Lawson Preps 'Chapman Square' Stateside Release Following Huge U.K. Success
British band is blowing up in the U.K. -- is America next?
Lawson is by no means a household name in the States yet, but don't sleep on this British pop-rock quartet. Nearly a year after its first album debuted in the Top 5 of the U.K. albums chart, the group has completed its first North American headlining tour, a short trek through eight major markets used to introduced the Liverpool lads and their debut U.S. single "Learn To Love Again." The Island Def Jam band -- which scored its fourth U.K. top ten single in July with "Brokenhearted," a collaboration with B.o.B -- hopes to deliver debut LP "Chapman Square" to U.S. fans soon, after the full-length was released overseas in October 2012.
"I think it's going to be early next year," frontman Andy Brown tells Billboard about the stateside album release. "We're going with the repackaging now of 'Chapman Square' in the U.K., and I think that'd going to be our American album as well. And fingers crossed, it's going to do great over here."
Six years ago, Brown wasn't considering when exactly his music would be impacting American fans; the singer was fighting for his life. While studying as a computer science student at Liverpool University, Brown was diagnosed with a brain tumor that could have very well led to facial paralysis, and might have been fatal.
"I had a quite serious operation," says Brown, "and Dr. Lawson was the amazing guy who operated on me. He basically saved my life." After the successful surgery and the formation of the band in early 2010, the singer, along with bassist Ryan Fletcher, guitarist Joel Peat and drummer Adam Pitts, decided to honor Lawson by naming the band after the doctor. "He's a bit of a local celebrity back home in Liverpool… I think he was just flattered to have a band named after him," says Brown with a laugh.
Since its formation, Lawson has utilized YouTube performances to collect fans across the globe, first with covers of Bruno Mars and Lady Gaga songs, and then with originals released on Global Talent/Universal overseas. While their faithful 2011 covers of Mars' "Grenade" and Katy Perry's "Firework" has garnered 177,000 and 155,000 YouTube views, respectively, Lawson's videos for original U.K. singles like "When She Was Mine" and "Taking Over Me" have earned 5 million and 4.9 million views.
The video for the B.o.B-assisted "Brokenhearted" has scooped up 4.4 million YouTube views since May, and while that single has led the October release of the deluxe edition of "Chapman Square" (dubbed "Chapman Square/Chapter II") in the U.K., "Learn To Love Again" will be the impact single in the U.S., and is starting to gain traction with 6,000 U.S. downloads sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
"It was an important single in the U.K," says Brown. "That was the song where we transitioned to an older [audience] -- because of the way we look, we used to get a lot of young girls coming to the shows, and then we started to get the guys and older people on board, and I think 'Learn To Love Again' was an important song for doing that."
Speaking of live shows, Lawson will return to London next Monday (Sept. 23) for the iTunes Festival before kicking off its Everywhere We Go headlining tour in Wales on Sept. 28. A music video for new U.K. single "Juliet" also launched earlier this month -- check it out below: