And the 24-year-old has vowed to maintain complete artistic control as he works with Simon Cowell's record label.
The Mirror quoted him as saying: "I'm never going to be a fame-whore or throw myself at the cameras. I will never see myself as a celebrity. I'm just a normal person who wants to do music and play guitar.
"This time last year I was nowhere. I've had to sleep rough. It's hard to forget things like that."
He admitted that he had struggled to come to terms with the attention that being on the show had brought.
"I'm not going to lie, the first few weeks were a bit uncomfortable for me," he confessed.
"It was hard dealing with The X Factor circus but now I just remind myself how lucky I am to be here. I now feel like I'm in the best place I've ever been in and finally have the confidence in myself to think I deserve success. You have to deal with all the aspects that come with a show like The X Factor."
James, from Saltburn-by-the-Sea in North Yorkshire, insisted that he would keep control of his own career.
"I will insist on having total control. The thing is, I thought there wouldn't be much creative control during The X Factor process and there has been a massive amount.
"I've been given creative control throughout and I've been lucky enough to have Nicole as an ally who has helped me out when I have strongly disagreed with stuff. I have a feeling I will be able to call the shots. They don't mess with me, I'm a badass, me."
But James has already found himself under fire from former X Factor winner Matt Cardle - who has taken offence at comments this year's champ made about him.
He had apparently told The Mirror: "I find the statistics ridiculous, the blokes that have won before have had a niche, they haven't sold records because they haven't made great albums. That's the bottom line.
"This show has evolved. If either me or Jahmene won, the albums will be good and they will sell.
"There's creative control this year, there hasn't been that before."
But Matt, who won the show in 2010, responded with a sharply worded message of congratulations on Twitter.
He wrote: "I think you are so talented bro and I really hope you win tonight, but you haven't sold 2 million records... yet... you haven't had two Top 10 albums… yet. So disappointed you're slagging off my work and my career.
"you're not just slagging me off, but Eg White, Biff Stannard, Steve Booker, and so many other incredible writer producers."
"I appreciate everyone's opinion. I've ALWAYS said James is an amazing talent but today he has slagged off my work in the press. Disappointing."
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