Jai Waetford (NSW)

X Factor

About Jai Waetford (NSW)

“Make the music you want to make Jai Waetford …” These are the words Justin Bieber posted on November 1 2013 to his 11.6 million followers on Instagram.

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“Make the music you want to make Jai Waetford …” These are the words Justin Bieber posted on November 1 2013 to his 11.6 million followers on Instagram. Not bad advice. Jai Waetford never really had a burning ambition to be famous, all he knew is that he was going to sing and write songs. For a kid just into his teens at the time it shows an admirable single mindedness. “There was no one really pushing me,” Jai explains. “In my mind it was just what I was going to do.” “I never wanted to be a superstar … until I joined X Factor!” The fifth series of X Factor Australia provided the platform for Jai to gob smack Australia with an almost casual ease, finishing third in the Grand Final behind Taylor Henderson and Dani Im. Here was a 14-year-old kid glowing with natural talent, delivering one standout performance after another with a surety way beyond his years. “I don’t get nervous, it’s just something that never happens to me. Although I freaked out a little bit the first time I performed without my guitar!” Jai grew up in Sydney with his Mother and Grandparents. His parent split when Jai was two with his Dad moving the Northern Beaches and eventually relocating to Switzerland. As Jai tells it, “Music wasn’t a thing in my house, although Dad used to be a singer. I first started when Dad would sing one line and I would copy him. When Dad and I got together we would fish, surf and sing, that was our thing.” Jai’s mum has been the rock of support he’s needed for his journey. If Jai was being lazy or slacking off, the order would be “Go write a song,” delivered in a way only a mum can. As for the journey itself, it’s pretty much been a non-stop rollercoaster ever since Jai stepped out for that first X Factor audition. Apart from meeting famous fan Justin Bieber during his Australian tour (Justin took him on a tour of the tunnels under the stage and was 45 minutes late for his show) Jai also hit the road and released his debut EP – with the lead single ‘Your Eyes’ hitting top ten on the ARIA chart. Now it’s really down to business. Jai says, “Being on X Factor really helped me work out the music I want to make - Something fun that’ll make you feel good.” With his brand new single ‘Get To Know You’ Jai has delivered in spades. A song with a good heart, it’s bright and shiny but more than just surface glow. ‘Get To Know You’ is the perfect example of an extremely difficult and underrated art form – crafting a great pop song – and Jai had some high quality assistance to help make it happen. Jai explains, “I was invited to a song writing camp and got together with Jon Hume (lead singer from Evermore) and Lindsay Rhymes (gunslinger from Nashville). We started playing around and in about 3 or 4 hours had the whole song done!” Just like that. So now the next phase of Jai’s career is about to kick into high gear – a new song and a guest spot onboard The Justice Crews’ upcoming nationwide #HYPETOUR. “I can’t wait!” says Jai. “I know some of the guys through friends of the family, so it’ll be cool to hang out.” So which of the crew are most likely to tempt him into trouble? “Probably the twins!” Jai laughs. Jai Waetford is a young man with a simple and admirable mission – “I just want to make people happy,” he says. “Make some good music and put a smile on people’s faces."A worthy ambition indeed. Make the music you want to make Jai Waetford.

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