The 2005 winner of the British X Factor series, Shayne Ward, returns to the world of pop this year with the release of his first new material since 2010.
To mark his return, he’s given an exclusive interview with Attitude magazine, in which he discusses his feelings about being called gay, raising money for his new album through crowd-funding after parting ways with Simon Cowell’s Syco label, and his gay best friends.
‘I get called gay all the time,’ he told the magazine. ‘Normally, from a jealous boyfriend of a girl who’s a fan or a group of guys in a pub shouting at me because I’m a pop star. It doesn’t bother me. I am very thick skinned and can handle situations very well.
‘Plus half of the idiots shouting abuse are probably hiding in the closet and fancy me as well. Ha!
‘I’ve always known I was straight thanks to my brother’s collection of magazines. I love boobs! If I were gay my family are amazing and wouldn’t shut out anyone. They’d never have a problem if any of my family said they were gay.’
Ward has produced his new album, Closer, with veteran producer Mike Stock (of Stock, Aitken and Waterman fame). On deciding to raise the finances through crowd funding, he said: ‘It was a joint decision with management to use pledge music as we felt that by doing this the fans would be involved and that would make it so much more personal for them. Best decision we made.’
‘I’m at my heaviest just over 14 stone,’ he says about his physique. ‘If I don’t train then I can put on weight very quickly. Good thing is I have a very fast metabolism. So I can lose it quick.
‘I always like to get some sort of training into my day. Now my thighs are really coming along to the point where I actually split my jeans at the thigh the other day when I was dancing. I was like the Hulk.’
Besides Ward, the new issue of Attitude features a cover shoot and accompanying feature on Russell T Davies’s new TV show, Cucumber. The latest issue of Attitude is available to download to iPad or tablet device from Pocketmags.com/Attitude or the Attitude app from from today (1 January) and to buy in print on Wednesday 7 January.