Gwen Stefani's ex-husband was so impressed with their budding vocal talents, he tried to recruit Kingston, 10, Zuma, eight, and three-year-old Apollo to contribute to new project Black and White Rainbows - but they weren't interested.

"I asked them to sing on the record, but they totally turned me down," Gavin tells People magazine. "I wanted them to because they've got great voices and sound really good. As they've gotten older, they've got really nice, really pretty voices."

Despite the surprise rejection, Gavin hasn't given hope for a future release: "Maybe next record," he remarks, "if I can afford them! They're probably out of my league!"

The Bush album is Gavin's first new material since splitting from Gwen in August, 2015 after 13 years of marriage. They finalised their divorce last year (16), and the British musician recently admitted the failed union had a significant impact on his songwriting.

"It obviously informs the record," he told Entertainment Tonight. "It's hard to separate yourself from the most monumental thing that happens in your life if you're an artist."

However, some tracks were far too personal for Gavin to release: "There were certain songs that weren't right," he explained. "They were written for me to write, in the purest sense. Just to write to kind of escape my life a little bit or to understand it."

And despite being inspired by his love woes, Gavin insists Black and White Rainbows is far from a heartbreak record.

"It's a new journey," he tells People of the music. "I didn't want to have anything that was negative - I didn't have anything negative to say."

Stefani, who has since moved on to date country star Blake Shelton, previously revealed her most recent album, This is What the Truth Feels Like, was also directly influenced by their marriage breakdown.