Ahead of his date at the Bournemouth Pavilion, Will Young talks about working with writers on his new music and his journey from Pop Idol to where he is now In the 17 years since Will Young won Pop Idol, he has notched up four chart-topping albums, four number one UK singles and won two Brit Awards.

But his seventh album, titled Lexicon, feels like the ushering in of a new era for the 40-year-old singer. And importantly, he is, in his own words, still having fun.

"When I'm creating something, be it the podcast I do (called Homo Sapiens) or music, I always kind of go very much on instinct and there's a great thing about being creative - I sort of have to remove myself out of the equation, which can sound very pretentious but it's kind of necessary," he says matter-of-factly.

"I wanted to do a sort of part two of an album that I'd done called Echoes, which I did with Richard X, the producer, and with two writers called Jim Eliot and Mima Stilwell, and we always said we wanted to do a sort of part two. I knew I wanted to do that so that meant it was going to fit within a genre of almost luxury electro pop, which is a word I've just made up!"

Given that it's been nearly two decades since his music career took off, how much has he changed as an artist?

He explains: "I feel like it couldn't have gone any better, for me as an artist to find the evolution and to continue it and to come across the right people, be that Simon Fuller, who was my manager for years, to Steve Lipson, who produced so many amazing records from Annie Lennox to Whitney Houston, to working with people like Michael Gracey, who directed the Greatest Showman, you know, finding Richard X and writers like Jim and Mima.

"They all allowed me to find my way through it."

And he reflects, "Also what I find really interesting is the narrative has changed so much. So, as an artist who is gay, now there's stuff that I was talking about 15 years ago where there was no place for it, and now there is a place for it.

"Like, on radio, a DJ could be blatantly homophobic about me on live radio but now that would never happen. So it's kind of shocking in a way, but it's also wonderful because it allowed me a whole new life, and it certainly doesn't feel like almost two decades. I mean, I feel like I've just got going."

He definitely hasn't rested on his music laurels. He has campaigned passionately for the LGBTQ movement and his podcast is already enjoying a second series. In October, he'll embark on a UK tour and his summer diary is already fully booked with live performances.

Although he admits he had nearly reached a point where he didn't think he'd make music again. But it was the prospect of touring and performing live - as well as playing at Tom Kerridge's Pub in the Park that reignited his music flame.

" I thought, 'Well, I've done my time and I'll go and train to be a psychotherapist', but it was the prospect of touring.

"I'd done a Pub in the Park gig (Kerridge's event) and I did this gig and I just suddenly thought and I said to the band, 'I think I'll go touring again' and that really brought me back into music, so the tour has been at the forefront of my mind."

Given that he's been in the industry for a while, does he wish the openness and conversations being had now around so many different topics had been present back in the day?

"I wouldn't have wanted to have had some of the things - people threatening to kill me in the street and record companies saying, 'He sounds gay' - no, of course I wouldn't want that, but I'm very proud of how I got through that and I'm very proud of all the people, all the liberal people for pushing all of those agendas, because it really unites you, to be in a minority, it really unites you as a person and that's really special," he says candidly.

An Evening with Will Young is at Bournemouth Pavilion on October 12, tickets from £39.75