Viv Hardwick discovers that Jess Glynne tries to avoid all thoughts of fame as she approaches three massive North Yorkshire and North-East summer appearances

‘I DON’T know if you work on being cool. I think it’s something that you naturally have... but I’m joking. I don’t see myself as cool. I do whatever I do when I perform,”says Jess Glynne about her seemingly unflappable approach to stardom.

The 27-year-old has become an in-demand stadium attraction in three years and this summer heads for Scarborough’s Open Air Theatre on August 11 after a booking at York Racecourse in July and before heading for Alnwick Castle.

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“It’s so funny that my performances come across so well, because I love going out on stage. It’s one of my favourite things in the world and I’m glad it looks like that,” she says with a smile.

Things could have been very different for the Hampstead-born singer-songwriter had she gone ahead with an entry for ITV talent hunt X Factor when she was 15. Glynne dropped out of the show’s audition process following a disagreement with the producers. She must now feel she made the right decision.

“I’m just glad I made the choices that I did because I feel that the way everything worked out is perfect for me. I don’t think I’d ever have done X Factor. It was never a real option and just something that was going on at the time. What I did was for the best,” she says.

What does the triple Brit Award Nominee and platinum-selling singer feel about her rapid rise to fame? “One of my friends the other day said, ‘Wow, you’re famous’. But I don’t think of myself as famous. Apparently I am, but I genuinely don’t think about that and regard myself as just normal, I live normally, but I don’t go out and just stay in a little bubble. I won’t lie to you. I stay with what I’m comfortable with. A massive part of my life has changed because I don’t live the way I used to live, but I stick to what and where I’m comfortable with and I don’t get bothered,” Glynne says.

After walking away from X Factor, Glynne worked in a boutique, a fitness centre and a hairdressers, before a year-long music course finally got her noticed. In 2013, she signed for Atlantic Records and, the following year, reached Number One with Clean Bandit’s Rather Be.

“I never imagined hit records, tours and awards when I set off on this road. It’s become a reality and I’ve gone with it and it’s been such a crazy journey that I’ve been on. I couldn’t have planned or imagined any of this. As a kid, you dream about being a singer and the reality of what happens is nothing like that,” she says.

Glynne modestly plays down her achievement of becoming only the second British female solo artist after North-East star Cheryl to reach Number One with five singles. “You know what, I feel blessed because when I set out to do something I always try to do it at my very best. I’m always proud of what I do and I feel that’s a part of it... being real and honest. You don’t know how long things will last and you don’t want to miss out. You never know what’s going to happen next,” she says.

Does Glynne hide behind the sofa or enjoy her best-known single, Hold My Hand, being used for commercials on TV? “I haven’t actually seen it, but I don’t mind. When I do see it I think I’ll just get on with it or change the channel. I like the fact that the song can relate to anything. The song is actually about having somebody there, supporting you and telling you, ‘You can do it’, even when you’re feeling really ****. That’s one side of it, but it could also be about your wife or partner holding your hand through life. Or it could be about your child. That’s what I love about this song.”

Bestival, Glastonbury, V Festival and Wireless have already booked Glynne, now she’s back in the spotlight across Europe and the UK, having sold out tour shows last year and won Best Newcomer and Breakthrough Artist awards.

“Do you know what it is? Going on the road and performing, for me, makes me really nervous and I put a lot of pressure on myself because I want all my shows to be amazing. So, when I go and do a tour, it’s nerve-racking and also one of the most exciting things because I’m bringing all my songs to life. The shows themselves, like the ones in Scarborough, are big and a lot of pressure. The way I look at it is that these are the kind of shows that I may never see again. I have to go and give it my best because you never know what is going to happen afterwards. That’s what is going on in my mind. I just do every show because I love and I appreciate the pressure. I know it’s a lot, but at the same time, I’m here for a reason and I don’t really want to do anything else. The one thing I’m going to do is enjoy it.”

Jess Glynne tour dates: Friday, July 28. York Racecourse. Box Office: 01904-620911 or

Friday, August 11: Scarborough Open Air Theatre. (0844-844-0444) or or 01723-818111.

Saturday, August 12. Alnwick Castle.