Milby on Music column

'TURN-OFF' ... John Barrowman.
'TURN-OFF' ... John Barrowman.
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Being brutally honest I’m not a fan of John Barrowman’s music.

I think he is great in the TV series ‘Arrow’ – he plays evil so well.

Barrowman is a household name from years of TV shows such as ‘Torchwood’ and 90s kids favourite ‘Live and Kicking.’

He is an all-rounder. He has been acting in huge hit TV series, he presents on the telly too, he has written books and at the same time has a singing career.

Barrowman added an appearance on The Bay to his CV – surely his career highlight! He was a guest on my show and popped in to plug his new album.

He knows his fan base well and ‘You Raise Me Up’ is an album of some of his favourite songs such as ‘Skyscraper’ and ‘Mandy.’

The album will certainly appeal to the mums. His fans are hard-core - they actually funded this album.

John told me he was asked in an interview whether he was planning another album.

“I told them no. I explained about the recession and how my record label had ditched me and how expensive it was. And someone in the audience stood up and offered to pay for it and that’s how it all came about.”

A pledge company got involved and fans gave money towards the project and got to sit in on the recording sessions.

“I felt very exposed for the first session,” John told me.

“I’ve never had people watching me that closely go through those emotions that I get when I record a song. But I got over it and it’s turned into the best album I’ve ever done. The fans were shocked. They were telling me it’s the most amazing thing they had ever seen because they had never seen that intimate process behind the scenes of recording an album.”

Today the main way of making money in the music business is playing live. With advent of streaming and downloads less and less albums are sold. Which has the knock on effect that there is less money available to produce records.

Pledge companies allow fans to take control and fund the artists they love.

It’s a fantastic way of getting new music out there and strengthens the bond between artist and fans.

John Barrowman enjoyed the whole process of making this record. “My fans got to see the raw emotion of making an album and they saw that I sang every word without the aid of computers unlike some other singers I could mention!”