When we first heard whispers that Aiden Grimshaw was to release an album this year, we'll admit we had our concerns.
That said, they were swiftly brushed aside after hearing his debut single 'Is This Love' and a few other songs by him that we're not allowed to talk about just yet.
With his new single out next month, we met up with the man himself at London's Drink, Shop & Do vintage café to find out what he's been up to since The X Factor, what we can expect from his debut album and why he's such a big Tom Jones fan.
It's been two years since you were on The X Factor. What have you been doing with yourself?
"I did the X Factor tour first, then moved down to London and spent the majority of my time eating food, getting drunk and bonding with the sofa. It's been great! I've been in London for 15 months now - it took me a while to get used to the Tube and everyone walking fast."
Is that why you waited so long to release any music?
"I got signed while I was on the tour, which was great. I wanted to crack on straight away, but we wanted to wait a while - partly to get rid of the tag from that show, but mainly to build up a good team of people and make good music. I was only 18 after the show and didn't really have an idea of the music I wanted to make. I hadn't done enough in my life to write an album - X Factor was the only exciting thing that had happened to me, really."
So is the album about the difficulties of London's public transport?
"[Laughs] Not so much! Without sounding corny, I've grown as a person - and I didn't want to be known as "Aiden from X Factor."
Two years is quite a long time though...
"I wasn't inundated with people wanting to work with me. The reality is I came ninth on The X Factor - producers and stuff often don't want to work with people associated with the show because of the stigma attached. Luckily, we found people who were willing to work with us, and we worked out what I was good at and mostly what I wasn't good at doing. We've done it organically and I'm glad we took our time."
Did you ever think that going on the show had ruined your chances at a music career?
"Not at all. The show is a great platform and a rare opportunity to get yourself out there. I used to work in a Pizza Hut up north and think I was quids in when I got £10 in tips at the end of a shift. Now I'm doing interviews about my new album - it's amazing really!"
Do you still keep in touch with anyone from the series?
"Not all of them, as everyone has been busy doing their own thing. It was very weird being put in a house with 16 other people and put on telly. I felt very northern. I still talk to Matt [Cardle] - we share the same local pub which is handy. I've mainly been watching One Direction taking over the world from my sofa."
Your new single 'Is This Love' surprised a lot of people in a good way. Were you pleased with the reaction?
"I was really pleased - I don't think I could have wished for it to go any better. There were a few options for the first single and I was happy with all of them. It's honest and there's nothing to be embarrassed about on the album."
You're not in the song's music video much - are you going to make a habit of that?
"It was mainly me saying I didn't want to be in the video. It feels right that way - we didn't write it with me in mind acting out the lead role in a video. I like videos you can watch and the meaning is something different to what you originally thought. I also sweat badly in front of cameras and lights - it's pretty bad!"
You've got a reputation as an intense performer, and 'Is This Love' is an intense song. Is the rest of the album like that?
"Intense is a good word for it, I suppose. The album forms a vague narrative around a breakup. Most of the songs were written after a bad breakup and when I was drunk. It's a feel-good album though - it questions your intensity and anger. There are definitely some feel-good vibes on there as well."
Are there any songs you're particularly proud of?
"There's one with a female vocalist on the chorus which is a big tune. I remember we discovered her at a Wretch 32 gig. All the songs on the album serve completely different purposes. This single is right for now, but track six serves its purpose for track six. We've selected everything as carefully as we can."
Have you been watching The Voice?
"I'm really enjoying it! Sometimes it feels a bit cheesy, but I watch it all the time. It seems like all the contestants have really pushy mums - they're all massively talented. That said, it's not really a talent search as the people are picked by A&Rs - I couldn't have gone on it. What I find strange is that Tom Jones doesn't wear a tie. I think he's only worn one once. Simon Cowell wore jeans during the Britain's Got Talent final - how casual is that?"
Aiden Grimshaw releases 'Is This Love' on June 3. His debut album Misty Eye follows on August 13.
Watch the 'Is This Love' music video below: