Singer and Strictly Come Dancing star HRVY, 22, on his billion streams, Strictly predictions, having his own home, and being single and ready to mingle.
You’re about to tour! How is it dancing on stage and in your videos now after all your Strictly training?
Oh, it’s a lot easier to remember steps because I learned so much on Strictly. I’m not as flexible as I was on Strictly because Janette [Manrara] would stretch me out every day. I’m back to being like an old man.
But it did help me out and I’m so much more confident. With dancing, you can be a bad dancer but if you’ve got confidence and own it, I think you come across quite good. Strictly helped me out a lot as people know me as that kid with no vowels in his name.
And when I go to Waitrose I have some of the old nans come up to me and tell me that they think I’m a lovely young man. So that’s always good.
What did you get up to during lockdown?
I was lucky enough to be building my first house so I was doing a lot of interior stuff. It was tiring but that kept my mind occupied. I was writing music too and switching labels so it was busy.
I’m getting ready to release a new EP soon, which I’m excited about. It’s been a while since I’ve been as excited for my music. I just want to get it out now.
Where have you built?
In Kent on the same road where I grew up. I’ve lived in four different houses on the same road. I feel very grown-up. Me and my brother have moved in and it’s so good.
How did your new single, Runaway With It, come about?
I wanted to do a song that had a sample in it. I knew a sample I liked that had been used on a Chris Brown song but I’d never heard the original.
My manager was like, ‘That’s a really well-known older song [Shanice’s I Love Your Smile].’ So it’s cool because the original caters for the older audience and the younger audience know it from the Chris Brown version.
Are you protective of your privacy? There’s speculation about your love life…
There is! It’s quite funny that people are really interested in it and entertained by it. I feel like it’s all part of it — it’s all fun and games. But as of right now I’m single but ready to mingle.
You’ve been streamed 800 million times on Spotify…
Cumulatively with Apple Music, Amazon and YouTube, I think it’s more than a billion. It’s quite a big number when you think about it but it’s really hard to quantify.
I am proud of myself but I don’t think about it too often because I’m always like, you’ve got to keep doing better and more.
Who do you stay in touch with from your Strictly days?
We have the most random group chat you’ve ever seen. It’s got home secretaries, boxers, singers, actors, radio DJs, comedians, from every walk of life in the industry.
The person I’ve got a really good connection with is Jamie Laing, I absolutely love him. He’s like a Labrador.
Who are you rooting for this year?
Tilly Ramsay because she’s young. I’d love to see her do well. I DM’ed the Olympian swimmer Adam Peaty on Instagram and said, ‘Good luck, mate, you’ll win gold.’ I reckon he’ll do well.
It’s nice to not have Janette with a new partner and feel like she’s cheating on me. I was her last one. They saved the best till last.
You’re mates with Emma Raducanu as well…
We’ve spoken a few times just online. We met through Instagram. She’s so talented and it’s cool to see young people do really well. She’s waving the flag for young British people.
Will you meet up in real life?
Maybe one day. I grew up with a tennis court, I used to have one in my garden so my swing is not too bad. I’m better at table tennis.
Who are you most blown away by who you’ve met?
Two years ago, I was at a show and Shawn Mendes came up to me and followed me on Instagram. He’s an amazing singer and so lovely, so that was cool. He said to me, it’s all about the music.
It doesn’t matter what looks you have, how expensive your outfit or the music video is, or how much you promote the song, if a song isn’t good, people aren’t gonna listen to it.
Do you ever look back at the videos you did when you were 13?
Yeah, where I look like a little chubby chipmunk! I do look back and they were cute little videos but I’ve grown up a lot.
Is there anyone you’d like to do a duet with?
Livvy Rodrigo. She’s amazing. And BTS.
Who keeps you grounded?
It sounds big-headed but myself. My feet are heavy. I’m not gonna float up anywhere. I’m realistic and level-headed. That’s all down to upbringing.
HRVY’s single Runaway With It is out now. His October UK tour includes two dates at London’s Palladium on Oct 24 and 25. hrvy.com
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