INTERVIEW: Dream come true for Stevenage The Voice star Nadeem Leigh
- Credit: BBC/Wall to Wall
A MUSICIAN who now has fans from around the world after appearing on a TV talent contest has described the last few days as “bonkers”.
Nadeem Leigh’s performance of U2’s I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For was watched by millions of UK viewers who tuned into BBC One for The Voice on Saturday.
The 34-year-old, who grew up in Stevenage, was chosen by judge Danny O’Donoghue in a blind audition described by The Script frontman as “magic”.
Nadeem, who attended Stevenage schools Brooms Barns, Letchmore Infants, Almond Hill and John Henry Newman, has been overwhelmed by the response after receiving praise from people in the USA, Canada, Switzerland and France.
“It’s the word I keep using but it’s just gone bonkers,” he told the Comet.
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“It has been amazing, I just feel so humbled by everybody’s responses. The love and response I’ve been getting from everyone in Stevenage and all over the world is just unreal.”
Nadeem spoke on the show about his battle with alcohol and drug addiction, as well as the loss of his 37-year-old mother Deborah, who died after having a stroke when he was 19.
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“Coming from where I have this dream has always been in the back of my mind,” said the singer-songwriter, who also lived in a Hitchin squat as a teenager before going through rehab almost three years ago.
“Music has propelled me through dark times and positive times too and I always told myself to keep doing this because some day it might pay off.
“I was involved in drink and drugs from about 15. I was already addicted by 16 or 17 but with the death of my mum things spiralled out of control. It was a real shock, she was 37 and it happened over the process of two days.
“I’ve written music about that time and I’ve never recorded the songs as I would like, so I’m hoping to work on that. There are lots of people out there suffering from these things and if I can provide inspiration then that’s great.”
After the audition, judge and coach Danny O’Donoghue said: “I’ve been waiting for Nadeem to come along. The rest of them have been great singers and I’ve got a great vibe which I could possibly coach but he was magic, magic.”
Speaking about working with Danny, Nadeem said: “I went backstage with him at The O2 which was an amazing experience. It’s been phenomenal and he’s spent so much time helping me.”
Nadeem, who has been living in Leeds but is in the process of moving back to Stevenage, will now take part in the show’s battle rounds where he will compete against other members of ‘Team Danny’.
He added: “I can’t predict what’s going to happen next and I’ve just got to keep my feet on the ground. My dream is to make a living out of music. There’s a famous quote that if you can do a job that you love you’ll never have to work a day in your life – that’s my dream.”