The nation fell in love with Emily Middlemas from her first X Factor audition, to her haunting rendition of Rag’n’Bone Man’s ‘Human’ on the live show. The X Factor finalist talks to Victoria Nangle
How has your life changed since The X Factor finished in December?
It has been crazy. I honestly feel like I’m living a whole new and different life. I sometimes forget about everything when I walk around my home town in Glasgow, and I then have people stop and ask for pictures. It is a little strange from what I am used to but I LOVE meeting all of the people who voted for me on the show and it is so nice to say thank you in person.
I have been writing and writing lots too. I don’t think many people know that I am a songwriter as well as a singer – it’s something I have always done ever since I was 9 and something I love and will continue to do always. Hoping to get in the studio and start releasing singles after the tour.
Your voice is very distinctive and different from the usual soul divas found on The X Factor. Did you find this an advantage or a hindrance when making your song choices, and can you say why?
I do like having a more unique voice and it can be an advantage as I feel like people can recognise that it is my voice straight away. Although, some weeks throughout the show I really struggled with the song choices. Finding a song for Diva week was the hardest pick for me. Simon (Cowell) and I had to sit for hours trying to find the right song for me and then we took on one of the biggest songs by the biggest diva, Whitney with ‘How Will I Know’ and I put my own little spin on it and absolutely loved it. I think The X Factor put me through a massive challenge and I really enjoyed taking songs and changing them around to suit my style, which is something I can do with my voice and rearranging the track.
Louis used to mutter about wanting you to dance on the live shows. What dance would you most like him to do to which track?
First of all, I would like to put out there how hilarious I find Louis. I think I would pee my pants with laughter if I see him dancing in his own style, to ‘Sexual Healing’ by Marvin Gaye.
First of all, I would like to put out there how hilarious I find Louis
What advice would you give to hopeful singers auditioning this year for The X Factor?
GIVE IT YOUR ALL! Don’t be afraid to just be you. Be yourself and be unique. You want people to remember you and remember your style, don’t go in trying to be like anybody else but yourself. Also, if you get told no… never ever give up. I got to judges’ houses in 2014 before I got to the live shows and it taught me to be stronger and just to try harder, and it made me more motivated to go further.
I enjoyed your cover of Rag’n’Bone Man’s ‘Human’. What drew you to the track, and did you have to battle to select the track to perform – considering its relatively low profile at the time you performed it?
I came across the song on Spotify and automatically LOVED the song. I knew it was going to be a hit instantly. I showed this to Simon and he felt the exact same way – this is why I loved Simon and working with him. He was never afraid of my ideas or risks and we are both a little crazy and thought alike. We got on really well.
I love taking risks and I knew other people would love this song as much as I did.
Rag’n’Bone Man is incredibly talented, he is going to do well this year. I would also like to wish him an amazing congratulations for winning The Brits Critics Choice award for 2017.
Finally, how are things going with you and (boyfriend and fellow X Factor finalist) Ryan? Looking forward to touring together?
We are honestly having the time of our lives right now and we are the happiest we have ever been. Ryan surprised me at the start of the year taking me to Disneyland Paris for the countdown for 2017. It was so magical. I feel that 2017 is going to be the best year yet for both of us with our relationship and also our music careers. We are such a strong couple and will support each other through everything. I am so excited for us both. Tour is going to be INSANE. We may have a little surprise up our sleeves for it.
X Factor Live, Brighton Centre, Thursday 16– Friday 17 March 2017, 6.30pm, from £22.30,