For musicians seeking success that have worked their socks off, touring the country far and wide, selling merch in cloakrooms and eating super noodles breakfast, lunch and dinner, they may be slightly envious to find that Elyar Afshari found reasonable success at the early age of 16. After completing his GCSE’s, Elyar fronted the band Just Me Again, who went on to support You Me at Six at a 02 Arena in the mainland. Following his stint with the band, the now 18 year old decided to take on the solo life and try things out for himself. On 25th March 2014, he will be supporting The Wanted when they arrive in Belfast to play the Odyssey Arena as well as opening up for them on every leg of their UK tour. Not bad eh? We recently had a chat with Elyar ahead of his Belfast appearance.
Can I ask why you chose Fox to finalise your stage name? Was there something in particular that made you decide this?
Somebody once called me ‘foxy’ when I was 15 and I replied back “I’m Elyar Fox” and I knew from then!
When you got your first guitar, can you remember what you were listening to at the time and what influences helped shape the songs you wrote?
I was listening to everything, pretty old school stuff you could say. The bands Good Charlotte and Nirvana inspired me a lot and my mum loved Neil Young so I naturally was a fan (I had no choice it was all that was on in the car!). Well, when I got my first guitar I was around 8 or 9. So the songs weren’t too in depth. But probably playground crushes or something.
You were actually in a band deciding turning to solo work. What made this decision for you?
After being in the band for over 4 years we just decided it was best to go our separate ways. Better to be friends than a band that hates each other! I didn’t plan on going solo but I had 6 months left from my year off from school before college and I had to do something, so I started doing YouTube covers.
At such a young age, what is your overall impression of the music industry since you’ve had such major companies chasing your name? Was there a sense of pressure that came with it?
It’s a crazy industry, but a very small one. Everyone seems to know each other! For me it was overwhelming to start with, but it feels amazing knowing that you could do what you love for a job, and knowing people believe in you.
“Do It All Over Again” was a breakout song for you. Can you tell us the meaning behind it?
Do It All Over Again is about one of those nights (or days) where you go out and have an amazing time. Then you wake up the next day wishing you were back there. It’s all about nostalgia.
This March, you will be supporting The Wanted on their UK tour, including a stop in Belfast. You’ve supported quite a few major acts in the past. What is it you look forward to most when coming to support other acts?
I supported Union J over Christmas and it was such a cool experience. The Wanted tour will be my second tour and I can’t wait to get out there again. The Vamps are supporting too so it should be a lot of fun! I love seeing fans of other artists and playing my music for them. It’s also amazing to be invited onto a tour with artists I’m already a fan of.
You’ll be releasing your album this summer 2014. What can your fans expect?
Some GOOD MUSIC! It’s got three sides to it, a dancey side, an acoustic sing-along side and then some rock/pop songs. There are some really personal songs on there so I can’t wait for everyone to hear it.
Elyar Fox supports The Wanted alongside The Vamps when they play Odyssey Arena, Belfast on 25th March. Tickets are available from: www.ticketmaster.ie