Darnall man Andrew Murray certainly has the X Factor – Scandinavian style!
The Sheffield singing sensation is taking Denmark by storm after making it through to the live shows of the country’s X Factor TV series.
Andrew, who is originally from Darnall but now lives in Copenhagen, is a firm favourite with fans of the show – but admitted he never expected to get so far.
The 52-year-old said: “It’s brilliant, I’m surprised at how popular I am because all the other contestants are brilliant. I’m nervous about them getting too good.”
Andrew is in three rock bands – with another in the pipeline he says – and plays a mixture of covers and his own music.
He even performed his own song, written with his band The Counzil on the X show, wowing the audience – and it was an emotional moment.
He said: “I played our number Lonely Is The Road. My daughter was there and was mouthing the words. She’s heard it so many times and the band were there, everyone was clapping, it was amazing.”
Andrew makes parts for syringes for Multiple Sclerosis injections in Denmark and has lived in the country for 28 years with daughter Maria, 21.
He hopes competing on the X Factor will open doors for him to play music professionally.
Andrew decided to apply for the show because – in his own words – he thought he was becoming ‘boring’.
He said: “I didn’t want to become just another boring citizen. I moved to Denmark because I didn’t want to be average, and doing this is part of that.”
Comfortable in front of a live audience of 300 people, Andrew has been singing since he was a child.
He said: “It started when I was a young lad, I used to watch musicals with my mother like Oklahoma and West Side Story. I started learning the songs and singing them at home.
“Then as an older teenager I found out that you could score beer in pubs by singing a song every now and then.”
A true showman, he insists he never gets nervous about performing as he is an old hand, playing festivals in Bristol and Stoke and singing at hundreds of live gigs.
Even his new-found fame doesn’t faze him as he has started to be recognised in Copenhagen, with people stopping him in the street.
Andrew said: “It’s great, it doesn’t feel strange. I’m in a few bands locally so people do come up and talk to me. But now when I’m in Copenhagen people do recognise me. I love it!
“I was walking from the studio to the dressing room and there was a door open and there was a flock of schoolchildren – they must have been on a trip or something and they said ‘Hey it’s Andrew’. So I went over to them and they all wanted selfies and some were asking me to sigh their arms.”
Andrew is diehard Sheffield Wednesday fan and wears the team’s badge every time he performs.
He said: “I always wear a Sheffield Wednesday badge when I wear a jacket and I wear it on stage. I still follow what’s happening even though I live over here now and it is difficult to see the matches. I still go when I visit family too.” Andrew does not think he will win the show but doesn’t want to fade from the spotlight like so many other contestants.
He said: “The competition is really good this year, I’m am hoping to win it but everyone else is so good. I want to win and I want to do well afterwards too. I want to do more with my own bands and get bigger jobs.
“Before the X Factor The Counzil were actually going to release an album and we have had some people wanting us for jobs, but we’ve put that on hold but hopefully afterwards we’ll be able to distribute that. I’m just going to enjoy it while I’m here.”