Future Hit: James Arthur’s “Say You Won’t Let Go”
James Arthur is in the middle of a very unlikely comeback. The singer, who won X Factor UK in 2012, crashed and burned more spectacularly than any talent show winner in recent memory. After being signed by Simon Cowell, the 28-year-old got off to a flying start. His cover of Shontelle’s “Impossible” topped the charts at home and was a top 5 hit across Europe. The label spared no expense on their new star’s debut album (Naughty Boy, TMS, Salaam Remi and Da Internz contributed songs) and he recorded a very good duet with Emeli Sande.
But then everything fell apart when James used a homophobic slur in one song and rapped about terrorism in another. (He has since apologized and opened up about his battle with drug abuse and depression). The singer was dropped by Syco in 2014 and pretty much disappeared until this year. When he resigned with the label and promptly landed a number one hit with “Say You Won’t Let Go.” The pretty ballad, which falls somewhere between Ed Sheeran and John Legend, is already gaining ground of Spotify stateside and making steady gains on iTunes.
It’s only a matter of time before radio jumps on this and the Brit lands his first US hit. James’ appropriately-titled sophomore LP, Back From The Edge, drops October 28. Check out “Say You Won’t Let Go” below.