When Ella Henderson was axed from the X Factor UK almost two years ago, not many people did think she could still become one of the most exciting new pop stars in the country. After her surprising exit from the competition, Ella disappeared from the public eye for a while and worked hard on her own music in the shadows, together with some pretty well known producers and composers. She surprised everyone when her amazing debut single ‘Ghost’ became one of the biggest hits in the UK this year so far. Ella Henderson shows she is not playing with us with her second single ‘Glow’, that will definitely become another monster hit.
X Factor contestant comes back smashing with huge debut single
Almost two years ago a 16-year-old girl named Ella Henderson auditioned for the UK version of X Factor. She wowed both the judges and the public at home with a beautiful and emotional performance of a song she wrote herself. She went through bootcamp with a stunning piano version of Cher’s ‘Believe’ and ended up in the live shows. After singing quite a lot of ballads there, she was surprisingly axed after a few weeks, finishing in sixth position. Ever since, Ella has been working on her own music, putting some demos online over the past two years. Yesterday, she launched her official first single ‘Ghost’ and I think it is fair to say that probably nobody expected this song from her. Ella is on to a winner with this immense debut single.
Ella Henderson is planning to release her debut album Chapter One later this year. On this record, she worked with composers and producers like Claude Kelly, Egg White and Babyface who all collaborated with some of the biggest pop stars on the planet. For her debut single she got some help from Ryan Tedder, singer of the band OneRepublic, who composed for Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson and Birdy, just to name a few. Tedder and Henderson penned ‘Ghost’ together. Where everyone probably expected Ella to become some sort of Adele sound-a-like, she immediately shows she is a lot more than that on this song. If I have to compare ‘Ghost’ to the sound of other artists who are around at the moment, Paloma Faith and Rebecca Ferguson are names that come to mind. Ella managed to reach their heighest heights when it comes to up tempo tracks with her debut.
Basically everything about ‘Ghost’ is on point. Its huge chorus settles in your mind immediately when it kicks in for the first time at the start of the song. The song has a slight retro soul touch that becomes apparent especially during the verses which sound funky and fresh. The production of the chorus is very well done. The first time, Ella’s voice as well as the instrumentation sound understated and then the chorus comes around again in full force with a big production and Ella’s vocals on full force. It is her distinctive and gorgeous voice that steals the show during the middle-eight as well. She sounds lovely and vulnerable when she pleads to an ex-lover to ‘give up the ghost’ and when she belts the word ‘river’ in the higher register of her vocals at the end of this part, she sounds utterly amazing. It has to be said that the lyrics of the song are very mature and believable. Ella Henderson surprised the world with this funky, soulful, swinging and emotional debut single and if there is any justice in the music industry today, Ella Henderson is going to set the charts on fire very soon.