IN 2009 Joe McElderry won the nations hearts to be crowned X Factor champion and he returns next week with a new album his fourth in less than two years.
It’s been a busy time for the popular Geordie crooner after his post X Factor career stalled before an appearance on ITV show Popstar to Operastar saw him reborn.
On the back of the show he released two albums — Classic and Classic Christmas —selling just under 400,000 copies and storming back into the charts.
His fourth album Here’s What I Believe is released on Monday (10) and sees McElderry mix original material with carefully picked cover songs and sees his first foray into songwriting.
He spoke to the Mail ahead of its release and said it was another exciting chapter in his career.
He said: “I’ve done a lot of songwriting on this record and stepped in a different direction sound wise. It was really different recording this time and I enjoyed it a lot.
“It still feels surreal — I’m still as nervous and excited as when I released the first album. I just feel I have more experience now.
“I worked with some pretty incredible people on this record. I was anxious to work with them at first as they have had some huge hits but I soon felt comfortable and started bouncing ideas off them and got some great tips.
“I really enjoyed doing some songwriting myself. I was nervous about it at first but I’m really glad I did it as it opens up new doors for me musically and it was the next step I needed to take.”
The title track is a collaboration with chart-topping Shakespeare’s Sister songwriter and vocalist Marcella Detroit, while other tracks saw collaborations with Beth Nielson Chapman and Ludovico Einaudi.
The choice of covers on the record is also interesting with classics by Rod Stewart, Leo Sayer, Whitney Houston, Queen and Gene Pitney and Mark Almond chosen, along with more obscure picks.
McElderry said: “I wanted to make sure all the covers were totally different from the originals and I wanted to pick songs that people might not know so well so I could put a different twist on them.
“I probably actually spent more time choosing the covers than doing the originals as I wanted to get the right songs that we could reinvent.”
It was X Factor that made McElderry a star and I was interested to know what he thought about the new series and its much-criticised new ‘The Only Way is Essex’ style format.
“To be honest I’ve only seen about 20 minutes of one episode as I have been so busy,” he said.
“I always seem to miss the first few shows but I get more into it once it gets on to the live shows so I’m looking forward to that.”
Joe McElderry’s fourth album Here’s What I Believe is out on Monday on Decca Records.