'For the past three years, I’ve felt like I’ve been on a bit of a prison sentence'
James Arthur is having one helluva comeback right now.
The 28-year-old singer recently scored a #1 with his new track Say You Won’t Let Go, and seriously impressed viewers when he performed on The X Factor on Sunday night.
But he’s admitted that his time away from the spotlight was tough, telling Fault: ‘For the past three years, I’ve felt like I’ve been on a bit of a prison sentence.
‘Suffering from all kinds of mental health issues, wondering whether or not I’d come back and make any kind of a splash.
‘I felt I had so much unfinished business. That actually made me go back into [music]. Cause I felt like I couldn’t wallow in self-pity forever. I can’t beat myself up forever.
‘It got to a point where I was like: “I can’t do this anymore; I need to create something in order to make myself feel better.” And that’s how it started; it was like: “I have to prove to myself first and foremost that I’m able to create something honest.”
‘Once I did that, once I started to do it, it came easy to me and everything just felt so real.’
After his X Factor gig at the weekend, James made mention of the fact that it was World Mental Health Day the following day.
Due to his past experiences, it’s clearly a cause close to his heart, and he’s keen to encourage people to start talking about their mental health issues.
He says: ‘I feel it remains a taboo subject. I have terrible anxiety – I still have it now, but I can manage it completely differently than I used to.
‘I used to smoke a lot of cannabis and take lots of pills and now I just deal with it myself. I just manage it day to day, but it’s okay to have that, you know?
‘People are so frantically trying to get rid of this thing, but it’s fine. You can have these things and talk about it.’
What a brilliant message. We’re so glad to have you back, James.