Welcome to the new episode of the Billboard.com Pop Shop Podcast, Billboard’s weekly audio breakdown of the Billboard charts, hottest music news and year’s biggest musical events. Casual pop fans and chart junkies can hear Billboard co-director of charts Keith Caulfield and Billboard.com senior editor Katie Atkinson every Tuesday on the Pop Shop Podcast, which can be streamed on Billboard.com or downloaded in iTunes (click here to listen to the previous Tuesday’s edition of the show on Billboard.com).
This week, on the first new episode of 2017, our guest is James Vincent McMorrow! Whether you’re already a fan of the Irish singer/songwriter or this is your first introduction, you’ll enjoy our lovely chat with McMorrow, who made waves late last year with his third album, We Move, and the singles “Rising Water” and “Get Low.”
But even if you don’t immediately recognize his name, chances are you’ve heard James on something, whether it’s the Kygo song “I’m in Love” or his vocals on Drake‘s Views album on the song “Hype” or his cover of Chris Isaak‘s “Wicked Game,” which was featured in the trailer for Game of Thrones last spring.
“Everybody comes at me for a different song or a different reason,” he says of being approached by fans. “There’s always a specific, singular intensity behind everybody that talks about a song, which is lovely. I think the reason we can go and fill the Wiltern [in Los Angeles] is the fact that there are all those different people with all those different reasons. So while I’m not a household name — and never have been and it’s never been an aspiration of mine — I think that over the course of three albums, all of these kind of circles in the Venn diagram have started to pop up, which means that slowly, slowly, slowly, more people just automatically know the work, and know one song or know two songs, or even if they’re like a passive fan, they’ll know something and they’ll care about it enough to come to a show or come up to me in the street and talk to me about it. There’s a lot of different roots into my career.”
In addition to our conversation with James, we also have a brand-new year of chart chat! There’s a new No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and over on the Billboard 200, there’s a sort-of new No. 1. Plus, soundtracks have taken over the Billboard 200, with Moana, Sing, Suicide Squad and Trolls all in the top 10 and La La Land waiting in the wings after its record night at Sunday’s Golden Globes. Finally, we’ve got brand-new music from Ed Sheeran to talk about! Where might his two new singles end up on the charts next week?
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