THE 10 Qs SERIES
For over a decade now, John Newman has been stunning us all with endlessly catchy hits such as “Love Me Again,” “Come And Get It,” and his 2023 sensation “Hold On To My Love.”
Born and raised in a small town in Northern England, Newman might have started working with borrowed DJ gear, but these days, he’s well and indeed found his way to the world stage. Collaborating with the likes of David Guetta, Galantis, and Calvin Harris, his tracks have broken records and stolen the hearts of fans worldwide.
A multi-talented artist, Newman writes, produces, and performs his music. As a vocalist, guitarist, and pianist, he’s able to bring together a wide range of skills to create gloriously distinctive music that DJs worldwide are simply bending over backward to sample.
And his latest track, “Hold On To My Love,” once again demonstrates Newman’s incredible ability to blend innovation with mainstream appeal. Delightfully creative, “Hold On To My Love” is satisfying as a traditional pop song and a high-energy dance track. With a melody destined to hook you and a beat certain to keep you dancing, once you’ve heard this song, it’s sure to be the soundtrack to your summer.
To learn more about John Newman’s outstanding music, his experience working as an artist in 2023 and how he creates such memorable songs, be sure to listen to the full, exclusive Nexus Radio Take5 interview below!
Q: Before we dig in, what's next for you?
At the moment I’m focusing on my live show. Building it up and trying to make it as dramatic, captivating, and as energetic as possible. That’s taking time, and it’s a whole different direction for me as an artist so it’s kind of hard to make people change what they already know. I’m constantly working on new music, and I’ve got an exciting collab coming up soon to watch out for.
Q: What are your thoughts on the meaning of success, and how do you define success for yourself?
In today’s climate of music, success for the 1% can be found in the traditional way that I’ve previously found success, but I think that’s super rare now and there’s different mental strategies come into it.
As artists, we’re all highly strung and I think people need to remember that we’re putting all our emotions into this and it’s a heavy connection to our hearts and we’re exposed, so the trial and tribulations hurt. I think you’ve got to try and find success in your every day and the little things. For me, I decided to pull back on my career, reassess the situation and rebuild in a different format which means that I must start from there and not from the three no.1 hits before because that’s the painful bit, looking back on your past and start comparing your current success to that.
Q: What's the most ridiculous thing you've ever bought?
There was this one time that we were in the Czech Republic, and we stayed in a golf hotel. I had quite a large ego at the time and was currently living up to the idea of being a Northern soul rockstar and I remember I wanted to hire a golf buggy to drive around the track for the day. Just because I like driving things around and being stupid. A guy was like you can’t do that, you must be a golfer and we don’t want you guys messing around on our course. He said some words that at some point offended my ego probably, so I decided to go to the golf shop and buy the full golf outfit, which was expensive, including shoes and hire clubs all for the point of just being able to drive around on a golf caddy…which I did for around 30 minutes and then got bored.
Q: What's the most memorable fan encounter you've ever had?
I was playing in the middle of the mountains in Switzerland, it was remote, so beautiful. I was headlining, played the gig and everything was fine. Then, I came back to my dressing room and opened the door, as I usually do after a gig, and there was a girl sitting on the sofa that looks like a scene from a horror movie. She had cuts and blood down her legs and mud all over her and I was like what’s going on?! It turned out that she was so desperate to meet me and freaked out so much about the idea, that she climbed over three 15-foot barriers and jumped into the mud just to get through.
Q: Where and when would you go if you could travel back in time to any moment in history?
It’s hard because I want to try and go do something good to help people but then what if I made it worse? Like in Back to The Future where his mum fancies him…that’s well worse!
Talking musically, I’d got back to the Motown era for sure. I’d go and see them recording tracks in Motown and hopefully, I wouldn’t change too much.
Q: If you could only listen to three songs for the rest of your life, which ones would you choose?
Eric Prydz – Opus
Otis Redding – A Change Is Gonna Come
Armand Van Helden – My My My
Q: What is your philosophy on happiness, and how do you strive to maintain a sense of happiness and well-being?
I’m learning so much about this now as I’m coming into my 30s. I had a tricky-to-navigate and challenging career, and an emotional and challenging life in places as well. I think I’ve got a broken concept of what happiness is because I had a severe illness at one point in my life and I just feel happy to be here. That’s a life-changing thing but obviously, that wears off and I’ve found new challenges, so I think you’ve got to micro-manage yourself and your brain and try to find yourself in life and find happiness in that. I do feel happy now, and I can feel sad, and that’s okay. It’s such a nonchalant thing to wipe out negativity with positivity, and it might come across as unappreciative of the situation when I say this, but I always say without rainy days we wouldn’t appreciate a sunny day being nice. It’s okay to appreciate both sides of the story.
Q: How do you see dance music evolving in the future?
It’s quite nice to see the different side, which is evolving, like Afterlife, Future Rave, these areas of the scene that aren’t quite as commercial, and Eric Prydz’s shows. The size that they’re escalating to is a visual treat and I think it’s a luxurious side of dance music that is evolving even though it’s not highly commercial. I think that’s exciting because maybe that will become commercial one day.
Also, I think the birth of EDM pulled together a lot of genres and I think that kind of movement is waiting in the wings that pull all these genres together. Funnily enough, in my live show, I’ve been through my whole set now and play 90% of my productions, even drops, and my brief for my live show is electro hype-house because I want it to be techno kicks, tech-house hats, snares and claps with EDM-like emotional chords. I see that might be where the music world is going, pulling all of these influences into one place maybe.
Q: If you could switch lives with any other celebrity for a week, who would it be?
That’s the bit that I’m not bothered about in this job. It’s not like I’d switch places with someone who’s got lots of Instagram followers or who gets loads of attention because that would just give me a severe headache!
So, I’d maybe choose Wim Hof, he gets in cold water, and I love doing that.
Q: What's the weirdest thing you've ever Googled?
It’s not that weird but the other day I had a bit of a freak out about wind. Like what the f**k is wind? It just starts and why does it blow? and how does the world do it by itself? So, I had to google and research that, and I still don’t fully understand it. Mind blown.