It’s four years since television viewers first saw Jonathan Antoine stand nervously on stage in his Britain’s Got Talent audition.
Simon Cowell appeared unimpressed by the arrival of the shy 17 year old with singing partner Charlotte Jaconelli but when the teenager opened his lungs and let loose that rich and powerful voice there was no doubting an amazing new talent.
Jaws must have dropped in admiration all over the nation as Jonathan sang his way to instant acclaim and the launch of what would be a dazzling musical career. Jonathan made it through to the BGT final in 2012 and he worked with Charlotte for a year and a half but then went solo, and it is alone that he comes to perform at the Royal Hippodrome Theatre on November 6.
He has been looking forward to his tour and hopes his audience will leave smiling.
“Essentially it is going to be just me and the piano,” he said. “It will be really raw, very simplistic, and I want to strip away a lot of the extraneous layers of production that separate the audience from the musician. I want it simple, it will be a one-on-one show if you like, just me with pianist Robert Emery. The show is kind of a cool collection I think, basically everything from the album I released last October, a whole bunch of fun from filmic stuff like the Godfather to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a few things from musicals and some real old classics. I hope it is unexpected...we are not going to try and alienate everyone, there will still be what people know from me, but I want to spice it up and throw in a few interesting twists and turns.
“The thought of touring does make me nervous, I have got to admit, but there is something about seeing all these beautiful faces of people coming to the show and just wanting to have a nice time. There is something so fulfilling about that.”
Jonathan is still only 20 so has come a long way in a short time and it’s fair to say in a much happier state: could he have ever dreamed how it would all turn out? “I might have,” said Jonathan, “but it was certainly only a dream. I could never have expected any of this from my real life. It is insane. I have been able to do so many things I would never have thought of doing. I have been able to live my life and have so much fun. That is something I am incredibly thankful for. I express myself and I do my thing. It is so good, I am so fulfilled by it every single day.”
Looking back he feels the BGT success came just when he needed it.
“I was not in a very good place prior to the show. It all came around at the right time – it saved me from myself. I like to think I am the same person but just a lot happier. A lot of people find different ways of finding solace...and mine was in music.”
He will be touring with his girlfriend Michelle accompanying him and having that support he says makes it all “a lot easier,” adding: “It’s being able to come off stage and have someone right there who understands.” They have been together “on and off” for more than five years.
Looking forward what are Jonathan’s hopes for the future? “The overall aim of mine is to create music and have people enjoy it. i would like to make a new album soon. I want to get this tour out to people and have them enjoy it. My overall goal is a kind of weird thing; I just want to master the art of the voice. I want to be able to do anything with my voice, and have fun with it.”