10/08/2012 09:05 BST | Updated 10/08/2012 09:09 BST

'Invincible' Lemar: 'You're Always Going To Get Someone Who Says You're A Pr**k' (INTERVIEW)

"You're always going to get someone who says 'you're a prick', just ignore it, life is too short," says laid-back Lemar who's gearing up to mark his 10 years in the music industry with a sixth studio album.

The If She Knew singer, who has notched up seven top 10 singles and more than two million album sales in the past decade since first appearing on TV singing contest Fame Academy, notes how the music industry has changed since we first heard his smooth songs...

"I think it's changed enormously in a good way, everyone has got a public forum in Twitter, Facebook, where they can say 'this is what I like', or 'I don't like this'.


Lionel Richie with Lemar during Fame Academy in 2002

"Obviously it's very different in that people can cherry-pick what they want from albums and I think you need to put more effort in if you want to sell a body of work now, making sure the whole thing is good and not just a handful of songs."

Lemar, who has almost 60,000 followers on Twitter, makes it very clear that you won't find him complaining about the other side of the social networking coin - which is direct hateful messages from those people who aren't fans...

"Trolling? Nah I ain't got time for that. It takes a lot to get under my skin. I think if you pay those people attention then they will focus on you, but that stuff goes over my head."


Lemar with his award for Favourite Newcomer at the Capital FM Awards 2004 for Help a London Child

Lemar, who can now call himself an 'independent artist' after parting ways with former record label Sony, has been listening to his own advice and taking the time to make sure his sixth album, his first full-length featuring new material since his fourth album The Reason in 2008 (his fifth, in 2010, was a greatest hits package), is full of "good" songs.

From the six-track sampler we were given to preview, it seems Lemar has created more of his signature catchy-but-deep, motivational tracks and some that are full of soul, impossible not to toe-tap along to.

He explains why, despite each song typically only taking him a day to write and produce, the album took much longer.

"The album took a very long time just because I like to write a few songs before choosing the best ones. I wrote about 150/160 songs for this one, it took about a year and a half. Now I've got the best 10 or 11."

His first single from the album, which share the name Invincible, will be released on 12 August, and a supremely cute video for it - showing a childhood love and the pair's developing relationship up until the present day - can be viewed above.

What was the inspiration behind the song? "It's about keeping things together, when you are with someone and you think regardless of what comes your way you are invincible. That's the theme of the song and that's in keeping with the whole Olympic spirit too, everyone needs a theme. It's all about sticking together."

Is he sad that it didn't get chosen as the London Olympic 2012 theme tune?

"It's cool, a few people are catching on to it, Sky Sports are showing it a lot of love and used it to promote their stuff and the BBC have."

For fans of his previous records, Lemar promises there's no big departure: "It's more of the same but as best as it can be. I've really tried to capture the soul of what I've been doing before and tried to move it forwards.

"I guess there are a few more guitars on this album but it's thoughtful music, music that makes you think. A lot of the writing is quite layered. It's not very obvious on first listen what everything is about. I think they'll like it."


Lemar performs at BT London Live this week

Lemar has also been writing for other artists, and although he can't reveal who he says "hopefully that will all come to light soon".

There's no slowing down - he explains how he's "always open" to collobroations with anyone, noting: "The best come from the most random or different combinations."

Despite his reality TV singing contest days being far behind him, Lemar still believes they are a good "opportunity to live out their dreams" and is even eager to take up a judging seat himself.

"They need to holla at me man!," he says. And when I ask whether it would be The Voice or The X Factor that would call him, he jokes: "Show me where the money is."