As 2012 nears its end, British crossover act Olly Murs has a lot to celebrate.
Not only did he tease American audiences with his unique brand of quirky pop music this year (courtesy of his single "Heart Skips a Beat" and his tour with One Direction), but he's bracing himself for a full-on U.S. invasion come 2013. He drops his U.S. debut album, Right Place Right Time, in April, and his single "Troublemaker," featuring Flo Rida, arrives at the top of the year.
But the album and single are already available in the U.K., where both sit atop the charts this week. Murs told MTV News he is still pinching himself about all the success on both sides of the pond.
"Doing the One Direction tour this year and doing bits and bobs with promo, it's been nice to sort of generate good fans," he said back in September, ahead of this latest batch of chart success. "And it's been building nice and slowly, which is great."
Now, he has just a few weeks left before he tackles the U.S. market. He opened up to MTV News about coming Stateside, working with Flo and why his album is so perfectly titled.
MTV: Initially, you don't think Olly and Flo Rida are two peas in the same pod, so what does he bring to an Olly song?
Murs: Well, he's a lot bigger than me, he has more muscles than me. He's a big guy. But no, do you know what? It was really the song. I think sometimes, it's getting someone that fits you but fits the project and fits what you're doing. For me, the record itself was called "Troublemaker," and the song's about a girl and we all end up getting girls in our life who are a bit of trouble at times. And I'm sure Flo Rida's [known] lots of girls he's after that are a bit trouble. So he fit the bill in that sense. I'm so happy that when he did do it, it fit so well.
MTV: Have you known a lot of troublemaking girls?
Murs: I have met a few very lovely ladies that have been troublemakers in my time. That's where this song came from. It's an inspiration of a girl that's in your head and it's kind of irritating you a little bit that she's so amazing but such a troublemaker.
MTV: We're still really feeling [your single] "Heart Skips a Beat." Does that set the tone for the album?
Murs: Kind of. Like, "Heart Skips a Beat" is kind of a cool, modern record. When you've done a song like "Heart Skips a Beat," there's no point in trying to re-create the same song again. So every song I sort of do is a different vibe and sound, but it has me on it.
MTV: Are there any surprises on this album?
Murs: I hate saying the word "maturer," 'cause I'm a young guy anyway, but I don't feel I've grown a lot in the last three years. I'm still the same height. I'm still the same person. I haven't really changed, really. I think my writing's matured. I kind of know who I am more as an artist. I've done the cheeky, funky cool songs, and this album doesn't have as much. It's got a little more depth to it.
MTV: Do you tweet-stalk yourself?
Murs: I tweet-stalk my fans to see what they're writing about me. Every artist does. "I hate Olly's album. It's rubbish #disappointed." "No! Quick! Rewrite the album!" I hashtag everything #rightplacerighttime #cantwait #excited #interviewwithmtvrightnow #hashtag.
MTV: You seem like you're living a pretty good life right now.
Murs: I love my life. I love singing. I love performing. I love doing what I do. I think I'm very lucky in a sense that I applied for a reality TV show ["The X Factor" in the U.K.], and a lot of people do apply for these shows, a lot of people get through, a lot of people don't have the success that I have and other artists like One Direction and everyone else. I'm very lucky to achieve what I've achieved, and hopefully, fingers crossed, I can continue to have success. There is something people like about me. I don't know what it is. I just kind of do my thing and enjoy it.