Victoria Abraham defines one up and coming artist each week so you can impress your friends with your musical brilliance. This week, she tackles Olly Murs,a reggae pop artist from England, that’s currently opening for One Direction on their North American tour.
Mr. Murs is yet another example of how the British are dominating North American airwaves. His career took off when he finished as the runner-up on the sixth season of The X Factor in 2009. Now he’s working on his third album, which will be released in November 2012.
Origins: Essex, England
Real name: Oliver Stanley Murs
Known for: He is known for a cheeky persona and energetic live shows.
Used in a sentence: “Olly Murs’ Catholic schoolboy appearance makes the reggae and ska influences in his music pleasantly surprising.”
File next to: Will Young, Robbie Williams
Download now: “Heart Skips a Beat” (This version features Chiddy Bang)
In “Dance With Me Tonight” Olly puts his A-game on for the ladies.
My name is Olly nice to meet you can I tell you baby/Look around there’s a whole lot of pretty ladies/But none like you, you shine so bright, yeah/I was wondering if you and me could spend a minute/On the floor up and close getting lost in it/I won’t give up without a fight
Fun facts: Olly has a younger (by mere seconds!) twin brother named Ben. He played semi-professional soccer for Witham Town before an injury permanently sidelined him, which is perhaps why he takes on a female soccer team in the second video for “Heart Skips a Beat.”
He’s collaborated with Rizzle Kicks, who were Artist of the Week on March 6 (that’s right, we felt the buzz). Also, he’s secretly a rapper, admiring the verbal prowess of Eminem and Vanilla Ice.
Another random fact: In 2007, he appeared on the game show Deal or No Deal.
Career highlights: In February 2010, shortly after finishing as runner-up on The X Factor, Olly signed a joint record deal with Epic Records and Syco Music. His first single, “Please Don’t Let Me Go,” released in August 2010, entered the UK Singles Charts at number 1, beating Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream.”
That same year, Olly released his self-titled debut album. He won Best Album at the BBC Radio 1 Teen Awards. In 2011, he released his second album In Case You Didn’t Know.