26 Jan A candid chat with Richard Hadfield
By Matthew Martino
Richard Hadfield, an artist who has faced one of music’s most illustrious journeys from chart topping success under Syco with bandmates Collabro to launching his solo career 2017 is due to be a truly remarkable year for the star. Now, having left Collabro, Richard is enjoying the return to his original love: Swing music. He is recording popular songs you thought you knew with a whole different flavour and occasionally performing live at venues.
I had a quick chat with him to find out how it’s all going …
Q. Tell us a bit about your background and your love for music.
RH: I’ve always loved jazz and blues music – Frank Sinatra, The Rat Pack, Nat King Cole to name a few. So I started busking around the streets of Brighton when I was 16 and would perform their music.
Q. After Collabro won BGT, they did some pretty amazing things – what was it like?
RH. We had a sell-out world tour and number one and number two selling album which was fantastic and I will be forever grateful for our BGT win and the success that it brought us.
Q. What made you leave Collabro?
RH. My decision to leave was almost made for me, I had to go. There was a lot of tension in the band and the working environment just wasn’t healthy for me anymore and I think that’s when I knew that I need to go.
RH. Towards the end of being in the band I had begun to gain a lot of weight, at my heaviest I was 18 and a half stone and despite trying to lose weight while with Collabro, it just wasn’t happening. Almost as soon as I left the weight start to fall off me, I changed my diet and upped my exercise and I think with all that emotional stress taken off of me, it was just a huge weight off my shoulders which allowed me to focus on getting fit.
Q. You’ve decided to start your solo career, tell me a little more about that.
RH. I knew when I left Collabro that I wanted to get back into the jazz/blues scene that made me fall in love with music when I was young. So I decided to start by posting covers of popular songs on YouTube which then turned into a full blown YouTube album. Now I’m preparing for the launch of my solo career with some upcoming gigs.
Q. So, do you think 2017 is going to be your year?
RH. I hope so! I’ve got a really great team around me and my head is in a much, much better place so I’m feeling good right now and with the upcoming gigs I’m feeling positive that this is a step in the right direction. I’m also currently in talks with some labels too so fingers crossed!