James Arthur says he wants ‘exploited’ killer whale from ‘Blackfish’ on cover of his new mixtape

The 2013 documentary told story of an orca held in captivity who lashed out at keepers

James Arthur says he wants the killer whale from the film Blackfish on the cover of his forthcoming mixtape.

The former X Factor winner announced news of the release on Twitter last night (March 23), inviting fans to design the cover for the forthcoming mixtape ‘All The Worlds [sic] A Stage’.

The singer wrote: “Seeing as though I’m doing this for the fans and I’m not charging for it I would like you to design the front cover. I would like the front cover to be a drawing of the killer whale/ Orca from sea world who features in the documentary “Blackfish” TILIKUM. Ideally I’d like him to be attacking a crowd of people, lashing out after being exploited. Include my name and the title of the mixtape.”

The 2013 documentary Blackfish told the story of Tilikum, an orca living in captivity at a US theme park who has been involved in the deaths of three individuals.

Before announcing the sleeve design competition, Arthur also hit out at his social media team, writing: “HQ please stop writing things like ‘we think you would #LOVE This and that’ or ‘everybody #GETDOWN and buy this..’ It’s embarrassing… Stick to promoting Paul Potts please. Thanks. #LOVE.”

Currently signed to Simon Cowell’s management company Syco, Arthur has previously said that he wasn’t “in love” with his second single ‘You’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Loves You’ and felt detached from his self-titled debut album, which was released in 2013. Following recent comments that The X Factor produces male winners that are not “believable” and look “like puppets”, Cowell told Metro: “I think James, unfortunately, has had so many issues with what he has done publicly – which is a real issue with me. Somebody should have told him to shut up and just put the records out.”

Arthur last year apologised for releasing a diss track targeted at rapper Micky Worthless, in which he compared his rival to the Taliban and described him as “fucking queer”. He was subsequently criticised by comedians Matt Lucas and Frankie Boyle for his lyrics, and temporarily quit Twitter. The singer returned to the social network when former X Factor contestant Lucy Spraggan shared text messages apparently sent by Arthur following the spat over homophobic lyrics.

Arthur later made an on-air apology following an appearance on The X Factor. He said: “It’s been an amazing year for me. There’s been incredible highs paired with some terrible lows. I’ve made a few very silly mistakes. I just want to thank all the people who are still supporting me and especially The X Factor for giving me the opportunity to do my dream job. Above all, I’d like to say sorry for abusing my position as an X Factor winner, because I owe everything to this thing.”