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Interview: Jonathan Antoine

5 min read

Back in 2012 Jonathan Antoine, along with singer partner Charlotte Jaconelli became instant stars following their performance on the sixth series of Britain’s Got Talent. Their enormous voices and charismatic personalities won viewers over and the duo made it right up to the finals of the series before being awarded the runner-up prize. Success continued for the pair after the show and two albums were produced by Jonathan and Charlotte before the two decided to part ways as an act and go solo.

Since the decision to split back at the start of the year, Jonathan has gone from strength to strength with hugely successful performances around the UK and a guest spot alongside opera icon Placido Domingo during the closing night of this years iTunes festival. This week has also seen the unveiling of Jonathan’s debut solo record, Tenore. As the release date of Tenore loomed we were able to sneak some time in with Jonathan to talk about the new collection, his time on Britain’s Got Talent and going solo. Here is what he had to tell us…

Brendon Veevers: How are you Jonathan and where in the world does our interview find you?

Jonathan Antoine: I’m fantastic thanks.  I’m in Room N9 [AT SONY MUSIC, LONDON].

Jonathan Antoine TenoreBV: You released your debut solo album Tenore on October 13th. Can you tell us a little bit about the record and what fans might expect from the album?

JA: It’s a blend of several time periods from ye olde Rigoletto through to Volare and the most modern piece being Love Changes Everything.  It’s a really fun album and hopefully fans can take that from it or just enjoy whatever feeling it gives them.

BV: You found fame through your time on Britain’s Got Talent. What was the biggest thing that you learned about yourself during your time on the show?

JA: I learnt an awful lot!  That I wasn’t as scared as I thought I was and not as useless.  Also if you’ve got a talent, use it and people do actually care.

BV: Would the reality talent show path be one that you would promote to other aspiring musicians?

JA: It’s a great platform for specific types of acts.

BV: Your success on the show and following Britain’s Got Talent was as part of the duo Jonathan and Charlotte, with Charlotte Jaconelli. What was the reason for the two of you going separate ways after being so successful as a duo?

JA: We had the most exciting journey together but we knew that the time was right to try our own projects. We’re still friends!

BV: This is the first album that you will have released since going solo. What was it like to step into the recording studio without Charlotte and what differences in the recording process did you find?

JA: The main difference was far less downtime in the studio.  I didn’t get any breaks!  It’s you every time, whereas with Charlotte I’d get to relax whilst she was laying down her vocals.  That said I did have a great time recording this album.

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BV: What criteria did you follow when deciding on the songs that would appear on Tenore?

JA: I just wanted songs that sounded cool and fit in with a theme of being a fun album.

BV: Were there any tracks that you would have liked to appear on the record that didn’t end up making the final cut?

JA: I actually recorded just one more track that didn’t make it on the album in the end which was Somewhere My Love.  It just didn’t really fit the vibe of the album.

BV: Whats your favourite song on the new album and for what reasons do you regard it as your favourite album track?

JA: My favourite track is probably Volare.  I used to sing it to my cat who unfortunately passed away this year at the ripe age of 18 – nearly as old as me!  So that song has a special meaning to me.

Jonathan Antoine / Sony Music

BV: Anna Barry took the role of producer on the album and she has previously collaborated with the likes of Jose Carreras, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Andrea Bocelli. What was it like to have her input on the record and to work alongside Anna?

JA: Anna is an absolutely fantastic person and producer.  She was so easy to work with and the sessions seemed to fly by really quickly.  We also had Julian Reynolds conducting and the two of them are like a hilarious double act!

BV: If you were given the opportunity of collaborating with any 3 artists, who would they be and why?

There’s so many artists in different genres that I’d like to work with…hmm…ok…today I’ll go for Jonas Kaufmann, Monuments and Eric Whitacre.

BV: You recently completed a string of tour dates billed the Balcony Roadshow. How did that go?

JA: It was really interesting.  I sang on balconies in Cardiff, Newcastle, Birmingham and Manchester and they were free events that people could just turn up.  Every performance went so smoothly and easily with not one technical hitch at all.  Plus it was great to meet all the fans who’d come down to watch.

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BV: You also recently performed as a special guest of Placido Domingo at the closing event of this years iTunes Festival. What was that like and how did the opportunity to perform alongside such a legendary opera star come about?

JA: We’re on the same label so I think that’s how it came about.  I just got an email saying would you like to perform with Placido and I said YES! He’s such a nice guy and an amazing talent.

BV: Did he offer you any career tips that you can let us in on?

JA: Unfortunately our only interaction was on stage but it was still one of those life affirming moments for me.

BV: What other plans or projects are in the pipeline for 2014/15 that fans can look out for?

JA: I’m taking part in a series of concerts called Classical Spectacular in November at the Royal Albert Hall and if all things go well hopefully I’ll be doing live shows of my own next year at some point.

BV: Thanks for your time Jonathan and best of luck with the release and the tour.

JA: Thank you!

Jonathan Antoine’s new album Tenore is out now.

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