There is something extraordinary about Jahmene Douglas. It’s not just his soul skimming voice that reaches from the very core of him to cause tingles in your heart. The beautiful voice comes from a beautiful soul. His eyes have an angelic sparkle. He walks into a room and he shivers with goodness.
When he first appeared on The X Factor in 2012 there was a quietness about him; he seemed shy. But it wasn’t long before we realised that the former Asda shelf stacker was not so much shy as quietly strong. “I know I seem shy, but singing was always my therapy, my outlet, my release. It was how I could be just me. First of all it would be singing to Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley. Just singing at the top of my voice. It’s a way of zoning out and making you strong. The singing became my sanctuary.”
Jahmene grew up with a violent father who beat up and tortured his mother, and Jahmene himself endured terror. Because of this, Jahmene is very passionate about the injustices done to victims of violence and is an ambassador for Women’s Aid.
Jahmene has always related to great voices because his own great voice was always his creative outlet. “For some time I was home schooled. I would always draw, and write poetry. I enjoyed whatever I could do to be creative but singing was my thing, it kept me calm.
“‘I was doing a lot of singing in church. I was never getting paid for it, I just like to sing because that’s what I like to do for people; see people uplifted by the power of music.”
Jahmene’s first album, Love Never Fails, debuted in the official UK album chart at number 1.