The second series of hit CBBC show, Got What It Takes, aired earlier this year and fifteen-year-old Jorja Douglas ended up winning, gaining her a main-stage set at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend. She was introduced to the stage by Radio 1 DJ, Nick Grimshaw and was on the line-up with a huge list of chart-toppers. Since the show, she has been uploading covers on YouTube and building up a strong social media following. Less than a month after her huge performance at Big Weekend, we speak to Jorja about the festival, her experience of winning Got What It Takes and what her plans are for being successful in the music industry.
How was BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend?
BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend was absolutely incredible. It was so cool meeting a lot of the performers I was singing alongside, and the atmosphere was great.
Was it your first time attending a festival?
It was my first time attending a festival and I still can’t believe I opened it!
Who was your favourite on the line-up and did you get to meet any of the other performers?
My favourite on the line up was definitely Stormzy. He brought so much energy and got the whole audience hyped, even my mum! I got to meet many of the other performers like James Arthur and You Me at Six but my favourite was meeting Imagine Dragons because they gave me some advice and seemed very humble.
How did you feel before going on stage at Big Weekend?
Surprisingly, before going on stage I was really chilled, which is a massive contrast to what I would’ve felt like a year ago. I just remembered that I was up there for a reason and I had nothing to fear.
How did it feel performing at the final of Got What It Takes? Did you prefer performing in front of the audience or in the sing offs?
Performing in the final of GWIT was really nerve-racking just because I knew what a massive opportunity the prize was. Singing in the sing-offs was better because I used them as a way to improve my performance and get feedback from the mums.
You won Got What It Takes; how would you describe your experience on the show?
I think the GWIT experience was very eye opening to the career path I want to take but I came out on top and that made me realise this was definitely what I want to do.
How did you find out your audition had been successful and you were going to be a contestant?
I was so grateful and surprised when I found out I was a contestant because this was my first time applying for anything like this.
Was it easy fitting in with the other contestants when you first met?
I found it easy fitting in with the other contestants simply because we all have a love for music and, as I basically lived with them for three weeks, we all formed a strong bond.
What would be your advice for people auditioning for season three?
My advice to people auditioning would be to go for it and to be yourself because you want to come across genuine and likeable.
How do you feel being on Got What It Takes has helped your career as an artist?
Being on GWIT has helped me get my name out there and break into the industry. I have also made some great connections.
What was it like meeting Lauren Platt and did it help knowing she’d competed on another TV talent show, The X Factor?
It was really useful that Lauren had competed in The X Factor because, although GWIT is on a smaller scale, she knew what we were going through and shared her knowledge with us.
What was your favourite part of filming Got What It Takes?
My favourite part of filming was all the industry challenges because it really pushed me out of my comfort zone and has 100% improved the way I perform now.
If a challenge on the show would have been to duet with any singer you wanted, who would you have chosen?
I would’ve loved to duet with Shawn Mendes because he has a really smooth voice that I think would sound nice with mine.
What did your friends and family think about you being on TV every week?
I got a lot of laughs from my friends especially after the dance challenge just because they’re used to seeing me in a different light but, overall, everyone was very supportive and never missed an episode.
Were you allowed to tell anyone you had won Got What It Takes, or did they have to watch the show?
Although I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone that I’d won, I couldn’t help but tell a couple of my closest friends so they could share my excitement!
You were in a lot of sing-offs. Did this make your experience on the show more exciting or challenging?
There were a few downsides of being in so many sing-offs because it worried me that what I thought was my best, wasn’t good enough, but I tried to use it as a learning curve and find out what I needed to do in order to improve.
Got What It Takes is highly popular with many young people. What is the sudden popularity like on social media?
I wouldn’t call it sudden popularity but it was really cool having people say positive things to me like how I’m their role model and I have given them confidence.
Do you feel like there’s more pressure now you’ve won and performed at Big Weekend?
I feel pressure to keep myself out there and posting things on my YouTube and Instagram but it’s something I enjoy doing.
MNEK tweeted about your performance, how did that feel?
MNEK tweeting about my performance was literally one of the best feelings ever because I love him as an artist and he was so kind to take the time to read my message AND respond!
You’ve been asked for fan photos before, what does it feel like?
It’s crazy knowing that people want to take pictures with me because I’m still like a normal person!
If you could tour with anyone, who would you choose to tour with?
Hands down I would choose to tour with Justin Bieber because I would get to sing with him, spend time with him and hear him sing.
What are your plans for the rest of 2017?
For the rest of 2017 I plan on spending time in the studio and going gigging at any opportunity.
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