Music interview: Richard and Adam at York Barbican

Richard and Adam
Richard and Adam
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Richard and Adam Johnson may not have won Britain’s Got Talent in 2013 but Simon Cowell’s TV ratings winner has been the making of the brotherly classical crossover singers from North Wales.

“There have been a lot of really great things to come our way,” says Richard, at 23 the elder of the two. “We’ve done many different concerts from Wembley Arena to the Olympic Stadium. We toured earlier this year – we did 18 dates around the country. It’s just been an incredible year.”

They’ve also scored a Number One album, The Impossible Dream, sold more than 80,000 copies of a Christmas collection and are just about to release a new record, At The Movies, on which they sing some of their favourite songs from films including Can You Feel the Love Tonight from The Lion King, Moon River from Breakfast at Tiffanys and When Somebody Loved Me from Toy Story 2.

“It’s one of my biggest passions in life besides singing,” says Richard of his love of the cinema. “Since I can remember I’ve always loved going to watch films and I’ve always loved the soundtracks from films, they add a bit of emotion to it.”

Richard’s favourite is the Kevin Costner film Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves. “I remember when I was younger the Bryan Adams song (Everything I Do) I Do It For You. At that point in the film it’s a live piano solo version. I was like, ‘Yes, I love it!’” he says. “Subconsciously I associate films with orchestration, it adds a few extra points to a film.”

On the album, tenor Richard and baritone Adam, 20, render it in an operatic style.

Having rattled out three albums in the space of a year, the brothers have gone from studio novices (“the first album we went in extremely nervous”) to more experienced artists who chip in with their own ideas and try to “put in as much of our personality as we can”.

They thoroughly enjoyed returning to BGT this year in a guest slot. “What was a nice feeling this time was not having the added pressure of getting voted off,” says Richard. “It made things a little more comfortable.”

Now, with Adam having shed four and half stone in weight, the pair are limbering up another busy few months. Richard would love their career to last “for the next 50 years – touch wood”.

And no one would be more chuffed if they do than their Nan, whose love of classical music and opera rubbed off on her grandsons.

“She’s one of the proudest people in the world,” Richard says. “When she meets friends in the cafe her favourite choice of topic is Richard and Adam.”

At The Movies is released on August 11. Richard and Adam play at York Barbican on February 20, 2015.

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