Back in 2016, Rai-Elle Williams made her musical TV debut on CBBC’s Got What It Takes having made the final. The talented sixteen-year-old most recently appeared on our TV screens in the latest series of The X Factor, after being chosen for the live shows by mentor Sharon Osbourne. Combining her own original raps in her song choices, she quickly became a favourite among TV viewers. Rai-Elle talks to us a few months after the end of the series about her TV appearances, life after The X Factor and her upcoming music.
Have you always had an interest in music?
I have always loved music. I love the way I can express myself through music. I knew I wanted to be a singer after the first performance I ever did.
Have you studied any music subjects in education?
In secondary school, I studied GCSE Music and got an A!
Can you play any musical instruments?
I play a bit of the piano (self-taught).
Do you think spending time on Got What It Takes helped with your experience on The X Factor?
I definitely think it helped. Got What It Takes helped me to become more confident and my vocal coach on the show taught me how important it is to make the song my own. I carried that through to The X Factor show.
As one of the younger contestants, how did you find staying in The X Factor house?
I enjoyed it! At times I would feel a bit homesick and miss my family but other than that it was a different but amazing experience. The other contestants really helped me to feel comfortable.
Are you happy with the song choices you made?
Yes. I loved all my song choices. I chose them and made sure I was comfortable and tried to improve every week. I wanted to do something different and unexpected for each performance.
What made you decide to sing a cappella on the six chair challenge?
I wanted to strip back the whole song and make it more intimate. I think singing a capella captures the audience even more. Plus I wanted to do something brave to show the judges that I’m ready for the competition.
Out of all the contestants, was there anyone you bonded with the most?
I had an incredible relationship with Rak-Su and the Price brothers! They are just so down to earth and we were always laughing.
Out of your time on both shows, what would you say has been the most memorable moment?
Definitely opening up the first live show of The X Factor 2017! That was the highlight.
How amazing is it knowing you could have duetted with Stormzy?
I’m still overwhelmed, to be honest. To know that he respects and appreciates my talent is very humbling to me. He is an incredible and powerful artist that I look up to and hopefully we can duet soon.
Do you feel appearing on The X Factor has opened any opportunities for you?
Yes, it has. It has opened so many different doors for me. It’s the biggest talent show in the UK and me being on it has pushed me in the right direction for my career.
If you could go back in time and give yourself some advice before appearing on the show, what would you have said?
Don’t be scared of Simon!
What are you up to musically now The X Factor has finished?
Right now I am writing and working on my own music. Hopefully I will be releasing my own music very soon! I’m looking forward to this new chapter in my life.
What’s it like seeing yourself on TV?
It’s very weird! I find it so awkward watching myself on TV… I actually cringe. But I guess I have to get used to it because I watch everything over so I know how to improve for next time.
How was the experience on the red carpet for the Daddy’s Home 2 premiere?
Oh wow. It was crazy! Paparazzi everywhere, snapping pictures of me. I felt like a celebrity! I was interviewed by so many people. It was definitely something I could get used to.
Will you go back to uploading anything on your YouTube channel?
I would love to start YouTubing again. Probably with vlogs and singing videos. This is definitely on the agenda.
Do you have plans to release your own music?
I am working on releasing my own music in the near future. Hopefully by summer! I’m really looking forward to it.
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