The X Factor Che Chesterman, Contestant Interview

Q. This week’s theme is ‘Love & Heartbreak’ – will you be singing about love or heartbreak and can you let us in on any secrets about your performance?

Che: Yes I think my performance is a bit of both – I’m doing ‘Yesterday’ by The Beatles. Three years ago my granddad died so some of the lyrics in the song I really connect with as they are such strong words. I’ve never really dwelled on what happened to my granddad as I haven’t had much time to think about it too much and with this song, it’s certainly going to be an emotional one.

Q.What’s the process with selecting songs, how hands on are you – is it quite collaborative?

Che: Yes Nick lets us have free reign. He’ll suggest some songs that he thinks and then I’ll pick some songs that I think and we’ll just try them all out and see which one works better. I think that’s the best way because that means songs we suggest can get tried out and if they’re great then it’s great. We have as much say as Nick does which is obviously brilliant for us

Q. You executed an incredible performance last weekend, are you worried about topping it?

Che: I’m not really worried about it. I think everyone knows that each week it’s got to be better than the last week so it’s just one of those things. Every week people know that they need to top their previous performances
Q. Often on Nick’s Instagram there are lots of snaps of you guys having fun together. How is it having him as a mentor?

Che: He’s been brilliant. He’s been so hands on with everything and going out for dinner regularly and things like that. He’s always messaging us to see how we are and he’s been absolutely brilliant. He’s been under a lot of scrutiny but I don’t think people see the side to him that we see. They only see what happens in the judge’s chairs and stuff like that but I’m not sure people have tapped into his personality enough to know what he’s really like – he’s amazing.

Q. What kind of artist do you see yourself being, do you think you have international appeal?

Che: I think so and I like to think that I’m a soul singer and soul is international. I think it’s got to be brought back in a way, I mean there are soul guys and girls currently in the industry at the moment but I don’t think there’s enough of that. I like to think of myself as a soul artist and that’s what I’d like to do if I come out of the competition

Q. Do you have any pop ‘idols’ or is there anyone you aspire to?

Che: Yes Stevie Wonder is my absolute number one. You also have people like Boys II Men or Donny Hathaway… I could reel names off for hours but there’s so many different artists that I take different things from.

Q. And what’s your singing background, why did you decide to take the plunge and enter the show?

Che: My dad’s a singer and he taught me how to sing in the first place. He’s been very influential since I entered the competition by giving me advice about songs etc. Initially I wasn’t going to do X Factor because I was worried about going out too early and being branded as an X Factor reject so to speak and I didn’t want that title. I’m at a point now though where if I left the competition, I could go out with my head held high and fingers crossed get some offers from record labels.

Q. You mentioned your dad there, what’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given during the competition?

Che: The best piece of advice from both Nick and my dad is stick with what I’m doing which is soul music and keep transforming each song I do into soul. They just told me to remain as me
Q. How are you finding your fanbase?

Che:It’s crazy, on Twitter in particular – I’ve gone from like 100 followers to 50k. It’s amazing the platform that The X Factor gives you and the fans. But I’ve also worked hard to do what I’m doing and to be here. The X Factor has played a huge role in that and I can’t them enough, it’s amazing.

Q. What’s been your biggest highlight in the competition so far?

Che: The highlight was my first week. I sang ‘Tears Dry on Their Own’ and ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.’ I went out on that stage and it’s the first week and the first ever performance so it’s massive but I felt so comfortable.

Everything about the performance, I enjoyed myself beyond belief.

Q. Have you ever been star struck whilst meeting any of show’s Sunday performers?

Che: It’s everyone because you don’t meet them that you might normally meet someone. They’ll come into the studio during the day to do a sound check for example, like the boys One Direction and CeeLo Green or Jess Glynne…They’re sometimes just walking the halls and you’ll walk past them. Harry Styles came over to me and he was like ‘Hello I’m Harry’ and introduced himself as if I didn’t know who he was. I mean I came out of rehearsal and CeeLo Green was sitting on the chair listening to one of my songs from the week before – that was a real moment for me to have him sitting their listening to one of my songs is amazing

Q. If had to name one career ambition what would it be any why?

Che: I want to bring soul back and I want to bring the Stevie Wonder vibe back

Q. And I presume you’d love to duet with him if the opportunity arose?

Che: I don’t actually think I would be able to get through the song through tears of sheer happiness!