Interview: Jahmene Douglas
Jahmene Douglas, runner-up on The X Factor 2012, won the adoration of millions of viewers with his powerhouse voice throughout his audition and performances. Now the 22-year old former ASDA shelf-stacker is back with his new single ‘Titanium’, with his debut album ‘Love Never Fails’ due for release on 22 July. The Wrap Up had a sit down with the ‘Jahmazing’ singer to talk music, gospel and his future after The X Factor…
The Wrap Up: What have you been up to since The X Factor?
Jahmene: We went on to tour, which I think a lot of people forget because they think I’ve been out of it (X Factor) for quite some time. I was on tour then I went straight into the studio, which was only two months ago.
TWU: How much has the show changed your personal life?
Jahmene: A lot of sacrificing of social time, family time, friends; it’s a lot of loneliness. But I have this platform, I can do so much for Women’s Aid now. It's craziness, from one bubble to another, one extreme to the next.
TWU: Do you still keep in contact with any of the contestants?
Jahmene: I try to; we have a little WhatsApp group! It’s good to keep in touch but everyone’s so busy, like James [Arthur] is back and forth to America… it’s hard to keep in touch, but we try.
TWU: You seem to have avoided the wrath of the tabloids. How do you stay out of the bad limelight?
Jahmene: I think, in a way, probably my bad childhood just kept certain things instilled into me, so I just can’t go near bad things ‘cause it makes me shake! [But] I wouldn’t have applied for X Factor if I didn’t think I could handle the extremity of everything.
TWU: Your apparent shy nature on the show was a big talking point with viewers and your mentor Nicole Sherzinger; how big a part did she play in helping build up your confidence?
Jahmene: I was nervous at some points but a lot of people confuse being humble with shy… they just pegged me as being the nervous one! It was hard to break away from it, but I was fine on stage. I was comfortable and having Nicole was a blessing…she’s my big sister now, cool and down to earth.
TWU: Gospel songs dominate your album. How important was it to have your faith show throughout your music?
Jahmene: I think it’s important in any song just to show some kind of hope, strength, love… some kind of power that moves someone, which I think a lot of people forget in music. Not many people in England are supporting gospel so I’m trying to do it in a way where it’s not preachy-preachy, just a message of love.
TWU: The X Factor has new acts every year; how do you plan on maintaining your success?
Jahmene: Surround yourself with the right people, sticking to the foundations that you’ve built, and keep building on it…make it strong. And [being] second place, I’d like to say it was perfect for me… I actually got to pick my record label!
Words: Paul Allimadi (@bwoywonder)