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Will Young talks about his new album, Lexicon, and playing Pub in the Park in Tunbridge Wells

In the 17 years since Will Young won Pop Idol, he has notched up four chart-topping albums, four number one UK singles and won two Brit Awards.

As he celebrates the release of his seventh album, Lexicon, singer Will Young prepares to play Pub in the Park in Tunbridge Wells' Dunorlan Park later this month - and admits it was the prospect of playing the event that fired him up for touring again.

He is part of a musical line-up for the second year of the foodie festival dreamt up by chef Tom Kerridge, which comes to Kent from Friday, July 12 to Sunday, July 14.

Will Young will play in Tunbridge Wells Picture: Steve Schofield
Will Young will play in Tunbridge Wells Picture: Steve Schofield

He had almost reached a point where he didn't think he'd make music again, he says. But it was the prospect of touring and performing live that reignited his music flame.

"I'd done a Pub in the Park gig and I did this gig and I just suddenly thought and I said to the band, 'I think I'll go touring again' and that really brought me back into music, so the tour has been at the forefront of my mind."

His new album, Lexicon feels like the ushering in of a new era for the 40-year-old singer. His first release on the independent label Cooking Vinyl, it has reunited him with the team he worked with on his 2011 album, Echoes.

"We always said we wanted to do a sort of part two (to Echoes). I knew I wanted to do that so that meant it was going to fit within a genre of almost luxury electro pop, which is a word I've just made up!"

Given that it's been nearly two decades since his music career took off after ITV's Pop Idol, how much has he changed as an artist?

He explains: "I feel like it couldn't have gone any better, for me as an artist to find the evolution and to continue it and to come across the right people. They all allowed me to find my way through it."

Will Young will play Tom Kerridge's Pub in the Park in Tunbridge Wells Picture: Steve Schofield
Will Young will play Tom Kerridge's Pub in the Park in Tunbridge Wells Picture: Steve Schofield

"Also what I find really interesting is the narrative has changed so much. So, as an artist who is gay, now there's stuff that I was talking about 15 years ago where there was no place for it, and now there is a place for it.

"Like, on radio, a DJ could be blatantly homophobic about me on live radio but now that would never happen. It certainly doesn't feel like almost two decades. I mean, I feel like I've just got going."

He definitely hasn't rested on his music laurels. He has campaigned passionately for the LGBTQ movement and his podcast is already enjoying a second series. In October, he'll embark on a UK tour and his summer diary is already fully booked with live performances.

Tom Kerridge Picture: Andrew Hayes-Watkins
Tom Kerridge Picture: Andrew Hayes-Watkins

"I didn't want to write as much as I have done in the past. I wanted to very much make it as easy and as joyous as possible, and sometimes I find writing extremely stressful," he says.

"I feel like I proved myself as a songwriter, to myself really, apart from anyone else.

"I'm confident enough to still have it as my work but I don't feel insecure - and I'm not saying other people feel this - but I don't feel insecure that people aren't going to take it seriously or see me as an artist or think that it's more throwaway."

* Pub in the Park will be in Tunbridge Wells from Friday, July 12 to Sunday, July 14. To book tickets go to pubintheparkuk.com/tunbridge-wells

Look out for our interview with Tom Kerridge in next week's KM What's On.

Read more: All the latest entertainments news across Kent

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