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You are in: South Yorkshire > Entertainment > Music > Interviews > Interview: Richard Hawley

Richard Hawley pictured for the cover his album

Richard Hawley

Interview: Richard Hawley

The Sheffield singer/songwriter talks with us about his 2008 Brit Award nomination, and his plans for a quieter year...

:: November 2008

Richard Hawley was awarded an honorary doctorate by Sheffield Hallam University in November 2008, for his contribution to music in our region, and his charity work.

Richard Hawley receives an honorary doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University, 2008

Back in January, he was nominated in the Best British Male category for the 2008 Brit Awards. The nomination came off the back of his album released in 2007 called Lady's Bridge.

The competition was tough, he was up against Newton Faulkner, Jamie T, Mika and Mark Ronson (who pipped him to the post), but he popped into BBC Radio Sheffield in January 2008 to speak to Howard Pressman about the months leading up to the nomination and his plans for the future.

"I played here in Sheffield at the City Hall, then went to Europe and then went to America and all of a sudden it were Christmas.

"I had to take a break... it was just literally I'd been on tour for pretty much three years, and I just decided to take January [2008] off, which has been difficult to do cos of the Brits.

"So I've just been trying to keep my feet on the ground, take the kids to school."

Brit nomination

Richard told Howie about the moment he found out he'd been nominated for Best Male at the 2008 Brit Awards. "I was actually in the pub, I'd been with my mate Barry from Record Collector, I'd been to see him and bought some CDs.

Richard Hawley @ Mercury's (c) JMEnternational

Richard at the Mercury Awards in London

"I was in the pub, the phone went and we'd had about four pints, so we had about four more after the phone call [laughs].

"I've got a funny attitude towards awards really, people get excited about it before it happens, once it's happened everyone forgets about it and goes home. It's a bit like Christmas.

"There's a big build up to it, and then they day after the back yard's full of boxes.

"I find it funny that I got nominated, I always find these things really funny. I don't hang around in them circles.

"The funniest one, I got the Arena Man of the Year award which racing drivers get, not some speccy bloke from Pitsmoor.

"My wife kept sending me texts saying 'now then, man o' year, can you get kids from school?'. Or 'now then man o' year, we've run out of milk'.

"I don't mean to sound ungrateful at all, 'cause it is amazing from where I've started off which was just wanting to release quite quiet records, musically as well as sale wise.

"The album's not far off going platinum [300,000 UK sales, January 2008] and it's just bonkers, I still can't get my head around it.

"It's a nice feeling, just not something I set out to do."

Coming up in 2008

"I've done an album pretty much every year, or been involved in a project like Jarvis' album for the past seven years, and I was thinking of having a bit of time off in 2008.

Richard Hawley (c) Martin Parr

"I'd like to, 'cause it's like living two lives, I'm a father and a husband and then I'm this travelling musician and the two don't marry very well at all. I'd like to spend some time with the family.

"I write all the time so it's never an issue."

On fellow nominees the Arctic Monkeys

Sheffield's Arctic Monkeys were also nominated for categories at the 2008 Brit Awards; they won Best British Group, Best British Album (Favourite Worst Nightmare) and they were also nominated for Best Live Act (but they were beaten by Take That).

Richard played at the Arctic Monkeys' last gig of 2007 in Manchester, and told us how much of a fan he is:

"Life's just got really strange for me, it's no longer 'we're headlining in Runcorn tonight', which I'd be more than happy with.

Monkeys' receive Mercury award (c) JMEnternational

Monkeys' receive Mercury award

"I got of a plane, we'd flew from Los Angeles and I'd arranged to do this gig with the Arctic Monkeys in Manchester at the Apollo.

"They're great, I've liked them from acorn to tree. When they first started I thought they were great, and I think Alex's lyrics are fantastic.

"As a band they've got a unique stance, and I think they are genuinely special. A lot of bands that have the amount of press that they have written about them can often lose it.

"But they're not, they're completely feet on ground, and they're still enjoying it. There's no dark side there at all, they really really enjoy it."

last updated: 25/11/2008 at 11:10
created: 17/01/2008

You are in: South Yorkshire > Entertainment > Music > Interviews > Interview: Richard Hawley

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