#OnTheList with Xtine is a weekly feature from Fresh 102.7’s Christine Richie that will be highlighting all things music and more, from her favorite emerging artists, top female vocalists, and much, much more!
There’s a song we’re currently playing on Fresh that I’ve written about before (5 New Songs You Need To Listen To Immediately, from October 2016) “Say You Won’t Let Go” from James Arthur. I think it is one of the most romantic and beautiful love songs I’ve ever heard.
You’ve probably heard it, but maybe don’t know much about him. He’s got a great story.
He won the X Factor UK back in 2012. He had one of those pasts that make you root for him: Down and out, with nothing left to lose, he takes one last chance to make his music dream come true and auditions for the show. The show of course loved his emotional back story about his parents, who don’t speak to each other, coming together to cheer on their son. It seems his parents were hoping he makes it not only to realize his dream, but to finally get his life together. Of course, he smashes it and the tears are flowing as he gets a “yes” from all four judges and he makes it! I can’t watch his audition without tearing up and getting chills. He eventually wins and becomes an overnight sensation. All of his dreams are coming true.
What we don’t know is that he is just like many of us and suffers from some issues, including anxiety. Combining that with sudden stardom, judgement from the always critical public, and his past unhealthy coping mechanisms kick in. He didn’t have the capacity to handle it all and went off the rails a bit. He even got dropped by Simon Cowell, who had signed him to his record label after he won the X Factor. It seemed like all he ever wanted was about to slip through his fingers. The thing that used to give him the most comfort now was the root of more problems in his life. He had to dig deep and find the strength inside him to overcome his issues and salvage what he had worked so hard to achieve and he did. Not only once before he auditioned, but again with even more to lose and all eyes on him. I find that truly inspiring.
I’m hoping to interview him someday to find out how he did it because I know how hard it is to cope with anxiety and other issues. He was somehow able to not let his demons get the best of him. He focused back on the music and wrote his most honest and personal songs about redemption and coming “Back from the Edge”: which he titled the album.
I wanted to highlight him for a couple of reasons. To turn you onto an artist that you maybe didn’t know about and I would love to see him become as popular here in the U.S. as he is in the UK. But also to give anyone who maybe struggling an album to listen to for inspiration. Here are a few to turn up when life is getting the best of you.
“Back From the Edge”
“Remember Who I Was”
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