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Olly Murs Is at the "Right Place Right Time" for US Breakthrough

Image courtesy of Columbia Records (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of Columbia Records (via ABC News Radio)

British singer Olly Murs first made inroads into the American music market last year when he was the opening act for One Direction 's tour and his song "Heart Skips a Beat" was a medium-sized hit.  But now, things are really taking off for the U.K. X Factor runner up: his song "Troublemaker," featuring Flo Rida, is a smash, and his debut U.S. album Right Place Right Time has just been released, after being postponed from last year.

Olly says the album's title is fitting, since he feels that last year would have been the wrong time to put it out.  "For me, at that point, I'd have just gotten lost between all the big artists that you've got over here," he tells ABC News Radio. "I think it was better for me to release at this time of year where it's not as congested and I can get out and do press interviews and people can see me a little bit more." Olly adds that he's "really proud" to be here in the States, and proud that "everyone's liking my music...it makes me really happy."

Olly also says he likes the way his career is progressing here, because unlike back home in the U.K., he's not immediately identifiable as someone from a TV singing competition.  "Here, it's a bit daunting starting from scratch but I kinda liked it really, because in the U.K., I came from The X Factor and people knew me instantly and my personality and didn't identify me with my music," he explains. "Whereas now, over here, you guys are hearing my music first and then you're getting to know me and I think that's quite cool."

The singer says he can already see his fan base growing by leaps and bounds from last May, when he made his first trip across the pond.  "I've just noticed here in the last year, the more times I've come back, there's more fans waiting inside hotels and different places which is good," he tells ABC News Radio. "So, it means I'm doing something right, which is great, and I'm really pleased with that."

Also helping Olly win over fans: a headlining tour, which he kicked off late last week and is set to run through mid-May.  For fans who didn't get to see Olly when he opened for 1D, what's his live show like?  "I've got lots of high energy," he says. "I like to perform with lots of charisma and lots of fun.  I like people to walk away that they feel like they've gone for a bit of a workout!" 

He adds, "I like people to get really connected with me and feel like they're on stage with me...that's kind of how I like to perform." 

You'll get a chance to see what the live Olly Murs experience is like Tuesday night on ABC, when he performs on the Dancing with the Stars result show. Then he has shows this weekend in Chicago and Milwaukee.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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