Page last updated at 08:58 GMT, Thursday, 4 September 2008 09:58 UK

Father figure Morrison grows up

By Nadia Dahabiyeh
Entertainment reporter, BBC News

James Morrison
Morrison performed at last month's Olympic handover concert in London

In the two years since he burst onto the music scene, James Morrison has been doing a lot of growing up.

His debut album, Undiscovered, took him to number one, and helped him scoop a Brit award and complete a world tour.

Now he is preparing for the release of his second album, Songs For You, Truths For Me - and the arrival of his first child, due at the end of this month.

"Fatherhood does scare me because it is a lot of responsibility but the positives outweigh the negatives," the 24-year-old says.

Chatting over tea and pastries in a west London pub, he clearly cannot wait to be a dad.

"I am not going to spoil it," he adds, "but I will give it enough discipline so it knows there is a right and a wrong."

He mulls that thought over for a few moments before conceding: "Scrap that, I am probably going to be as soft as anything."

James Morrison celebrates with Joss Stone
Morrison won best male artist at 2007's Brit Awards
'Sing it harder'

After two years touring the globe with Undiscovered, which featured hits like You Give Me Something and Wonderful World, Morrison felt like injecting some normality into his life.

The Rugby-born musician went on a camping trip to the south of France with his sister, Hayley, and younger brother, Laurie.

But after a month he was back in the studio.

Songs For You, Truths For Me, explores a wider variety of styles but remains true to Morrison's bluesy tones.

Funkier beats can be heard on a collaboration with Nelly Furtado - who showed up late for work.

"I was not very impressed," he admits.

"But as soon as she stepped in she was worth the wait. She worked her arse off and I gave her a hard time telling her repeatedly to sing it harder and sing it again."

It is not just the prospect of becoming a dad that has Morrison gushing.

The first single, You Make It Real, is dedicated to his girlfriend, Gill. The couple met when he was 16 - but only now does he feel confident enough talk about writing about her.

"I avoided it before because I felt I was too young and I did not realise what it was properly," he explains.

"Love to me can be hard, it can torment you and it can be the best thing in the world as well.

"You can not take love for granted and you have to work at it like anything else. It is precious and not everyone finds it so when you have got it, enjoy it."

James Morrison
63,000 people saw Morrison at the Diana memorial concert at Wembley
'Easily pleased'

So how does Gill feel having songs written about her?

"She cries sometimes when she hears songs about her on the radio," he says.

"I think she loves it deep down but other times she tells me to stop. I think I would get annoyed if someone was writing songs about me."

Morrison, who was brought up by his mother from the age of four, has developed a mature perspective on his fame and fortune.

"I did not take it lightly when I got money," he recalls.

"I thought, 'I need to use this wisely.' So I bought myself a house, I have refurbished my mum's house, bought some nice guitars and and a good car."

He adds: "I am easily pleased. I don't need a Ferrari to feel good about myself.

"I have a beautiful house, a beautiful woman and I am about to have a child - whether this album is a total success or not I will still be happy."

James Morrison's new single, You Make It Real, is out on 22 September. The album, Songs For You, Truths For Me, follows on September 29.

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