13th January: Last week’s top re-entries The Classical Album and The 50 Greatest Pieces of Classical Music switch around, at no. 1 and no. 2, and Renée Fleming’s new album is the highest new entry at no. 8.
Described as a 'once in a generation talent' by Dickon Stainer, MD of Universal Classics and Jazz, Will Martin is set to take the chart by storm with his new album 'A New World'. Find out more, plus hear from the young singer himself in our exclusive interview...
Since making the bold move of sending his demo tape to the heads of two British record companies, Will Martin has gone from playing the piano in bars to singing the New Zealand National Anthem in front of a sold out All Blacks crowd.
At just 24 he has now released his debut album 'A New World' as part of a five album deal with UCJ.
'A New World' is an epic collection of classical crossover songs, which brings traditional repertoire such as 'Going Home' from Dvorak's 'New World Symphony' into the modern day.
Other well-known songs also featured on the album, include 'Into the West', the theme song from 'Lord of the Rings' (originally sung by Annie Lennox) and Ennio Morricone’s 'Cinema Paradiso.'
CFM: Looking back at the journey you've made to get where you are now - how does it feel to be releasing your debut album?
WM: Unreal. There’s no better word for it. I’ve been based here for 12 months now, and it’s all been a lead up to this. I certainly hope the UK public will enjoy the music as much as I enjoy recording and performing it.
CFM: A New World is clearly influenced by your New Zealand roots, but how did you go about choosing the tracks to feature on the album?
WM: It was a team effort, with the label, my producer Simon Franglen, and myself, all suggesting potential repertoire. It was quite a task actually, whittling a list of over 200 tracks down to the twelve that feature on the album. Looking back a year on, I’m still super happy with the songs we chose to record.
CFM: What would you say have been your personal career highlights since signing to the Universal Classics and Jazz record label?
WM: Every time I find myself singing live with a full orchestra, I have to pinch myself. It is an amazing experience, one that I doubt I will ever become accustomed to. The release of my album back in New Zealand was a personal highlight, in addition to every performance thus far in the UK; I’m loving entertaining the audiences over here.
CFM: You've sung at a number of prestigious venues, including the Royal Albert Hall and Wembley stadium, but which would you say has the biggest 'wow-factor'?
WM: Walking out onto the pitch at Wembley to sing ‘God Save The Queen' was phenomenal. I will never forget that moment. Entertaining the Scottish contingent of the British Olympic Association earlier this year was also amazing, especially with The Princess Royal in attendance.
CFM: If you could perform a duet with any classical artist, who would it be?
WM: Right now, it’d have to be Nicola Benedetti. She is supremely talented, and so very beautiful. In saying that though, if the opportunity presented itself, I’d love to get a couple of piano lessons from Lang Lang!
CFM: Where would you like to see yourself this time next year?
WM: As long as I’m still singing beautiful music, and there are people out there who want to listen, then I’ll be a happy boy. Who knows, I may be promoting my SECOND album if ‘A New World’ is received well!?!
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