CelebMix Exclusive: Interview With ‘X Factor’ Semi-Finalist Emily Middlemas

Emily Middlemas is best known for finishing fourth place on the 2016 series of ‘The X Factor.’ The talented singer-songwriter was mentored by Simon Cowell during her time on the show and repeatedly impressed each week with her performances, which included ‘Human’ and ‘Creep.’

Following her time on ‘The X Factor,’ she appeared as part of ‘The X Factor Live Tour,’ performing at arenas around the UK and Ireland.

She recently released her eagerly anticipated debut single, ‘Lost & Found,’ giving fans a preview of material she has been working on.

Emily is currently embarking on her debut headline solo tour – the ‘Memory Lane Tour,’ where she takes fans on a musical journey through the years.

Prior to her performance in Belfast, CelebMix had the opportunity to talk to Emily about her time on ‘The X Factor,’ the release of her debut single, and more. Check out the interview below!

How is your ‘Memory Lane Tour’ going so far?

‘It’s going really, really well. I’m halfway through it now. It’s going really well and all of the people on tour as well are so nice – all my fans and supporters are the nicest bunch of people in the world. I couldn’t ask for a better group to support me. It’s really nice.’ 

You’re getting to meet those who have supported you over the years, how does that feel?

‘It honestly just feels so amazing, because I’ve always wanted to thank all the people that voted for me and supported me throughout all of these years and to thank them in person. I’m able to do that now, with them coming along to the tour as the people have been really, really supportive of me. They all come along – it’s just really nice, it’s good.’ 

You recently released your debut single ‘Lost & Found’ – which we absolutely love! Being in a position to release your own music, can you describe that?

‘It’s so surreal. I never thought that I would have a single out and people would buy it and that it would be in the Top 200, never mind being up there. It’s just so, so cool. It’s just amazing – I never even thought people would buy tickets to come see me, never mind buying songs. It feels really cool to get in the studio and do lots of different things.’


You first appeared on ‘The X Factor’ back in 2014, then went back last year. What was your main encouragement for going back?

‘To be honest with you, I was actually quite hesitant in entering again. It was my family, my Mum and Dad, and everyone around me, they were like ‘you’ve got nothing to lose. If you go in for it again and you don’t get as far as you did, then that’s okay, that’s fine, you can just try again. But you never know, you could get further.’ It was a doubt in the back of my head that was like ‘what if I don’t even get to Judges’ Houses like I did two years ago? Then I’ve went backwards and I don’t really want that to happen.’ I was scared, but my family and friends were like ‘we know you can do it, so go on and do it’ – so I did, and now I’m here, so it’s really cool.’ 

On the show, you were mentored by Simon Cowell. Knowing that he has worked alongside artists such as One Direction and Leona Lewis, how did that feel?

‘He’s honestly such a nice guy. It felt incredible, with everything that he’s done and with him just being so nice and genuine on top of that, it was such a good feeling. He was more like a fatherly figure, because obviously I didn’t really get to see my Mum and Dad much, so he was kind of a replacement of that I guess. It was just really weird, but he was there, looking out for me, making sure that I was making the right choices and guiding me. It was so crazy to work next to him, knowing that he has worked with some of the biggest people ever.’ 

Your performances on the show were absolutely phenomenal. What is your favourite performance from your time on the show?

‘It’s probably got to be ‘Creep.’ I think that’s a lot of people’s favourite actually. Everybody on the tour and everybody who I’ve met is like always saying ‘oh, I loved Creep’ and I’m like ‘thanks.’ It’s just so nice. I loved it as well, and that was a turning point for me in the competition. I was like ‘oh my god, this is so cool’ because it was just so emotional as well. I was crying at the end of it, but it was so good.’ 

What is your best ‘X Factor’ memory?

‘I would probably still count this as ‘X Factor’ memories, but it was probably either part of the tour – the Glasgow date or London date or I think it was the Dublin and Belfast date. I loved Ireland and Northern Ireland so much – it was so, so good. The crowds here (Ireland) are so incredible, they are so loud. I think it was just performing in front of arenas every single day for two months was so surreal, because we never really got that in the show before, as it was a smaller audience – it was quite small. It was the tour probably, the best memory.’

Do you feel that ‘The X Factor’ provided you with a good platform to release your own music?

‘This isn’t really answering the question, but I feel like if someone is going on to ‘The X Factor’ – this is just advice for anyone who is thinking of going on for it – you should probably think about who you want to be first before you go on it, because I think if I’m honest, I was a bit confused about who I wanted to be and what my style and genre was. Now I’ve found myself and I’m picking myself back up again – I’ve released ‘Lost & Found,’ which is so different from the stuff I was doing on ‘The X Factor.’ It’s been amazing for publicity, getting my fanbase and getting people supporting me, but then again I just wish I could have done the things that I’m doing just now and found myself a bit better before I went on it. That’s the only thing I would say that I was doubting a wee bit, but it’s been incredible for a platform. It’s been so good.’ 

Looking back then, no regrets?

‘No. No regrets.’ 

Performing in front of the Judges and millions of people week after week, how did that feel for you?

‘I was so, so nervous. I think if you watch some of the videos – I can’t remember what one specifically – but at the start of some of the songs, I didn’t know the camera was on me and I was shaking side to side. I didn’t know I was doing it, it must have just been a self-conscious thing. I must have been nervous before the cameras went on, as if to say ‘okay, okay’ and then it just stopped and I started singing, because I know the cameras were on me. That was the nervous thing that I would have done, but it was really scary.

Not a lot of people know that you have in-ears. They can do a countdown before the song is starting, and you can hear everything, so it was like an ‘okay Emily, remember to look at Camera 1, remember to do this, remember to do that, camera’s rolling.’ Everyone, we kind of panic a bit. It’s like ‘adverts have finished, ‘The X Factor’ sign is on, you’re about to roll in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and then you just have to sing with all of this stuff going on in your ears, which was really weird. It made me really nervous, but it’s just like a bubble. It was weird.’ 

Do you still get nervous now when performing?

‘Yes, I still get nervous. I think that nerves are a really good thing to have. When I’m not nervous, I don’t really feel that I perform as well. I perform with more emotion when I’m nervous.’ 

Who are your musical influences?

‘I keep saying this all the time, but I love Dua Lipa right now. She is so, so amazing – with the whole girl power and I just love all that. Also, just when I was growing up, stuff that my Mum and Dad used to listen to – Fleetwood Mac, Yello and Queen – all that kind of stuff. Everything to be honest. Even Beyoncé, I love Beyoncé as well. I just love everything, music is music.’ 

Have you always known that music was something that you wanted to do?

‘100%. I’ve always been into the creative side of things. I started off with dancing actually and was figure-skating. I felt more into the music than I did the skating. I always loved music, ever since I was a little girl. It was my brothers who started the drums and I wanted to follow in their footsteps. I started playing piano and started singing. Then, I went into a wee mini rock band I guess you would say that Jay (Emily’s guitarist) used to be in as well. We’re still together since the age of nine – going strong!’ 

If you had to sum up your style of music, what words would you use?

‘I’ve got lots of different songs. I would probably say empowering and words in it that people can relate to – relatable. Quite mellow as well. ‘Lost & Found’ is quite happy – there’s quite a lot of different things.’

Is there any message you would like portrayed through your music?

‘It’s not so much through lyrics and songs, but I just want to put out there that young people can do what they believe in. I want young people to follow their dreams and not listen to adults so much. I’ve had so many adults tell me ‘you have to do this, you have to be like this, you have to sing this’ and I’m like ‘no, I know what’s current and I know what’s going on, I’m young. You guys are a little bit older.’ I’ve just kind of stuck to my ways and make sure that you can feel powerful and you can follow your dreams – don’t let anybody get in the way or tell you no. That’s my motivational speech!’

What else can we expect from you in the following months?

‘At the end of this year, I think I’m going to maybe release another two songs and then at the start of 2018, then release an EP or an album hopefully, fingers crossed. More singles at the end of this year and the start of next, and then 2018 – March to summer time, an album or EP. That’s the plan.’

Finally, do you have a message for your fans?

‘I love you all so much and thank you so much for supporting me throughout the past three, four years, and for being so amazing. It’s like I’ve got my own little PR team as well with my fans, they are so amazing and they just try and do everything that’s best for me and promote everything that’s out. With ‘Lost & Found,’ they have been amazing, they have been telling all their friends to buy the single and have been doing so many different things. They are just the best, I love them so much, thanks to them.’ 

If you haven’t already, you can buy Emily’s debut single ‘Lost & Found’ from iTunes by clicking here.

There are several dates remaining of Emily’s ‘Memory Lane Tour.’ For a list of remaining tour dates and to buy tickets, click here.

Do you love ‘Lost & Found’ as much as we do here at CelebMix? Are you excited to hear more original music from Emily Middlemas? Make sure you tweet us and let us know: @CelebMix.

Written by Rachel Dempster