FATHERHOOD is a major, recurring theme in James Morrison's third and latest album, The Awakening.
After his first child, a daughter named Elsie, was born in 2009, the British singer-songwriter lost his own dad to alcohol addiction the following year.
So the record, which was released last September and features hits like Slave To The Music, is understandably deeply personal to him, and he found himself thinking deeply about the kind of father he had, and the kind of dad he wants to be.
"I was brought up tough. I couldn't be cheeky to my parents and was taught the value of things," the gravelly voiced 27-year-old explained in an interview with my paper at Sentosa's Movenpick Hotel on Monday.
And though those things are important to him, Morrison (real name James Morrison Catchpole) considers himself to be "definitely a soft dad".
He added that he does his best to combine the kind of parenting he received, and the kind he believes in, with Elsie, now aged 21/2.
"My parents weren't the most playful people, so I want to fill that gap (with what I didn't have) for my daughter," he said.
The Warwickshire-born lad was in town for his first Singapore outing as part of music channel MTV's Sessions programme. He played a one-hour set at Resorts World Sentosa's Waterfront Studios last Sunday.
Coming across as charming and affable, Morrison displayed an off-the-cuff sense of humour that belied his reputation as a melancholic, which he has honed since breaking out in 2006 with the song You Give Me Something, from debut album Undiscovered.
He cringes at the thought of being lumped into the same category as schmaltzy singers like James Blunt and Ronan Keating. Their songs are "all slushy", he lamented, despite the fact that he, too, writes emotionally charged lyrics and sings with a raspy white-soul croon.
"When people go 'Awww, James Morrison!', it kind of annoys me," he said, affecting a girlish swoon.
"I'm romantic about life, and relationships are important to me, but I like good music as well...funky, dirty, gritty music."
The Brit Award-winning singer added with a cheeky smile: "I always wanted (people) to be like "James Morrison, he's cool!".
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