HUNDREDS of screaming girls will welcome X Factor sensation Jai Waetford when he plays at a free community concert on the Town Green next Friday.
Twelve months ago, he was just another Year 9 student from suburban Sydney.
Since finishing third in last year’s reality show, the 15-year-old singer/songwriter has amassed legions of fans across the country, joined The Justice Crew’s nationwide tour and even caught the eye of international pop star Justin Bieber.
As his career kicks into top gear, Jai has released a new song ‘Get To Know You’, is pursuing opportunities in LA and performing alongside 2013 X Factor runner up Taylor Henderson in a series of regional pop up concerts.
He has also written up to 35 new songs, including collaborations with Jon Hume (lead singer from Evermore) and Lindsay Rhymes (gunslinger from Nashville).
“I never wanted to be a superstar? until I joined X Factor,” he said.
“I just said to mum the night before ‘I’m going to audition’ and she didn’t even think Id make it through the first round.
“The whole way through I just enjoyed it and thought whatever happens happens.”
So, what are we in for when the baby-faced singer hits the stage next Friday?
“It’s going to be really cool.
“Not many performances are like this, where you can see us play outdoors and get up close,” Jai said.
Keen to keep some surprises up his sleeve, he hinted at the possibility of a duet with Taylor.
His ideal duet partner? Beyonce.
When asked how his life has changed since jumping off the X Factor rollercoaster, the only constants seem to be his mum and group of school friends.
“I do distance education now and could be in Melbourne one day and Brisbane the next, but I’ve had the same mates since primary school and things don’t change between us, no matter what I do.
“That’s what keeps you grounded,” he said.
Do pop stars still have to make their own bed?
“Definitely, mum hasn’t let me off on that,” he joked.
If music doesn’t work out, the teen doesn’t have a back-up plan.
“To be honest, I’m not sure what the future holds.
“I’m just determined to make music work and see what happens,” he said, showing a confidence and surety well beyond his years.
And the million dollar question, who will win this year’s X Factor?
“I went to a live show the other week and I think Jason could be the dark horse,” he said.