Russell Watson

This past February the nineteenth I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Britain's number o­ne tenor.Yes, he's been number o­ne o­n the British Classical Charts for over twenty o­ne weeks now.Fame has come swiftly to Russell Watson in Britain. Conversely Watson's prominence has eluded the rest of the world, so far.Watson was in Montreal to promote his acclaimed debut CD and also to promote himself to the rest of the world.
What Brings you to Montreal?
"It's the promotion of the first album."
Is this your first visit to Montreal?
"This is my first visit.I've found that the people here are so incredibly friendly, it's very warm.I suppose it's not too over affected by industry, it feels like a community."
What other cities will you be visiting?
"Basically, we will be doing a three month tour of the world which will incorporate visits to America, six weeks there, Europe, France, Holland, Germany, Spain and then off to Japan. We've got a major campaign planned. It's like being in the navy but nobody is telling me what to do."
How do you feel about being separated from your family for this extended period of time?
"It has its down sides and difficulties of course.I keep in touch by ringing them everyday, but again the time differences. So when my wife is picking the kids up from school I'm just waking up, so that's strange. My family will be joining me for a six week period in America."
Have you started recording your second CD?
"As soon as we finish the promo tour we will start recording the second album.It's going to be very much a similar format to the first o­ne, I'm a firm believer if it isn't broke than don't fix it.We started to work o­n song content, we're down to about fifty /sixty songs that we are thinking about.I've also got some great song-writers to be incorporated.I'll be working with a guy called Luciano Dalla who wrote the song Caruso for Pavarotti.I'm going to be working with Lionel Richie as well, he's already sent us some stuff."
What kind of music do you enjoy listening to?
"I have a varied taste of music which is evident o­n the album.I was brought up o­n a mixture of Schubert and Johnny Cash.Within the music industry today, artists such as Pavoratti; I have an incredible respect for him and I'll be performing with him this summer. Some of the new pop geezers that are coming out today such as Eminem, I find him highly amusing."
Over the past two years, how has fame affected you?
"It has affected me, I'd be a liar to say that it hasn't.Obviously with success there comes certain riches, financially things are fantastic, but then it does have its down sides, the privacy is no longer.I can't go to a restaurant and have a quiet meal any more.But I'm not complaining about that, without the people, without the fans I wouldn't be over here promoting my new album in Canada; and that's a strange feeling as well because, I've established myself as a big name in the U.K.I've sold a hell of a lot of records, I've been number o­ne o­n the charts for twenty o­ne weeks in the U.K. o­n the classical charts.I've sold three quarters of a million records which is a lot of records in the U.K. So to come over to a completely different part of the world as a complete unknown and to have to start all over again is strange.Before I came over here I felt that this was going to be a pain in the ass because I'm going to be talking about the same stuff I've been talking about in the U.K.But o­nce I got over here I realized that it was a completely different feeling.The questions I'm being asked are very different to the o­nes I was being asked in the U.K. I can't understand these artists who say we don't like the publicity, we don't like the hassle, we don't like the press and the T.V., rubbish; if it stopped then they 'd have something to complain about."
Do have time for hobbies while you're traveling?
"Oh ya, I always make sure I have time for that. I box, with my minder, we had a major session yesterday. It just gets rid of all your anxieties, bang, bang, bang it's great. I play golf, I play racquet sports, I play squash, and I play tennis.I love to play computer games, I've got all the latest technology, the Playstation II,Sega Dreamcast; it completely takes me away."
Have you considered delving into other facets of entertainment since you are so amiable?
"I have already been approached about various things.There is o­ne thing in conjunction with Universal that is in the pipeline that I can't discuss but if it develops it will be worldwide, it will be a monster."

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