THIS time last year, Warrington stood behind Mo Jamil as he appeared on the TV final of The Voice, watched by millions.

Now 12 months later, his debut album is just around the corner.

Mo, 22, entered ITV talent show with his good friend and housemate Max Vickers and after an audition that earned him acclaim from all four judges he went on to win the competition with Jennifer Hudson as his coach.

Since then the former St Gregory’s RC High School pupil, who used to do open mic nights at The Lounge bar in Springfield Street, has been hard at work on his debut album, Evolve, which he was determined not to rush out.

It is finally being released on Friday, and after a rollercoaster year for the Warrington singer-songwriter, he spoke to Weekend about his experiences on the show and his life since.

He will also appear at The Halliwell Jones Stadium on Friday during half time as the Wolves take on Widnes Vikings.

Mo said: “I’m very excited, I just want to get everything moving now.

“It’s been a massive change going from working at The Lounge to me being in the studio but I’ve really enjoyed it.

“There’s been a lot to get used to but I have loved it.

“I’ve loved being in the studio, I’ve been writing with a lot of cool people and it’s just been really enjoyable.”

It’s almost been a year since The Voice final but Mo still finds the events of the show difficult to process.

The former St Barnabas CE Primary School pupil added: “I was very surprised, I was just stood there like ‘I don’t know how to react, what’s going on’.

“I’ve loved every minute of it, I’ve had a lot of support from friends and family and it’s been really good to share all of this with them.

“It was amazing when I came home and I sang at the Warrington Wolves game because I used to go the games when I was younger so it was great to actually be in the middle of the pitch performing.

“Obviously it was great when I got back home to Warrington, everyone was really supportive.”

Meanwhile Mo, who is performing at the Neighbourhood Weekender festival at Victoria Park in May alongside the likes of Noel Gallagher and Courteeners, is back on The Voice for 2018.

He is working as a mentor for Jennifer Hudson’s team and he’s excited to be back on the show.

He said: “I had such a great time on the show, from the auditions I feel like I grew a lot and I came out of my shell the more the show went on so I’m really happy to be back where it all started.

“It’s really strange being on the other side because you know exactly what the other contestants are going through.

“But when you’re watching it from the other side you see how hard it is for the judges to make decisions because everyone’s so unique and everyone’s so talented.

“When I’m at home with Max we talk about it when we watch it and we both just think about how fast it all happened and knowing what everyone’s going through makes it really interesting to watch.”

Even with the imminent release of his debut album, Mo still finds the whole experience difficult to breakdown.

He added: “If you’d have told me last year this is where I’d be now I definitely would have struggled to believe it, it’s been a blessing.

“The support I’ve received over the past year has been great.

“I really hope that the album speaks for itself, it’s been a great experience for me and it all means a lot to me.

“We’ll be making announcements soon so there are things in the pipeline, I’m looking forward to getting on stage again and performing.

“I’ve been in the studio for a long time so it will be fun to get on stage and show people what I can do.”

Adapting to the change in lifestyle can often prove the biggest difficulty for people thrust into the limelight, but Mo has been careful to make sure that he is ready for challenges fame can bring.

He said: “At first it was challenging, over time though I have adapted to it and I’m really enjoying it.

“I’ve made a lot of friends in London and I’ve got good friends in Warrington so it’s balanced really well.

“I’m nervous but I’m feeling really positive about the album and I’ve learnt a lot over the last year so I’m looking forward to getting it out there and performing.

“I try to keep my feet on the ground, when I go home I literally go straight to The Lounge, that’s usually my first stop.

“I try and take it a day at a time because it can be overwhelming.”

The Lounge in Warrington featured on The Voice during the semi final show as Mo and Max played a homecoming show to their friends, family and a couple of school teachers.

Mo added: “It seriously meant a lot to us and it kept us both going, we love our hometown and there’s a lot of great musicians in Warrington so to be part of that scene is great.”

  • Mo Jamil’s debut album, Evolve, is out on Friday and features his new single That Feeling
  • The Warrington singer will be doing an album signing at HMV Warrington on Tuesday, April 3, at 4.30pm. For more information click here