'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?
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‘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.