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Richard & Adam Interview

opera_duo

Richard & Adam Interview

Richard and Adam Johnson were just a couple of ordinary brothers, gigging and working in their families sandwich shop trying to earn a living. Then in 2013 they sprang to fame when they performed on the popular ITV show ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ and managed to take the third place title. What made their final performance all the more memorable was when Natalie Holt threw eggs at Simon Cowell whilst the brothers were performing their final song.

Since then the boys have had a number one album, a Christmas album and are currently in full swing on their UK tour. Leicestershire Music managed to have a chat with the brothers prior to them performing at Demontfort Hall and we got the lowdown on Britain’s Got Talent and how their lives have changed.

LM: Hello guys I hope you are both well, firstly could you just tell me who is who.
RJ: I’m Richard Johnson
AJ: And I’m Adam Johnson

LM: So obviously the first question I must ask is how did you get involved with Britain’s Got Talent?
AJ: All I can say is that we never in a million years imagined we would get the response we did. Because when we put our original audition papers through, it turned out the spaces were full. So we left it and thought we would have a go next year.
Then we got a phone call off a family member who told us that there was an audition tent in a Morrisons car park in Liverpool and why not get over there. So we got over with 10 minutes to spare and the guy in the tent said we could audition as it had been quiet all day. So we went in, sang our songs and thought nothing would come of it.
Then low and behold we were watching Iron Man in the cinema, when Richard gets a phone call asking us to come to the Birmingham auditions to sing in front of the judges and before we knew what was going on, we were singing in the finals on live TV.

LM: So was that your first talent contest or had there been others?
RJ: We actually entered the GMTV Number One Family contest about five years ago with our brother Daniel. Yer so we entered that as a trio and got about 10 seconds of airtime on that.

LM: Another BGT question I’m afraid, but I really must ask this. How the heck did you keep your composure on stage when Natalie Holt was throwing eggs at Simon Cowell?
AJ: I tell you what, it was one of the most surreal moments in our lives. It was one of those moments where you think …….. well i don’t know what I was thinking, because it was all over so quickly. We thought that someone was going to come and tell us the show had been cancelled and that was it. And we really thought it had jepordised our chances and we were both really upset. But then at the end of the show we got a phone call from Sony to say they were going to give us a record deal and we were both just so thrilled with how it turned out.

LM: Did you watch the X-Factor last year? What did you think about Sam Bailey winning?
RJ: Yes we really liked Sam Bailey and she seems dead down to earth.

LM: I asked about Sam Bailey because you had a very similar experience to her as far as already being singers on the circuit, which came out in various newspapers after your first audition. Do you feel that some parts of the press are rather ignorant about gigging artists and just expect all talent show people to be virgin performers?
AJ: Yes it was a difficult time and I don’t think that everyone in the media quite understands how the industry works. I mean we have done the social clubs and we did the cruise ships prior to going on BGT, but it wasn’t anything fancy; It was just a gig on a boat and when we didn’t have any gigs we would work in the family sandwich bar to earn money. But the press always seem to grab onto something they know very little about in order to create a story.

LM: I have read that you basically self taught yourselves to sing, Actually how true is this? Did you have any voice coaching or singing lessons when you were younger?
RJ: When we were younger we did a few summer schools and we did grease and a few other things. Then what happened was that we looked into taking singing lessons as we got into it as a family and our nan told us we need to be classically trained. But we looked into it and it was about £70 an hour and we just couldn’t afford that.
So i went away on my own and did some You Tubing and found a whole world of professional singing lessons on line and to be honest it’s virtually one-to-one on line. Then I got talking to an opera singer in Chicago and he was sending me videos on how to breath and things like that.

LM: Were you surprised at the success of your first album?
AJ: Yer definitely, I mean its been the maddest 8 months for me and Richard, after firstly watching the shows and then being in them. So to achieve so much in so little time is absolutely unbelievable.
RJ: We are just two brothers that enjoy singing and we have grown up together ,so for us now to have our first album and the Christmas album both doing so well is just amazing and doesn’t seem real.

LM: Do you still do any shifts in the family sandwich bar?
RJ: No not at the moment because we have just been to busy and if we ever do, we probably won’t be as good as we were.

LM: Which performers inspire you and who do you strive to compare to?
AJ: Well nan had always shown us artists like Pavarotti and Placido Domingo but we listen to all the greats because we absolutely love them. They give us shivers down our spines when we listen to them and when we sing we get that same feeling.

LM: You guys are relatively young still, what was the response like at school when you were singing opera?
AJ: It’s an interesting one to be honest and when I was at school I never spoke about it. But i take my hat off to Richard because he got up in front of the entire school when he was 15 and sang the song from Les Mis and it really changed his last few months at school, because people really respected what he had done.

LM: How is the tour going so far?
RJ: Its going brilliant and as long people come to hear us perform, we will always enjoy what we do.
AJ:We both feel very privileged and fortunate in how things have turned out.

LM: Finally what plans do you have for 2014 other than your tour?
AJ: Hopefully in 2014 we will have another album coming out, that would be nice.
RJ: Yes and we are heading to Germany and New Zealand later this year and we just hope the success continues.

LM: Well guys that’s it, can I just thank you both for your time today and wish you both the best of luck for the future.
AJ: That’s fine, thank you.
RJ: No problem at all, let us know if we can be of anymore help.

Richard and Adam will be appearing at Demontfort Hall this evening as part of their UK Tour.

See their final performance on Britain’s Got Talent including ‘the egg throwing incident’.

Interview By Danny O’Callaghan

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