Performer talks about the future and being coached by Tom Jones

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FROM singing in the church choir to performing on stage in front of millions of viewers, Joseph Apostol has captured the nation’s heart with his stunning voice.

And not only has the 21-year-old from Gillingham become favourite to win hit BBC talent show The Voice but he’s been well and truly taken under the wing of music legend Sir Tom Jones.

The Welsh star chose to take him through to the next stage of the competition following a beautiful rendition of Elton John and George Michael’s classic Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me in the knockout rounds.

Despite his impressive talent, the shy singer is only now coming to terms with his progress.

“There are mixed emotions because it was so nerve-racking being up there [on stage] at the time, but watching the show back I know what is about to happen,” he said.

Joseph came to the UK with his mother when he was 10 years old and attended the St John Fisher Catholic School in Chatham.

It was in his local church that the performer really found his voice.

“I’ve been singing since I was about six, but I have always been into music. The first time I started singing in front of people was when I started going to Christian church.”

And Joseph’s time at MidKent College, where he studies music, has helped to propel him towards stardom.

“My aim is to be heard by everyone and to perform on that stage,” he said.

“The college has really helped me to build my confidence when I perform – they have been a great basis to work from when I am performing.

“I do still have nerves, but that helps me perform. It gives me the right adrenalin.”

And there to help keep the Medway man on track in The Voice’s latter rounds is his coach and team mentor, Sir Tom Jones.

The show’s three other coaches – Jessie J, Will.i.am and The Script’s Danny O’Donoghue – are also big fans.

“Tom has been an amazing coach. I believe he trusts me as an artist and as a singer and that is the one thing you want and hope for from a coach.

“He has given me so many tips as well. The one that really stuck with me was when he said ‘Just be Joseph, just be you’. That means he trusts me. So I am thankful for that.”

Joseph is not your typical pop performer, either, citing jazz and soul legends like Etta James, Ray Charles and Ella Fitzgerald as heroes.

And that is the direction he would like to take his music in the future should his stint on The Voice propel him to his desired industry.

He said: “I love classic jazz and soul music. And of course I like R&B, too, and a bit of pop.

“I think the body of my album would have to be jazz, soul and blues but incorporating a bit of pop for that money-making music.

“Ultimately I’d love to work with Adele. She is that kind of soulful, bluesy type of singer I like.

“I do believe I can win the show. I have to believe in myself and show my confidence in terms of my performances. But also the ultimate dream is to get a recording contract, make my own music and tour all over the world.

“That is why I joined the show.”

As he has stormed through the show, his popularity with the public has grown, with a number of Medway locals and London fans stopping to talk to the young man.

“I have had people come up to me in the street – that was a bit crazy,” he said.

■ You can see Joseph Apostol perform in the knockout rounds this weekend on BBC One.

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