AT just 21, former X Factor star Nicholas McDonald is preparing to make his pop comeback.

The very prospect of returning to the limelight when he is barely out of his teens might seem a bit premature to some. But then again Nicholas was just a schoolboy when he first found fame on the X Factor.

Five years on, he has travelled the world as a cruise ship entertainer and gained the experience needed to write the sort of music worthy of a hit.

“I am a wee bit nervous you know but I am really really excited,” Nicholas beamed as he contemplated his pop comeback.

He continued: “It’s nerve-wrecking, that’s why it has taken so long to release music because I wanted to write stuff I know people enjoy.

“Financially I am doing all of this off my own back. I am really grateful for all the people who stood by me after all this time and still want to hear music.I just want to get it out there and let people have an opinion on it.”

Nicholas says his second album, which is 80 per cent done, will be packed with original radio friendly songs. It follows on from his debut In the Arms of an Angel which peaked at number six in the charts - not bad for an X-Factor runner-up.

And while his fans might be used to him singing the big pop ballads including his spine-tingling rendition of You Raise Me Up, Nicholas will turn his attention to dance music as a performer in the Colours Classical event at the SSE Hydro on Saturday, September 29.

He said: “It is different and dance music is something I listen to with my mum and dad.

“A gig like the Hydro you don’t get offered very much, you can never knock anything like that back.”

He added: “I am really looking forward to it, I think the crowd is going to be wild.”

Nicholas was invited to take part in the Colours Classical event last year, which features a 50-piece orchestra playing some of dance music’s most recognisable hits. But he declined after he was offered a chance to be a crooner on a cruise ship. For Nicholas, it was too big an opportunity to miss.

“I got to travel the world, I went to Cuba, Mexico, America, Canary Islands and the Bahamas,” he chimed.

He continued: “It was a working holiday and I had the absolute time of my life.

“It is something I would do again in the future but right now I am just focusing on the music and the things I have got planned for the rest of the year.”

The Lanarkshire lad, who lives in Motherwell with his family, also had the time of his life as a finalist in the X Factor in 2013.

Reminiscing about that time, he said: “People always ask me, ‘would you ever do it again?’

“I done it at the right age, I was 16/17 and if I did it at this age I would think about it too much.

“I was out of high school, away working in this big house down in London with not a care in the world.

“I think now I would maybe let it get to me, and crack under pressure.”

He added: “I watched the show for the first time in about three years and I thought it just never has changed.

“The first act on was having a carry on and I was thinking to myself, why would you want to open up the show like that?

“You want to open with an amazing singer which makes people go if that is the first act, think how amazing the show will be. “

He continued: “I think the judging line up is absolutely fantastic. I have met Robbie Williams, Louis Tomlinson and Simon Cowell, and they are all really nice. I haven’t met Ayda Field but Robbie invited me and my mum down to watch him perform at the Hydro a few years ago.”

Although he is in the infancy of his career, Nicholas has continued to focus his efforts on charity work.

Having been diagnosed with Long QT Syndrome, he realises the importance of helping those who need it the most, and it is something he is extremely passionate about.

He said: “When I was wee I took a cardiac arrest playing football and I was diagnosed with a heart condition which is incurable.

“I was in and out of Yorkhill at the time so I do a lot of work for Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, I’m an ambassador for them.

“It is always good to give back and help others. Charity starts at home but if you can help as many people as you can, then that is great.”

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