phone mail2 facebook twitter play whatsapp
Advertisement

Interview with Gareth Gates

19 June 2013 Charlie Kenber

We talk to Gareth Gates about his career in musical theatre, creative freedom and a possible future album …

Gareth Gates swept to fame in 2002 when he was runner-up in the first Pop Idol, and went on to sell over 3.5 million singles in the UK. Gareth has come a long way since then however, and is fast becoming better known for musical theatre. Since 2009 he’s worked extensively on the West End and around the world in such hit musicals as Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Les Misérables, Loserville and Legally Blonde. Next month he is reprising his role in Momentous Musicals – a sort of compilation show of many of musical theatre’s most famous songs – in a four-stop UK tour.

London Calling: What drew you to Momentous Musicals?

Gareth Gates: Well the first time was last year when we did it in Wimbledon and it was such a great success that we decided to take it out on the road. We’re doing four venues, the same sort of format, celebrating the best music from some of the best musicals in the West End. It’s the perfect show for people who like musical theatre – it’s the top smash hits.

LC: What can we expect from the show?

GG: In terms of music it’s a whole mix of things, the show has four lead West End names: myself, John Owen-Jones (who did the 25th Anniversary Les Misérables show alongside Gareth), Rachel Wooding, who’s currently in We Will Rock You right now in the West End, also a girl called Ashleigh Gray who’s done Wicked. We’ll be singing songs that we’ve performed in these shows. So it’s not just singers turning up and singing well-known songs, we’ve actually performed them in the shows.

LC: What originally inspired you to go into musicals?

GG: Well I’ve been in theatre for about four years now, and the very reason I started music was when I was eight years old I played Joseph. Up until then I was quite a shy kid, not really able to speak at all due to my stammer. I had no real confidence. Because I played that role and found that I was able to sing it gave me a new found confidence and a way to finally express myself.

So then for me to play the role of Joseph in the West End, it was a real honour. I certainly see more of musical theatre in the future, and that’s why I’m looking forward to doing this show – it’s the best bits of my career in the theatre.

LC: Do you enjoy acting as much as singing?

GG: I shied away from acting years ago simply because of my speech. I’ve done some good roles: Loserville was a full-on acting role, all my scenes were dialogue more than anything else. It was the same with Legally Blonde. It has given me the confidence to do more acting roles.

LC: You’ve done a lot of touring musicals. How do you find that lifestyle?

GG: Touring is something I’ve always done for the past eleven years. When you tour places like Asia you’re out there for three months then fly back home before heading to Europe or South Africa – all those big countries I had a lot of success in. I’m very very used to it. I find it a bit harder now that I’ve got a child, but that’s work and I just have to grin and bear it.

LC: How do you look back on the Pop Idol years now?

GG: With fond memories. It was a great time – it’s funny now that I’ve been in theatre for four years I miss it.

LC: Is musical theatre very different to the music industry?

GG: Yeah, it’s very different. Theatre’s great simply because you have the live audiences at every performance. Whereas being a pop star recording artist there are other things: interviews, photoshoots. In theatre you’re there every night performing to a live audience, getting that immediate response. Sometimes being in a studio on your own can get quite lonely, but working alongside people in theatre is much more rewarding.

LC: So what’s next for your music career – are you bringing out a new album?

GG: I formed a band actually, although I’m not sure what it’ll be called yet. We’ve written a whole bunch of songs: some are just great, some we’re still working on. I’m in the middle of an acoustic tour of the country. We’re trying out these new songs to see what the reaction is, with a prospect of recording a new album later in the year I guess.

LC: Do you now have more control over what music you produce?

GG: It was very much down to Simon Cowell in the early days, which I never argued with. He’s a great guy and knows exactly what he’s talking about, he’s made some mega stars. I just listened to him and it was great. I had five number ones, sold millions of records – that’s down to him. Therefore I had a great time doing that. It is nice now though to be writing my own stuff.

LC: Has your musical style changed since then?

GG: Absolutely, although it’s not a conscious decision. I’m ten years older. The sort of music I want to make has changed, not that I’m saying anything against the music I made. I was only 17, I was a boy. The music was who I was at the time. Now I’m working on songs and sounds I like myself.

LC: You’ve obviously come a very long way in the last ten years – where do you hope to be ten years from now?

GG: I think my professional career from now on will be a mixture. I’d like to continue with theatre and also making my own music. I have dreams of business – I’m quite focussed on business at the moment. I’m not sure what area, but there are a few projects I’m looking at at the moment. I want to be the next Alan Sugar!

Momentous Musicals plays at the New Wimbledon Theatre on 17th July, before shows in Torquay, Bradford and Manchester. Tickets and further information available here.

{ad-placement-MPU1}

Most popular

What to See at The Cinema

What to See at The Cinema

Your go-to guide to what's on the silver screen
Advertisement
Top 5 Bars and Restaurants for Shisha-Lovers

Top 5 Bars and Restaurants for Shisha-Lovers

The five finest spots in London to shoot the breeze and pass the pipe
Advertisement
The Best Riverside Walks In London

The Best Riverside Walks In London

Oh we do like to be beside the canalside...
Advertisement
A Guide to the Best Lidos in London

A Guide to the Best Lidos in London

Looking to beat the heat or enjoy some fun in the sun? Here are our top 5 London lidos to enjoy this summer.
Advertisement
Top Theatre of the Week

Top Theatre of the Week

Where to get the best of new theatre openings in London
Top Exhibitions of the Week

Top Exhibitions of the Week

The place to come for all the best current exhibitions in London...
London’s Must-See Flower Shows in 2019

London’s Must-See Flower Shows in 2019

With the balmy weather here to stay, why not take in the sumptuous beauty that these London flower shows have to offer
Top Gigs of the Week

Top Gigs of the Week

From underground indie to rap stars to house legends, we've got you covered...
Where to Eat: Desserts in East London

Where to Eat: Desserts in East London

Even if the Easter bunny doesn’t visit your garden this month, there are plenty of ways to get your sweet fix this springtime

Your inbox deserves a little culture!!

Advertisement