Britain’s Got Talent Winner 2011 Jai McDowall announced debut his album ‘Believe’ released December 12th on Sony Music.
“I started singing at around 15 and I’d always had a real love for music.” Jai says of his decision to enter the show. “I used to sing alongside my dad in bands in pubs and clubs. We sang covers of pop hits from bands like Westlife, as well as country tracks. I’d always hoped I could make a career out of singing one day, which is why I wanted to try out for Britain’s Got Talent. Once I decided I was going to go for it I didn’t think twice.”
The 25 year-old has been working throughout the summer on his debut album and he says that his influences reach far and wide. “I was brought up with a lot of country music like Kenny Rogers, but I’ve got quite eclectic tastes and have everything from Iron Maiden to Britney Spears on my iPod. I like a lot of R&B but I also love choral music. It kind of depends on my mood but I’m very open-minded about music.”
Jai has incorporated a lot of different sounds into his first collection, and fell in love with studio life very quickly. ”Being in the studio was everything I hoped it would be and I loved the whole creative process. I like the style of singing I did on Britain’s Got Talent – a kind of mix of musical and pop – so we’re working along those lines.”
With Jai’s remarkable vocals, he has created stirring renditions of tracks including U2’s With or Without You, Coldplay’s Fix You, Evanescence’s Bring Me To Life, Green Day’s Boulevard Of Broken Dreams and the song that won him the competition, Josh Groban’s To Where You Are.
He also collaborated on a track with classical star Hayley Westenra. “We’ve recorded a song called The Prayer, which has been made famous by the likes of Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli. But instead of recording it in Italian we’ve done it in English. Hayley was a dream to work with and she’s got such a beautiful voice.”
However his rise to stardom is a complete contrast to a year ago. The Ayrshire native was working as a support worker looking after young adults with disabilities prior to auditioning, and as he stepped out in front of the massive audience for the first time he admits that he was more than a little nervous.
After his incredible rendition of To Where You Are scored him three yes’s from Amanda, Michael and The Hoff, he later made it all the way to live final and ultimately won the entire competition. “I’m still in shock about it all. Everyone who enters the show hopes they’ve got a chance of winning, but you never want to get too cocky or think it’s a sure thing. I had no idea which way things would go and I was so happy when I won.”
Jai got to see many of the public who voted for him when he embarked on the Britain’s Got Talent tour in June, performing to huge crowds across the country. “The tour was amazing and it was great to get to know the other acts. It was scary in Glasgow as that’s where all my friends and family came to see me. It made me much more nervous and I was nearly sick before I went on! But it was great training. I’ve done some other gigs since and it’s just been brilliant. I’m definitely getting more used to being up on stage.”
So Jai is getting used to life in the spotlight, and taking each day of his newfound fame as it comes. “I can’t believe how much I’ve done in the last few months. It’s been incredible. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and my plan is to keep singing for as long as I can. I would love to try my luck in America or Australia. I love the idea of travelling and who knows what will happen? I could never have imagined this time last year that I would be where I am now, so it’s exciting to think what could happen in the future. There’s a lot out there to see.”
Jai McDowall debut album ‘Believe’ Released December 12th on Sony Music.