Thursday 22 August 2019

Il Divo: We left Simon Cowell’s label but won’t let that get us down

The chart-topping, multi-national group are excited to be working on new music without their former record label.

Il Divo said they have left Simon Cowell’s label (David Jensen/PA)
Il Divo said they have left Simon Cowell’s label (David Jensen/PA)

By Lucy Mapstone, Press Association Deputy Entertainment Editor

Classical vocal group Il Divo have said that their creator Simon Cowell is now just “an old friend” as they parted ways with him and his record company last year.

The multi-national group, which was launched by Cowell in 2003, also said their forthcoming album – their first since not being at his label Syco – is proof they can create music alone.

Comprised of Urs Buhler from Switzerland, Carlos Marin from Spain, David Miller from America and Sebastien Izambard from France, the group, who have sold more than 30 million albums globally, will hit the road in the UK this summer on their Timeless Castles and Country Tour.

Simon Cowell basically just listened to the finished product, so now he's an old friend. We are on very good terms, but it has been many years since we had an intense working relationship with him. Il Divo

Buhler told the Press Association: “The new show is based on our new album Timeless, which is the first time we completely created an album just the four of us, without the record company having a say or input.

“We left our record company last summer, but we are obviously excited about Il Divo.

“It’s a big part of our lives and we wanted to carry on with this, we didn’t want to let that fact get us down, so we created a concept, the thought behind it was to cover all different genres of music from over the past decades.”

Buhler said they wanted to “prove that we are pretty much able to take any kind of popular song and make an authentic Il Divo track.”

He added that they parted with Syco because their contract finished, and that it “came to a natural end”.

Buhler said: “With Simon Cowell, he put us together, he had the idea, he made the investment at the beginning.

“And he was very heavily involved in the first three albums, but then I don’t know if it was due to his own career being incredibly busy, but his influence and involvement became less and less, and even with the last couple of albums we did with Syco, he was hardly involved.

“He basically just listened to the finished product, so now he’s an old friend. We are on very good terms, but it has been many years since we had an intense working relationship with him.”

The classical crossover group, whose debut album was released in early 2004 and hit the number one spot in the UK, said they will release Timeless in August with record labels Decca and Universal as their distributors.

Having started their group in the UK 15 years ago, Miller said it is good to be returning for the tour, and that “there’s a feeling of homecoming”.

For their tour, which kicks off on July 5 and will see them supported by Michael Ball for six dates, and Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalists Bring It North for all of the dates, they will perform at venues including Euston Park in Thetford, Norfolk, Edinburgh Castle and Alnwick Castle in Northumberland.

Miller said they are having to work harder on the concerts now they are without a record company.

He said: “Now we are the captains of the ship – we are the producers, we are the directors, we are the owners and the people who shape the direction too.

“In addition to being the performers, we have to put on the hat of responsibility for the direction of the band, going forward.

“So we do what we can, we take it one day at a time, one hurdle at a time – and it kind of works.

“We’re 15 years in, we’re still alive, and we haven’t killed each other!”

Full dates for Il Divo’s Timeless Castles and Country Tour:

Thursday July 5 – Thetford, Norfolk – Euston Park
Saturday July 7 – Englefield, Berkshire – Englefield House
Sunday July 8 – Greenwich, London – Greenwich Music Time
Tuesday July 10 – Cardiff, Wales – Motorpoint Arena
Friday July 13 – Castlehill, Edinburgh – Edinburgh Castle
Saturday July 14 – Alcester, Warwickshire – Ragley Hall
Sunday July 15 – Alnwick, Northumberland – Alnwick Castle
Tuesday July 17 – Stansted Park, Chichester – Stansted Park
Friday July 20 – Grantham, Leicestershire – Belvoir Castle
Saturday July 21 – Scarborough, Yorkshire – Scarborough Open Air Theatre

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