Friday, February 3, 2023

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Busted’s Matt Willis never intended to be a singer

Matt Willis never intended to be a musician.

The 39-year-old star shot to fame alongside Charlie Simpson, 37, and James Bourne, 39, as part of pop-rock band Busted in the early 2000s but had trained at the prestigious Sylvia Young Theatre School in London after being spotted at a holiday camp and attended class with the likes of Amy Winehouse and Billie Piper where he initially “fell in love” with acting.

He said: “I’d barely heard of the place. I sang in a talent competition at Haven Holidays camp. My mum made me do it and I sang ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ and I had sung a few times – little bits. So I sang in this talent competition and someone in the crowd worked for Sylvia Young. They said ‘We’re holding auditions for a scholarship, do you wanna come?’ I was 14 and I was like ‘Yeah, absolutely, I’ll do that!’ I looked it up not really knowing what it was and I then was like ‘Oh right, that’s where that Spice Girl [Emma Bunton] went.’

“They were all in my class. it was a really special time. Suddenly, I found something I could do that I was good at and enjoyed. I just wanted to get better at it and be at school rather than leave as soon as I possibly could. I fell in love with acting at school. I never ever intended to be a musician. It was something I just did as a hobby in my spare time and then me and James from Busted met and started writing songs.

The ‘Year 3000’ hitmaker – who since his heyday in Busted has gone on to act in productions of ‘Flashdance’ and ‘Waitress’ and is now starring alongside former ‘Love Island’ host Laura Whitmore in the West End production of ‘2:22 A Ghost Story’ – went on to explain that he and James unsuccessfully auditioned for lots of different bands before deciding to go it alone.

Speaking on ‘James Martin’s Saturday Morning Kitchen’, he added: “We auditioned for different bands around our area and we weren’t getting in. Then we did a few in London, and we met and were like ‘Should we just try something ourselves?’ At the time, we were discovering this American punk music that was a massive influence on us. So we just tried to take elements of that and take elements of pop music that we really loved.

“Music was kind of an accident – a really happy accident, which I’m very grateful for but it was an accident.”

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