BATTLE OF THE TITANS. Interview: Aiden Grimshaw

Those of you who have been good enough to read my interview with Lemar will be now be aware of a few salient facts: I’m immune to Tom Daley’s Speedos; Lemar and Aiden Grimshaw are ‘battling it out’ (in a competition that exists solely in my head) in the charts come August 12th, with both releasing singles from their upcoming albums; and once you mention Lemar’s name to Aiden Grimshaw, he really won’t stop singing Lemar songs. “He did one track, right, and it was just the way he said ‘baby’ in one of his tunes: it was well good… I won’t get over this with Lemar now [keeps singing]; that’s what I’m going to spend my day singing.”

We’ve looked at Lemar’s stats; now it’s time for Grimshaw’s. So, in the red corner…

“I’m sat on a boat today, just talking about myself and the music that I’ve made; it’s well good.” Golden boy, Aiden Grimshaw, won the hearts of the nation in X Factor, with a brooding attitude and a Samson-esque quiff that could liquidate the knees of the young and old, men and women alike, throughout the country; there is really very little you can do to argue the contrary when faced with the unassailable figures of a poll and a ‘sexiest list’ in Gay Times. “The first one [sexiest list] I ever won was when I was first off the X Factor and it was in the Gay Times and I won ‘Number One Male’, or something like that, and I beat Zac Efron. I was like, that is so funny. It wasn’t real, obviously. Well I think it was a real poll, but I don’t know how it worked; there must have been some mix up or confusion in the office. My mum loved it.”

Instead of immediately capitalising on the attention garnered by the show, Grimshaw took some time off in the aftermath and his soon to be released debut album, Misty Eye, has been a couple of years in the making. “I’ve taken my time, I’ve come away from it and I’ve cut my hair off or whatever. I lost the quiff [no doubt to the gasps and cries of tweens everywhere], then no one noticed me anymore”. It proved to be a wise move, though; Grimshaw’s since come back and surprised us all with a unique sound entirely separate from what we may have come to expect: no saccharine pop songs or fetid ballads that only serve to make Louis Walsh salivate, here; how many times can you attribute drum’n’bass influences to an ex X Factor contestant? “It’s just a collection of thoughts in my head, behind my eye. I was relatively drunk for quite a lot of the time, and angry.”

While it may be a tad too early in his career to speculate with any real authority on whether Aiden will go the distance or fall prey to the same hurdles that have knocked out other ex reality alumni, Grimshaw’s already more than transcended most expectations and is setting himself up as an artist well worth watching out for. His own outlook on the subject? “Who knows? It depends if people like it or not, innit? If people don’t like it, I might be back at Pizza Hut.”

Surprisingly (or not) his set was one of the most anticipated at this year’s The Great Escape festival, where he performed on a line up that boasted the likes of Alabama Shakes, Perfume Genius and Niki & The Dove, with more than a few festival goers coming away murmuring happy words of approval. Inevitably, though, there are going to be some haters that will automatically dismiss anyone coming from Aiden’s background (those Cowell connotations are hard to wash off). His message to them? “I’m not the biggest fan of broccoli, but if you’re going to eat it, I’m not going to get in your grill.”

Course, with an upcoming tour following the release of his album in August, planned for September, you’ll get a chance to decide for yourself.

So there you have it folks: Lemar versus Aiden Grimshaw. Who will be ultimately be crowned victorious? That is up to you to decide…

Aiden’s debut album, ‘Misty Eye’, will be released through RCA Records on August 20th. It’s available for preorder here