The Voice winner Kevin Simm is preparing to start a brand new chapter with the release of his debut solo album, Recover. The stunning collection of soulful songs sound miles apart from the pop Simm recorded while a member of noughties pop group Liberty X. Nonetheless, the singer-songwriter says he is "proud" of his Liberty X era but claims he is finally coming into his own.
Recover, which is set for release on 28 October under Universal Music, comes six months after Simm was crowned winner of The Voice in April. The album offers Simm the opportunity to showcase his true passion for soul having taken inspiration from the likes of Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye.
The Wildfire singer has certainly come a long way from his pop roots – fans old enough to remember Liberty X will recall Simm cutting choreographed dance routines to the group's chart-topping 2002 single Just A Little.
Reflecting on his first shot at stardom, Simm told IBTimes UK: "I think with Liberty X, I loved being in the band and I was really proud of what we did with the music. It would be difficult for it to represent any of us individually [to say] that's what we're about. I guess as a band it worked."
He continued: "But I've always been into soul music, it's always been what I've looked up to. I always did think with Liberty X that after the band I would love to try and do something on my own. So I'm just really grateful that I've got the chance to do that."
Simm wowed judges at his audition for fifth series of The Voice with his rendition of Sia's Chandelier clocking up 6.2 million views on YouTube. Some would suggest that Simm already having a profile as a member of Liberty X contributed to his success on the show but the singer does not agree. Simm explained: "I think people knowing the storyline of me being in Liberty X and going to The Voice, I don't think it really helped at all.
"Obviously it gives you a bit of a talking point but it was like a double-edged sword for me personally because that would have been one of the reasons that I didn't want to go and do The Voice. I was quite hesitant because I thought if people know that I've been in a band before then I could get treated differently in a negative way. I'd also seen in past years that people had gone on there and not got turned... I wouldn't say it's embarrassing because that's not a nice thing to say but it's probably not a nice feeling."
Back to the present and Simm's solo career is off to a promising start with Recover. Explaining the album title, Simm explained: "There's a track on the album called Recover, which is about how you would feel if you lost a certain person in your life.
"But the actual title of the album was, for me, I felt like I'd been brought back from the dead a little bit with doing The Voice and what came from winning it. It's more about that, being on the floor and picking yourself up."
Kevin Simm's debut album Recover will be available from 28 October and features the lead single Wildfire, co-written by Simm and One Direction songwriter Ed Drewett.