Jahméne has come a long way from working at Asda in Swindon, with thanks to his journey on the X-Factor. He was mentored by the fabulous Nicole Scherzinger, who fully supported him every step of the way and encouraged him to shine with his talent for fusing R&B, soul and gospel together as one. Two years ago, Jahméne’s popularity with the audience and fans that he made during the show was shown when his debut album Love Never Fails, entered The Album Chart at number one. His follow-up album is called Down for Love, in which he has had a lot more creative control and an album in which he has had the chance to write about topics which matter to him.
Jahméne says: “I have been paired with some incredible people. This album wasn’t ever something I was going to rush and it hasn’t been easy. Each person has understood that and helped me create this labour of love allowing it to be everything I wanted. This somehow feels like my debut album. I’ve lived and breathed these songs. These are the songs, emotions and sounds that have been stirring in my heart ever since I was young and I’m so grateful that I can now share that with you all”.
It’s time to find out more, as we chat to Jahméne, and here is our interview with him.
Hello Jahméne, how are you doing today?
Stressed, but blessed.
You’re about the release your new album, how do you feel about that?
I feel like I’ve finally reached that point in the timeline of creation where I can look at what my team and I have done and be proud of the project so far. I haven’t felt this way for a long time and I welcome it because it’s such an incredible energy that I can’t wait to share with countless ears.
We learn that you’ve had much more creative input and has co-written many of the tracks on this album, what sort of experience has that been?
The experience has been one I have craved for so long. When you are someone who’s creative and you’re not able or not allowed to create there are so many pent up emotions and feelings that eventually seep out into frustration and at its worst. Bitterness when it’s not shared through a passion. It’s such a freeing expression to be able to flood out all of everything you have from words to sound. Capturing that from track to track is healing, comforting, selfless, it’s drenched in love and that’s always rewarding.
Tell us what it was like working with the amazing Diane Warren?
It was like waltzing into a surreal space of a dream I’ve had many a time. Yet there she was and there I was, in the flesh, talking, laughing and bringing songs to life. I have so much love and respect for her and it was overwhelming when that was reciprocated in such a vibrant and affectionate way and for it to have happened so naturally just felt like I was sitting in the middle of a blessing and feeling the depth of it in its entirety, (which I am rarely able to do.)
What are your personal favourite tracks from the new album and why?
Ooo, tough question for any one making music. It’s like asking a parent who their favourite child is. The most powerful song on the album I believe is a song I’ve written with my friend and pianist Arden Hart. There just something about that song that moves me.
Tell us about Down for Love, which is your latest single?
I made this little number with a talented guy called Davinche. We then brought in the skilled Tim Kellet to lend his writing magic to the songs bridge. I love this song because the message is as simple as the question it offers up “are you down for love?” Not just any kind of love but the love we were built for, programmed for. The real definition and not the misinterpreted version of it. I’m down for that pure kinda love, are you?
You’re actively involved in Woman’s Aid as a youth ambassador, how did you get involved with that?
My life has led me to it. I don’t think you can make it through such struggles without then going onto attempting to help others through what you went through with less pain. I’ve been wired this way and being able to speak out on a platform and be heard about domestic violence is empowering for the cause. I believe I dropped their name “Women’s Aid” on the X Factor and ever since then I’ve been able to not only have the platform but to also be informed by such an inspiring charity.
You’re also a key figure alongside your supporter and friend Samuel L. Jackson for the charity One for the Boys, can you tell us more about the charity?
For me the charity One 4 The Boys is that lad friend pulling you to the side and saying: look mate, you need to get checked. The charity is channelling the right way to get the information to men/boys and encourage them to take an interest in their health. The charity and those behind it are passionate about the cause and have so much in the pipeline for bringing men’s health to the forefront to help save lives.
How often are you in touch with the wonderful Nicole Scherzinger?
As often as you’d keep in touch with a long distance close friend.
The year seems to have gone really fast – what’s been the highlight so far for you?
It has flown! My highlights for this year so far are my mother’s (Mandy Thomas) book coming out called You Can’t Run, going back to New York to finish off the album with Stanley Brown and Andrea Martin, travelling, announcing Down For Love. Fortunately, the list is endless.
Jahméne’s new single Down For Love is released on Friday. You can listen to the track below: