Hot artist: Aiden Grimshaw

Aiden's arrival on the music scene has showed that contestants on The X Factor and The Voice can do great things if they would only try

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Posted 22nd May 2012 in Features & Reviews, Aiden Grimshaw | By Paul Leake
Hot artist: Aiden Grimshaw

The British public aren’t known for their wise choices when it comes to singing competitions. We get swept into the maelstrom of voting for the bleeding hearts and sob stories that we rarely pick the person best suited to an actual career. We tend to pick the ones that inspire sympathy or a general feeling of 'aw, aren't they doing well?'.

A prime example of these foolish choices would be the fact that Kathy Weasel, whose real name is lost now to her unfortunate nickname, remained in The X Factor when Aiden Grimshaw was unceremoniously booted out. Granted, Aiden wasn’t suited to the ITV singing competition and its pantomime spirit, but his ejection was so absurdly illogical that it would give Spock an embolism.

Fortunately for Aiden, he didn’t leap into bed with the big labels straight away. He took time away from the show to find some meaning from his experience and shape the kind of artist he would want to be. The silence was worrying for those who had backed Aiden from the start and people began to wonder if Aiden Grimshaw would be another name on the X Factor casualty list.

When Aiden came back with ‘Is This Love’, the doubters ate their words, the fans salivated and rejoiced and those former contestants currently struggling for recognition probably began to sweat. It seemed like someone had offered you an oxygen mask in a hot room occupied by heavily flatulent people. There was no hint of studio control, no stereotypical ‘go for gold’ key change and no sign of anything other than the man himself. It was the first truly honest single from an X Factor contestant.

Describing Aiden in that way seems lazy now. Both this single and the album preview show an artist that went away determined to find himself and find meaning in his time on the reality TV competition. He’s still shy and awkward with public attention, but he’s discovered a sense of self-determination, certainty and raw honesty. Aiden is one of the most exciting artists of this year and he shows that a contestant on The X Factor or The Voice can be brilliant if they only tried for something honest to who they are.