Nicholas McDonald talks to ESP’s Mikey Clarke about his new album, single, time on X Factor, and how one incident could have stopped it all from happening…

I know it’s a little ‘uncool’ to say so, but I’m a big fan of X Factor. When ESP’s Editor asked if I wanted to interview Nicholas McDonald, I was more than happy to do so. He’s spent so many hours on my television that I almost felt like I knew him… but it turns out, not as well as I thought I did! During his time on the popular show, Nicholas kept a big secret from us. All will be revealed shortly.


After making it to the live final of the show in 2013 alongside Luke Friend and Sam Bailey, Nicholas signed to RCA Records and will soon be releasing his debut album ‘In the Arms of an Angel’.

Before discussing the album, I wanted to know what life has been like for the young Scottish singer since the show ended. “Things have been crazy busy,” he said during our exclusive interview. “With the X Factor Tour, my album and a single to work on, it’s fair to say things have been really hectic.”

Nicholas continued, “I’ve always been a fan of X Factor, so as soon as I was old enough (16) I entered and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. I’ve made some really good friends from the show too. I’ll be spending a week with Sam Callahan soon and will be seeing Sam Bailey after that.” 

Being a 16-year-old suddenly catapulted into the spotlight on national television must be a surreal experience. Nicholas described it as, “Completely crazy. Nothing prepares you for something like that. Luckily I had a lot of support from friends, family and producers of the show.”


Nicholas’s first track to be released from the album is a song called ‘Answerphone’. He told me, “I chose that as my first song because it’s a really original, fresh and fun song. It’s a song that I knew I would enjoy performing.”

Other tracks on the album include covers of pop classics Someone Like You, Flying Without Wings, Just The Way You Are, and a song titled Superman – which is unfortunately not a cover of the Black Lace party classic (I had to ask!).

Nicholas and I ended our chat on a more serious topic. I had heard the singer has always tried to live each day to the fullest after an incident that happened when he was 8-years-old. I asked what that incident was. “I almost died,” he revealed. “Well technically I did. I was playing football at the age of 8, I remember passing the ball before I collapsed. I was later told that I’d had a cardiac arrest and died.” After the incident he was diagnosed with Long QT syndrome – a rare and dangerous heart condition, which Nicholas didn’t want to talk about during his time on X Factor in case fans would see it as a ‘sob story’.

The singer’s debut album ‘In the Arms of an Angel’ is out March 17.

The single ‘Answerphone’ is out March 16. Listen to it below… [youtube id=”UKDa6GE–KI” width=”600″ height=”350″]

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