pm on Moun­tain Lake PBS.

Olly’s inter­view is pre­sented by Dress To Kill,  in part­ner­ship with  Radio Creme Brulee, New York City,  93.3 WSLP, Lake Placid, New York, B-100.7, Platts­burgh, NY,  and Moun­tain Lake PBS-TV.

Lis­ten to an exclu­sive radio inter­view between Olly Murs and Paul Lar­son here.


  1. […] Paul’s arti­cle on Olly Murs, pub­lished in Dress to Kill […]


© 2012 - 2013 Dress to Kill Magazine - ADVERTISE / CONTACT/ PRIVACY POLICY/