Last year’s X Factor finalist Luke Friend has said he will be tuning in 'as much as he can' to see how contestants get on during the new series of the TV singing competition which starts tonight.
The 18 year old from Teignmouth, returned home to Devon to play Bicton Fest last night and has two big gigs lined up this weekend-Jersey Live and Fusion Festival
“If I can’t see the show as I’ve got gigs, I’ll record it as I’m interested to see who is on there,” he said.
“I’ve heard there are some good and talented singers on it this year.”
With a new line up of judges this year, he’s pleased to see his mentor Louis Walsh is still on the panel, which also now includes Simon Cowell, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Mel B.
“I’d probably like Simon as a mentor. He wasn’t there when I was on the show last year and he’s one that I’ve not really met,” said Luke.
Thousands will audition this year and go through the nerve wrecking process that Luke did.
The singer beat off stiff competition and came third in the glittering final of the series, held at Wembley Arena last December.
He kept his cool throughout the series and has some advise for this year’s acts.
“I’d say to this year’s contestants, they have to chill out and enjoy it and don’t worry,” said Luke.
Since the show finished, Luke has been busy writing his album and has been performing all around the country.
“The writing side of things has been amazing and the gigs have too, but I think they’ll be even more awesome next year," he said.
“This weekend I’m playing in Jersey with Newton Faulkner and Ellie Goulding and I’ve also got Fusion Festival with Jessie J in Birmingham, which will be good. It's a busy one.”
He’s been working hard on his single, which he had hoped would be released this summer.
“It was originally going to be released this year, but something happened with the song and it’s panned out differently, so it’s taken longer,” he said.
“It should be out in January and the album will be later. I’ll have a couple of singles out before the album.
“I’d like to thank everyone for being so patient with me.”
Fans can hear the new material when Luke goes on tour with hit band The Vamps next month.
“My sound has developed,” said Luke.
“The songs aren’t just acoustic and there’s a lot of electric sound and pianos.
“We’ve used a Wurlitzer when we were writing and I’ve always loved the sound they make, as it reminds me of the start of Marvin Gaye’s I Heard it through the Grapevine and I wanted that groove on my songs.
“I wanted to buy it after we’d used it and luckily it was up for sale and I’ve got it in my place now.”
He’s now settled in London, but loves coming back to Teignmouth and South Devon.
“It’s nice to come home,” he said.
“I still love coming to Teignmouth and the area. I keep saying I want to go to Spitchwick on Dartmoor as everyone raves about it but I’ve not been there yet. I want to go down the rapids.”
After a busy year, he’s planning a holiday to Jamaica with his Mum and Dad- Sue and Steve- and will be straight back to work.
“One of the next things I’ll be doing is sorting out my music video. I’ve done live recordings but this will be my first music video,” he said.
“There’s been directors who I want to work with I love the director who did The Robbers Video for 1975 and hopefully it will come off. He’d be perfect for it.”