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X Factor hero thrills students with lunchtime music
HUNDREDS of students and a handful of teachers at New College welcomed back their alumnus, Jahmene Douglas, for a special homecoming.
After two months recording in America and touring Indonesia, X Factor star Jahmene returned to his roots yesterday with a live performance and question and answer session with new students and old friends.
He said: “I want to do all these little things to be able to encourage people.
“If you can do anything to support your community, it is always nice and especially to support Swindon, because I lived here for three years.
“New College really helped me through a tough time, because it was around then my brother passed away. “I surrounded myself with some lovely people, who were all brilliant.
“I used to love just jamming with people. It was a great atmosphere, with all the people who were into music. As nervous as I was, I still sang for people, because it really helped to bring them together, especially when you have a lot of split groups.”
Jahmene has been busy since he last returned to Swindon for his album launch and has even sung a duet with Stevie Wonder.
He said: “I have been to Indonesia with X Factor Around the World and my song has gone to number one there.
“They decided to go to Ind-onesia because between 30 to 50 million people there watch it. The day before I went, nobody knew who I was, but the next day I got mobbed.”
With an album and a book of poetry in the pipeline, Jahmene is still finding time to dedicate to worthy causes.
He said: “Next week, I will be going to Holland with Peace One Day. They have done some amazing things, like getting the Taliban to ceasefire for a day. When I heard that, I thought I have to get involved. It will be held in the Peace Palace, in The Hague, and they have never opened that for a concert.”
“After that, I will be back in America, recording. I already have about seven songs and it is really more me than the covers album, where I just did what someone else wants. It will be much deeper, in my own words.”
“I was relieved I didn’t win the X Factor to be honest, because it meant I did not have to sign with Simon Cowell. I can now do my own thing.”
Places to see the star were allocated in a contest. One winner, Marie-Ann Shar-man, 16, said: “I actually started to cry when I found out. I was rooting for him all through the X Factor.”
Laura Mead, 18, said: “Perry Sangha, his guitarist, came to New College as well. He studied music here and knew Jahmene. Jahmene asked him to become his permanent backing guitarist.”