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Jahmene's pumpkin magic
JAHMENE Douglas returned to the region for the first time since his MOBO defeat yesterday.
The pop sensation was keen to establish his grace in defeat whilst at the launch of a charity raffle at a supermarket, where a self-carved pumpkin was a prize for the biggest bidder.
The 22-year-old was back in a Swindon postcode for a short time yesterday at the Budgens supermarket, in Marlborough Street, Faringdon, where he was met by more than 50 children and parents, screaming for his signature.
In what was his first local engagement since the October 19 awards, where he missed out on Best Newcomer, Jahmene said: “I wasn’t disappointed. I have only done a covers album and I didn’t feel worthy.
“All the others in the category are working from scratch and they need the encouragement. It’s been going for 18 years and people like Tina Turner, Usher, Destiny’s Child and Lionel Richie have all performed there.
“To be a part of that set list is quite incredible and to bring gospel to the awards was huge for me.”
The event had been co-ordinated by the store's individual owner Simon Tiensa and brought Jahmene in to front fundraising efforts for The Pump House Project, a charity transforming a theatre in Faringdon with youth activities.
Fifty per cent of the money raised will also go to Women’s Aid, for whom Jahmene is the ambassador for children and young people.
It is a role the soul singer cherishes as a keen encourager of young people, a passion which also brought him back to Swindon last month for a visit to New College.
“I’m based in London now, because Swindon is really far out. I really try to get back as often as I can to encourage the young people of the town, but it’s difficult with how busy I am,” he said.
“If I am invited to do anything in the town this Christmas, I’m available, but there is nothing on at the moment. I just hope to be back for Christmas.”
Budgens stores are owned by local independent retailers and Faringodn store owner, Simon Tiensa said: "It’s nice to give something back to the local community, so we’re really grateful to Jahmene for coming along all the way from London and helping us to create excitement for shoppers - as well as raise money for charity.”
There are plans for Jahmene’s second album to be released next summer now, with 12 tracks already in the offing for next year’s release.
He is due to return to America to continue co-writing with Andrea Martin, who has worked with Alexandra Burke and Leona Lewis.
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