Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.
This year’s X Factor felt like a turning point, and for the first time in years, it seems totally reasonable that it should continue to exist. Perhaps ITV commissioning The Voice gave Syco and Thames the kick up the bum that they needed. By keeping the panel the same they avoided overly focusing on judge drama, and encouraging contestants to sing their own songs (but, importantly, only the good ones) made it fresh and relevant. There were no joke acts in the live shows, and contestants were treated with an unusual amount of respect and support, taking a leaf out of Strictly and The Voice’s books. This new approach would only succeed if they had the talent, and luckily they had Grace Davies and eventual winners, Rak-Su. I’ve been vocal on Twitter about my suspicions that Rak-Su have been in development with Syco – their songs are unrealistically good and their performance too polished, especially as their manager has no track record in music. Something shady may be afoot, but if Syco have misled the public, they did it for our own good. Rak-Su are fun, talented and cool, with a very current, poptastic sound. Their winner’s single puts those of the last two years to shame, and fittingly it’s a hit. Dimelo reached no.2 on the UK singles chart, despite having no studio version (the single is literally their X Factor performance). They’ve already said they plan to release their first “project” early 2018, so it sounds like an EP of their X Factor songs is on its way.