Is fame what you always dreamed it would be?
It is and it isn’t. Sometimes the dream is better than the reality - I’ve written about that for my next album. I wasn’t prepared for everything all at once. There were more challenges than I was expecting.
Are you referring to your recent problems with your management? (Rebecca recently fired her management due to differences of opinion over her workload)
Yeah, I mean I was completely physically exhausted and I couldn’t walk on my own. I just reached breaking point. I can’t deny I have an amazing life, but I think there’s a line that was crossed. No fame is worth that.
How was it, being back on that stage and performing in front of the judges panel again?
I was so nervous! But I had fun. I feel comfortable on that stage because it’s where I’ve had most of my training and it’s nice seeing all the old faces of the crew and the guys backstage.
Are you a fan of the judges?
I think they’re great. Apparently Tulisa gives everyone her mobile number so you can call her anytime, which is lovely, and Louis is always supportive.
It was quite prophetic, that you chose to sing Sam Cooke’s ‘A Change is Gonna Come’ for your audition…
Slightly. I meant every word. I think that’s why it was so powerful with the public. I do feel like my life’s completely changed. I feel really blessed.
But you don’t like re-watching it?
No, it’s just sad to me. It’s hard seeing how upset I was and how much it meant to me and how much I’ve changed.
How’s your life changed?
Gosh, in every way it’s changed, it’s a totally different lifestyle.
In hindsight, do you think it helped that you didn’t win?
It probably allowed me to have more freedom to write the album that I wanted, and less pressure to have a deadline. I wrote the album, helped produce the album, and helped produce the artwork for the album, which is rare for an X Factor artist.
Who are you voting for this time round?
I’m rooting for Jahmane.
There’s been a lot of press about you and One Direction’s Zayn Malik…
I don’t speak to him, but I wish him well and never want to hold grudges against anyone. It’s just so boring the whole thing now, because it was so long ago.
Does it make you determined to keep future relationships out of the public eye?
I don’t see the point in having them in the press. A lot of big stars can’t help it because there’s so much media on them but I think relationships should be private. Some people like having their relationships public but I personally think it’s better to preserve it in the background.
Is the next move to break America?
I did really well on the charts over there, which was great. I haven’t got that crazy hunger to conquer the world, though, I’m not about that. I believe everything happens for a reason. I’ve enjoyed it and I’m going back to tour in Jan/Feb which is amazing, but I’m not crazy to crack it, if it happens it happens and if not, that’s ok.