X Fac­tor fi­nal­ist and for­mer ware­house worker Grace Davies tells MAR­ION McMULLEN how her mu­sic dream is fi­nally com­ing true

Hayes & Harlington Gazette - - SOUND OUT -

ED SHEERAN is a fan, she’s just signed a ma­jor record deal and Grace Davies is about to pack her bags to take part in the X Fac­tor Live tour. The fu­ture is look­ing bright for the tal­ented singer-song­writer who has been knock­ing at the doors of the mu­sic in­dus­try for sev­eral years.

“It’s all very busy, very ex­cit­ing and a bit over­whelm­ing,” the 20-year-old ad­mits, “but I’ve been work­ing to­wards this for about four or five years. I would sing for any­one that would have me when I was start­ing out and I brought out an EP by my­self when I was 17 and put it up in iTunes.

“Even when I was in col­lege I wanted to be a full-time mu­si­cian and rock star.

“When they asked me about ca­reers and I said I want to be a singer or a pop star they would just go ‘Yeah, and the rest of the world.’

“I could un­der­stand that, but I knew it was what I wanted to do.

“I had friends who went off to uni­ver­sity while I was singing in bars, but now all this is hap­pen­ing and, on the plus side, I don’t have any stu­dent loans.”

The Black­burn lass headed off to the X

Fac­tor au­di­tions to fur­ther her mu­sic dreams and ex­plains: “I wasn’t go­ing any­where. I had been do­ing the same thing day in and day out for five years and it wasn’t work­ing out the way I wanted it to go.

“I needed a big­ger plat­form and the X Fac­tor gave me that.”

Grace made her mark from the very start when she left X Fac­tor judges Ni­cole Scherzinger and Sharon Os­bourne in tears at boot camp with her emo­tional ren­di­tion of her own song Don’t Go, about get­ting her heart bro­ken.

“That was mad,” ex­claims Grace. “I don’t re­ally know how that hap­pened.

“I just wanted to tell my story in­ter­preted in my own way.

“Ni­cole and Sharon hear so many dif­fer­ent songs on X Fac­tor and to start cry­ing lis­ten­ing to my song... well, it meant a lot. It meant that it got through to them.”

Grace was pipped at the post in the fi­nal of the ITV con­test by boy band Rak-Su, but she saw her song Too Young go to num­ber two on iTunes and has signed a record deal with Si­mon Cow­ell’s record com­pany Syco.

“I never ex­pected to get through to the live fi­nal, I hon­estly didn’t,” she chuck­les

“I was just do­ing my own thing. I was so ner­vous my first au­di­tion. It passed in a blur.”

Get­ting a vote of con­fi­dence from award-win­ning singer and song­writer Ed Sheeran though was cer­tainly one of the high­lights of the show for Grace.

“Ed was just amaz­ing and so nice back­stage.

“He told me ‘your songs are great’ and, when I got on my bat­tle bus for X Fac­tor, he was there wav­ing at me as it started driv­ing off into the night.

“This big bus with my face plas­tered all over it, and there was Ed Sheeran wav­ing,” she re­mem­bers with a laugh.

“I think Ed is one of the best song­writ­ers and I’ve re­ally loved his work for a long time.

“For him to say ‘your songs are re­ally good’ was a mas­sive con­fi­dence boost.

“In fact, I think this whole process has made me more con­fi­dent about what I have and what I want.

“I Just thought ‘Al­right, maybe I’m do­ing a good thing.’ Now there is this record deal, but I’m not stand­ing in a room go­ing ‘Phew, look at me, I’ve got a record deal.’

“I know it’s just a start. I’ve got to work harder than ever be­fore.

“I was hop­ing for a record deal, but I didn’t ex­pect it at all.

It’s amaz­ing and a real chance to prove my­self.

“I’ll just be writ­ing mu­sic all year round. I’d like to get my mu­sic out there as quickly as pos­si­ble – I’ve got a lot of tunes.”

Grace is also look­ing for­ward to mov­ing into her own place in Lon­don.

“It’s my 21st birth­day present to my­self,” she says hap­pily.

“I’ve lived down south in Hert­ford­shire for about a year, but that was flat shar­ing.

“I’m now mov­ing into my first Lon­don flat, my own space, so I can write songs and stuff like that. I feel very grown up hav­ing my own place.”

Grace will have lit­tle time to make her­self at home as she will be head­ing off on the X Fac­tor Live tour. She will be play­ing are­nas around the coun­try along with Rak-Su, Sean and Conor Price, Kevin Davy White, Lloyd Macey, The Cutkelvins and Matt Lin­nen.

“I’m just go­ing to en­joy it,” smiles Grace. “It’s go­ing to be great to sing in front of big au­di­ences and not have to worry about be­ing voted off or sent home.

“Will I be trav­el­ling light for the tour? Well, I went into the X Fac­tor house with three big suit­cases. I bring my en­tire life with me. I’m not a light packer.”

■ The X Fac­tor Live tour be­gins on Fe­bru­ary 16 in­clud­ing dates in Cardiff, New­cas­tle, Manch­ester, Liver­pool and Birm­ing­ham. See gigs and­ or ticket mas­ for ticket de­tails.

Grace Davies, left, has landed a record deal af­ter her X Fac­tor ex­ploits

Big fan: Ed Sheeran

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