Belfast Telegraph

James Arthur: 'Popstars face so much pressure'

James Arthur finally feels as though he has his purpose back now he's making music again.

James Arthur has opened up about the pressure popstars feel to deliver to audiences.

The 29-year-old found fame on the ninth series of The X Factor back in 2012, winning under the guidance of his mentor Nicole Scherzinger. It was a stressful time on the show, with James at one point being rushed to hospital during live performances after suffering an anxiety attack, but over time he’s realised how to cope with his stress better.

"There is a lot of pressure on popstars and I think a lot of it is the pressure that we put on ourselves,” he told MTV News. “In our minds we build up these huge, huge standards that we think people want from us and actually, when you break it down, people just want you to make music and perform to the best of your ability but anxiety can stop you from doing that."

James feels for anyone else suffering with the “crippling” condition of anxiety, explaining his way of dealing with it is to not dwell on the past and focus on the present and future instead.

And that’s exactly what he’s doing following the critical acclaim his second album Back from the Edge received upon its release in October (16), which topped the charts and featured number one single Say You Won't Let Go.

"Being back now... It feels like I've got my purpose back again," James added. "It feels like I'm doing what I should be doing and I'm just really chuffed to be back to work doing hard work, you know busy all day every day - that's what I like to be doing."

In the years between James’ self-titled debut album in 2013 and his second record, he faced backlash from the LGBTQ community over homophobic lyrics, dropped out of public engagements due to exhaustion and left Simon Cowell’s label Syco.

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