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You worked with hit production company Xenomania on your forthcoming debut album, Be A Fighter. What can we expect from the record? 

One of the things that was most important for me was that I showed people how versatile I am as a singer and artist. There’s not just one genre of music on there – there’s lots of different types. I wanted to show people that I’m not just a one trick pony.

You were 16 years old when you first went on the X Factor. How do you look back on that time? 

I look back and think: “No way did that happen.” I don’t think it’s ever going to sink in. I’ve been watching the
X Factor every year since I was eight years old and you never think that you’re going to be on such a big competition like that. I’m really proud of myself. I’ll never ever forget what I went through on that show.

Presumably it was a lot of pressure for a 16-year-old to suddenly handle? 

It was, but I think I needed it as an eye-opener to see what my life would be like if I carried on doing what I want to do. Being a pop star is a lot more stressful than people think it is. It’s not all glam and glitz, but it is great fun and I love it. There’s nothing else I would rather do in the world.

What have been some of the most surreal moments of the past 12 months?  

When You Bring Me Joy went on sale on iTunes I remember watching it climb the chart on the same evening and I threw up everywhere. I’d just come offstage and the adrenaline hit me. Now when I say that I’m going to be sick, people are aware that I’m not joking and I’m actually going to throw up.


Richard Smirke

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