Sometimes, the major turning points in life can happen anywhere. For Welsh singer Aled Jones, it was a year ago while sitting around the dinner table at his parent’s home while they played the last album he ever recorded as a boy soprano, at age 15.
It was the first time Jones had ever heard the album, as it had never been released. His parents, however, had carefully kept the tapes from that recording session packed away in a cupboard in their home.
For Jones, now 46 and one of the UK’s top male singers, it was hearing his young treble voice, at the time when he was a chart-topping child, that began him on a journey of coming to terms with his past.
The result is his latest album, One Voice, where the modern Jones duets with his childhood self on a number of songs. The album was a Top 10 UK hit last year, and remained at the top of Classical charts for weeks.
Young Aled Jones released 16 albums that sold over six million copies
“As a child, I never listened to the music I recorded,” he recalls, over the telephone, from his home in London. “I would knock off an album and then go out for Chinese dinner with my family. I never thought of myself as a child star – I was just a kid who could sing who got lucky.
“But this album kept coming back to me, especially as I had never heard it before. So, we went into the studio to record the two different voices of the same person in duet. The minute we heard the two voices come together, I could feel every hair on my neck standing on end.
“It was very emotional as it was the first time I looked back and thought, ‘Little Aled’ was actually quite good. That was the first time I had ever allowed myself to take stock of all that I had done.”
What he had done as a boy soprano was release 16 albums that sold over six million copies, and his song ‘Walking In The Air’ was a Top 5 hit.
As an adult, Jones has since built a multi-faceted showbusiness career, as busy as a singer on the concert stage and in musical theatre as he is as a host of a number of radio and TV and shows, such as Weekend, Songs of Praise and Escape to the Country.
One Voice, which features such classics as ‘Danny Boy’ and ‘As Time Goes By’, has provided a chance for him to build a bridge between the boy he was to the man he has become.
“It was me finally saying I was proud of what I achieved in those formative years, and now that I have gone back to sing with Little Aled, it’s time to move on.”
Jones sings an emotional track of 'Danny Boy' with his younger self
Jones, who is the father of two teenagers with his wife Claire, will be in Australia in early April to promote One Voice, and he will return again in October for a concert tour.
Having previously visited Australia six times, he admits that in a perfect world, he would be staying on in Australia long after his tour finishes.
“I cannot wait to get back there as Australia is a country I could live in,” Jones says. “If I could, I would live in Australia for six months, and live in Britain the other six months. Maybe I will do that one day.”
It was while travelling through Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport during his last visit that provided Jones with the greatest insight into how much his career had changed. This time, he was not recognised for his music, but for hosting the real estate TV favourite, Escape to the Country.
“I finished that years ago, but it is still being played, so it was hilarious that people were coming up to chat about watching,” he laughs. “I never expected it to be as popular as it is in Australia. I had a look again at some of those old eps and I have lost loads of weight since then, which is a good thing!”
The Australian special edition of One Voice is out March 24.
The giveaway to win a copy of his new album has ended.