A couple of years ago, Jai Waetford made a name for himself on The X Factor Australia, and now he’s an up-and-coming global solo artist.

Jai Waetford Exclusive

Waetford decided to try his luck in music back back in 2013, auditioning on the singing competition TV show. He blew the judges away with his cover of Jes Hudak‘s “Don’t Let Me Go,” and ended up finishing in third place. Music, however, was not something Waetford had ever considered pursing as a career – until the competition showed him his potential.

“I’ve loved music ever since I was a young kid and I suppose I’ve always been a singer, but I never wanted to make it a career,” Waetford told uInterview in an exclusive interview. “I loved animals as a kid, so I was always working with animals to be a zoo keeper. And so yeah, they were shooting for a TV show in Australia called X-Factor and I placed third and I was like, you know, I might as well give this a go.”

After the show wrapped, Waetford developed a strong following in Australia, though the teen says he’s not quite famous. “Like you get recognized in the street, but it’s not like, yeah I have 10 million girls outside of your house all the time,” he said. “But, it’s cool, it’s cool. It’s different.”

Since breaking out in Australia, Waetford has come to the U.S. in an effort to further propel his career. Working in the States, according to the young singer-songwriter, has been a positive experience that he believes will give him greater opportunities.

“It’s been really cool to experience the music industry here,” Waetford told uInterview. “Like it’s so different. It’s very work-based and you get so much more done…. I think the U.S. has more opportunity [than in Australia]. There’s a lot more opportunity over here just because the population is a lot bigger and just because there’s so many more people willing to help and people willing to do stuff.”

Waetford, who counts Bruno Mars and One Direction as inspirations, released his third EP, Shy, earlier this year.

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