An Exclusive Interview With Putney's Very Own X Factor

Jamie "Afro" hopes that he has what it takes to win this year

X Factor is live on Saturday on ITV at 8pm - don't forget to keep Jamie in by voting!
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Jamie "Afro" Archer has been selected, got through the bootcamp and the first live show - and now he has taken time out to chat with to share his views in music, life in Putney and of course life with X Factor!

SW15: In your XFactor interview you say that "Music means everything to me" - How old were you when you realised that music was your passion?

JA: My Mum was always playing music when I was young and when I was about ten I really got in to Marc Bolan from T-Rex, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and so on, and so decided I wanted to play guitar. My parents bought a cheap guitar (Which I still have) and started teaching myself to play watching videos of my heroes performing. That's kinda how it all started really.

SW15: So you come from a musical family?

JA: Yes, my father was a musician who used to tour, write and publish songs etc.. etc.. when he was young and my mum is from a very artistic background.

SW15: Who have been your greatest musical influences?

JA: There are so many, but I will try to narrow it down for you (in no particular order) . The Doors, Dire Straits, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Queen, The Police, U2, Faithless, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Verve, Oasis, Nirvana and so many more who have played a part in my influences!

SW15: What made you apply to X Factor this year & have you tried before?

JA: No, I have never tried for The X Factor before, and never wanted to, to be honest, only because I couldn't see how I could fit in on what I saw was essentially a pop competition.(Where as I'm little more rock). My brother and I work very closely with our music, and always have done. He said to me one night in a telephone conversation, that he thought I should go for the X Factor this year as he thought the show needed someone a little different and I could do really well. Basically we thought the show was ready for something new. and after talking for ages we concluded that this would be the best year to enter and win or not would gain me some good exposure.

SW15: How have you found the X Factor experience so far?

JA: Fantastic!! Its got to be one of the toughest things I have ever done, but I must admit, totally worth it. Bootcamp was so tiring, everyone was feeling it. But they kinda do it to test how mentally and physically strong you are. Even now the hours are very long, and can be exhausting, especially as everything is a little messy because its still only the second week. But wouldn't change a thing though, this is what I've always wanted, and know I am going to have to work hard for it! Loving it!

SW15: Simon Cowell has been nominated your mentor - would he have been your first choice?

JA: Honestly, everyone in my group wanted Simon, he is brilliant, and we feel he totally gets it. And he was over the moon to have us as well, he told more than once. Apparently all the judges wanted the over's 25 this year. Makes us feel good!

SW15: What are your hopes for after X Factor....?

JA: No matter where I get in the competition,I hope to continue for a long time in music. As a solo artist or with my band (JALEXIS 11) who support me all through this journey, I just want to make great records and to tour. I want to be one of the top selling act in the world.

SW15: How does it feel to walk around Putney with people recognising you?

JA: Many people used to recognise me in Putney cause of my hair, but now that has magnified 100 times since I first appeared in the show. To answer your question though, strange, I think is the word I would use.

Everyone is so nice to me, and I love meeting and talking everyone. If I go to the shops for example, I have to triple the time I would normally take. But I cant express how over whelming it can be,sometimes, when everyone is showing their support. I'm just so thankful to everyone.

SW15: Are you Putney born & bred - if yes where did you go to school etc if not when did you start living here?

JA: My family and I moved to Putney way back in '84 but I went to school in Fulham - Peterborough school.

Jamie aged 22 playing at Roehampton University

SW15: What are your favourite haunts in SW15 for eating, drinking,?

JA: Eating: Haven't got one fav place , at the moment the Flute and Whistle in Putney High Street does some really great food, for a pub! ha!!

Drinking: You can find me in many places around, love the Slug and Lettuce in Putney High Street - But if its a quiet drink you will find me in the Jolly Gardener off Lacy Road.

SW15: May no longer be a quiet drink now - sorry! Where do you practice your music & where do you perform locally?

JA: Rehearsal: RMS studios over the Putney Bridge Road. Where do I perform locally? Main place that most people in the area know me for playing at is the Slug and Lettuce. Used to be absolutely packed on a Sunday night. I would come up and play a few songs. Best night in Putney!!

SW15: Corny question I know but what would you have to eat and drink for your last meal?!

JA: Love a top burger and chips I think!! Cause I don't get to eat many of those these days, plus if I do well from all this, I don't want to go down the Elvis route!! Ha!!

October 16, 2009