Life has changed beyond all recognition for teenage musician Luke Friend in the past year.
The singer-songwriter was named TeenStar in July last year, beating 9,000 other hopefuls to the nationwide talent-contest title.
He then became a household name when he finished third on the X-Factor.
That’s a lot of pressure for a young man who has only recently turned 18.
“It’s all been a bit mental, but it’s been wicked” the Leeds-born teen tells Chad, taking a short break from writing songs for his upcoming album.
Armed with his acoustic guitar, he will play at the Newark Festival next month.
He continues: “I’m so pleased to be playing because I love festivals and Newark will be one of the first so I’ll be very excited. I’m really looking forward to it.
“I’ve never played in Newark before, but I do know the area because my sister lives in Nottingham.
“I will be playing my own stuff, but I don’t know if any of the songs from the new album will be ready, we’ll have to see.”
The weekend at Riverside Park will be held from 20th to 22nd June, and will see a host of stars of past and present performing, including 80s synth-pop legends, Human League.
Luke has been pencilled in for the Friday night, sharing it with other X-Factor stars, Union J and Rough Copy.
But while the reality show helped catapult him into the public spotlight, he’s not what we have come to expect from the usual X-Factor contestant.
With dread locked hair and battered guitar, he looks more likely to be found busking than on the stage.
And, with musical influences rooted in rock (naming Pearl Jam and The Rolling Stones as his heroes), it seems a far cry from the bubble-gum pop world from which his career was launched.
However, the fresh-faced musician is convinced that others genres of music can flourish on the X-Factor, not just pop.
“I have always loved the X-Factor, I’m very lucky and have been able to turn it into a career. There are a lot of great musicians who do not get noticed, and I would recommend they go on it and just be themselves, that’s all I did.”
Tickets are priced between £25 and £29.50, but Chad has a pair of tickets to give away for the Friday at the Newark Festival.
For a chance to win simply answer the following question : Which TV show did Luke Friend finish third last year?
Send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org by no later than 31st May.