BWW Interview: Jai McDowall Talks Live At Zedel Show

BWW Interview: Jai McDowall Talks Live At Zedel Show
Jai McDowall

Since winning Britain's Got Talent in 2011, Jai McDowall has performed around the world, and released several singles and other recordings. The Ayrshire singer speaks to BroadwayWorld about his upcoming solo show at Live at Zedel.

You've come a long way since Britain's Got Talent. Any career highlights?

Many. I've performed in venues all over the world, but my favourite memory will always be performing with Josh Groban at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

Live at Zedel is a much smaller venue than the theatres and arenas you've performed at in the past. Do you prepare your set any differently?

For this gig, it will just be my friend Ryan McKenzie on piano and me, so that changes the tone immediately. I've also chosen more musical theatre songs since I'm in London's West End. I've even thrown in a few new songs to keep me on my toes.

What types of music were you brought up with?

I was brought up with a very eclectic variety of music - from Queen to Cliff Richard. Also country music like Kenny Rogers, and some ABBA thrown in for good measure.

What can we expect during the show?

I have some familiar showtunes, but I've also included an original or two just to keep the audience guessing. I am also guaranteed to say something funny at some point...

Will any special guests be joining you?

Yes, I have my wonderful friend Melissa Cavanagh, who was was a contestant on The Voice, joining me for a few numbers.

BWW Interview: Jai McDowall Talks Live At Zedel Show
Melissa Cavanagh

If you could sing a duet with anyone, who would it be, which song and why?

If I could pick anyone, I would love to sing with Celine Dion. We could sing a little bit of "Beauty and the Beast", or something new that we could release together!

Do you have any new projects coming up that we should know about?

I am currently in talks with a few songwriters in Nashville, so hopefully I'll be heading out there soon - I'll need to polish off my cowboy boots!

In the UK, I am playing Prince Charming at Harlequin Theatre in Redhill's pantomime starting in December, so feel free to pop along and see me in tights. (I won't be wearing tights. Well...I don't think I am, at the moment!)

How have your reality show experiences helped you navigate a performing career?

It gave me a wonderful platform to springboard me into what have been some of the best times in my life. It's not always been easy, but I wouldn't change it for the world. I get to do what I love, and that's something many people don't get the chance to say in life.

Do you have any advice for aspiring performers for adapting your singing voice across different styles?

I would honestly say I don't. For me it's just been all about practising different styles. I have many friends who concentrate on one style, but I'm sure could easily perform another if they practised. Keep practising - get in those 10,000 hours!

Why should people come to the show?

Other than the free booze - there's no free booze, sadly - it'll be a great night. I can promise lots of good songs and even some singing. I might even let you dance to the slow numbers.

Jai McDowall at Live at Zedel 20 September

Photo credit: Leo Holden

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