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  Darius chats to Newsround Online
Updated 18 July 2002, 18.11

Laura Holmes
CBBC Newsround Online
It's six months since Pop Idol finished and Darius is finally about to release his debut single.

CBBC Newsround Online caught up with him to find out all the latest goss!

Newsround: Since all the excitement of Pop Idol has died down - where have you been and what have you been up to?

Darius: Since Pop Idol finished my feet have not hit the ground - I've been living a dream!

I've been very lucky to have been signed by the biggest major label in the world - universal - to a five album deal and I've been busy working and writing the album which is going to be out in November.

Newsround: You've got a single coming out soon - was it hard to write and why didn't you go for a cover version?

Darius: My debut single Colourblind is out on the 29th July.

The reason I decided to release something that I'd written was because I was encouraged to release a double A side cover off the back of the Pop Idol programme.

I remembered what had happened to Hear'Say last year - they had incredible success initially in their career - I realised that for me having a long-term career was much more important.

When I look at one of my pop idols - Robbe Williams - he established himself with original material and once he'd established himself he went on to do covers like the album Swing When You're Winning.

I wanted to release something that was my own first because I felt that it was the most honest way that I could thank all the people out there who had supported me on Pop Idol.

Colourblind is to say thank you.

Newsround: Are you pleased with how the single has been received so far?

Darius: I'm over the moon at the moment.

Colourblind is the third most played non-released single on British radio which is incredible.

I just really look forward to the end of the month when it's released and I get to perform on Top of the Pops and do all the great music shows that I've always dreamed of performing on.

I'm really excited.

Newsround: Who are your main music influences?

Darius: I'm lucky because I'm working at the moment with a man that really influences me - Steve Lilywhite .

He's one of the world's most respected and renowned producers.

He's worked with everyone from Travis to U2 and he's been around in the business for a long time.

He's working with me on the album and while I'm working away he gives me a lot of advice.

Newsround: I heard a rumour that Travis themselves have complimented you on Colourblind - is this true?

Darius: I was very lucky to meet the boys from Travis recently and they were very complimentary and very encouraging.

Fran from Travis was a real inspiration to me because he said what I'd been doing was great.

I love Travis but hopefully it won't just get smiles from people in the business - hopefully it will make the public happy.

For all the kids out there who voted for me - I really hope they enjoy Colourblind.

Newsround: Do you feel a responsibility to your fans from Pop Idol to do something that's not too far removed from the music you sang on the show?

Darius: The style of music that I'm going to develop on the album is the kind of stuff that I'd like to hear on the radio.

Hopefully mums and dads can listen to that in the car on the way to work and kids can sing to it on the way home from school.

Good music is good music and a good song appeals to lots of people and hopefully I'll be putting together a big bunch of good songs.

Newsround: How did you choose the location for the video of Colourblind?

Darius: The video for Colourblind was the most incredible four days that I've had this year.

We shot it in the Sierra Nevada and it was beautiful.

The scenery was incredible - the landscapes were a bit like the Grand Canyon with big sweeping mountainous areas and then gorgeous farmland - corn fields and green grass fields.

I was very lucky, I felt like a kid in a sweet shop, there were helicopters and rain and wind machines.

I got to drive a wicked old Mercedes car and to play my guitar on mountain tops and I got flown up by helicopter to the edge of this cliff - it was the most incredible four days and I'll never forget it.

Newsround: And there was a very pretty girl that you got to kiss at the end....

Darius: Yes, there was a very, very pretty girl in the music video and she's got an older boyfriend who's a policeman so I had to tread very carefully!

I'll let you into a little bit of gossip.

I've never been so nervous in my life - when it came to the kissing scene at the end I almost lost my bottle.

I had to go to the caravan and drink lots of water and say to myself 'right Darius, you're cool - it's just for the cameras.'

It was such a relief at the end when it was over.

Newround: Your album's coming out at the end of November - what's the style of that?

Darius: I hope will bring a smile to the people who voted for me on Pop Idol.

I promise it's full of surprises and I hope that people will listen to it and feel refreshed.

I'll be on the album playing my guitar and I hope you really enjoy it - it'll be out in November in time to go in Christmas stockings!

Newsround: Is it true that people have to sweep knickers from the stage after you've performed?

Darius: It is true that there's a guy who would come on at the end of the Pop Idol show and sweep knickers off the stage after I'd performed my song.

It's very flattering - I still don't know how to take it - it's a bit of fun and I've received all shapes and sizes.

Newsround: If you could do a duet with anyone who would you choose?

Darius: If I could do a duet with anyone it would either be Bono from U2 because he's a rock god or it would be Britney.

It would be my apology to her for murdering Baby One More Time.

I look back at that now and I can't believe that it was two years ago!

The irony of it is that two years ago I was singing one of her songs and on the 29th July I release my song and on the same day she releases her single. It's going to be great day - I can't wait!

Newsround: Was it a deliberate move to wait until the hype from Pop Idol had died down before you released your first single?

Darius: After Pop Idol I was offered a record deal by Simon Cowell - he wanted me to release a double A side cover off the back of the programme.

He wanted me to release it just after Gareth but I felt that it was too soon for me to release something after Will.

He won the programme fair and square - he was the Pop Idol and I didn't think that it was fair.

The programme was made on the idea that whoever wins would get the big record contract so as a friend I thought it was fair for Will to have the glory.

Also on a more selfish and professional note it was really important for me to release six months after the programme had finished because I would have always worried at the back of my head whether the single was only successful because of the programme.

It could be argued that Pop Idol was the biggest advertisement for music in the history of music.

At the end of it the likelihood was that whatever song was released would be a hit.

You could argue that Baa Baa Black Sheep would have been a hit if it was released!

I look at what happened to Hear'Say last year.

Liberty X took their time and I think they're great.

I wish Hear'Say the best of luck but I learnt lessons from Popstars and Pop Idol and it was more important for me to wait to release something and have breathing space.

Newsround: If your music doesn't take off do you have another career in mind - you went to university didn't you?

Darius: I'm lucky - I've got a five album deal with Mercury and I'm Steve Lilywhite's priority - I'm his only signing so far and he's the Managing Director of Mercury.

I'm living a dream at the moment and I've got my sights set on the album.

Newsround: If you were to see Nasty Nigel now what would you say to him?

Darius: I saw Nasty Nigel a couple of weeks ago.

He gave me compliments on Colourblind and I gave him a copy and signed it for his wife because she is lovely.

Despite the fact that he looked nasty on TV, he's actually a really nice bloke.

Newsround: And finally, some people say that Hear'Say have had it and are on their way out. What is your opinion?

Darius: I wish them the best of luck for the future.

Looking at their career over the last 18 months has led me to the conclusion that it's all about music.

If too much time is spent on the hype and not enough attention is paid to the actual songs then a career can go up but it can also go down but I'm sure that they can have a hit in the future.

More InfoBORDER=0
Find OutOur special Pop Idol section
WinWin a Pop Idol video
ClubPop Idol tour: your reviews


Past StoriesBORDER=0
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Darius gives blood
Fans' frenzy at Pop Idol gig
Pop Idol finalists go on tour!
Darius out of Pop Idol


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