With her warm demeanour and husky, soulful voice, Louise Setara was instantly a firm favourite to scoop the X Factor crown for The Overs.
Belting out her own original track, A Moment of Your Time – which earned her a standing ovation from the judges – Simon Cowell told her, “This is one of my favourite auditions, full stop. Genuinely. You came out here with confidence, you sung a beautiful song and your voice was amazing.”
The 30-year-old, who works full-time as a cleaner, explained that she previously was a professional singer, signed to EMI in February 2007.
“I did music before, when I was younger,” she told the panel. “But then I met someone. I gave up music, got married, and had kids.”
But Louise’s singing career pre-marital bliss was far more than a flash-in-the-pan attempt to get famous, with the hopeful at the time being pitched as the next Joss Stone.
Discussing her past in a 2007 interview with RockWired magazine, Louise, who joked she was singing before she was even taking, explained, “When I was 14, I sang in a talent show in London and my current manager was one of the judges. After I finished singing, I met up with him.
“Ever since then, I just went to the studio and for a year we were just knocking out tracks. When I was 15, I signed a management deal with Kwame Kwaten, who has previously worked with Seal and Mick Jagger. ”
Her first album, Still Waters (which you can still listen to on Apple Music, by the way) peaked at 79 when it was released in 2006.
The debut, which featured contributions from Chaka Khan and two songs co-penned by Seal, initially launched Louise’s career, seeing her tour with Lionel Ritchie and hang out with Beverley Knight.
Despite 12 years having passed since her first release, Louise has said that old fans have now got in touch with her to throw support behind her during her X Factor journey.
Louise Setara, X Factor (Thames/Syco, KB)
“It has been amazing because there’s a lot of love for the old album, my debut album,” she told the Express. “So many fans that sort of lost touch with me years ago have got back in touch and it has been so lovely. It’s been so lovely to make contact with them.”
However, the star admits she’s not so social media savvy, having created accounts on the biggest platforms specifically for the show.
“I’m just not great with social media,” she admitted. “I just don’t actually know how to work it. I’m a bit like my dad.”
Mum-of-two Sarah’s X Factor journey comes after the death of her husband William Gaskin last year.
William was killed by a driver while riding his pony and trap in Burlesdon, near Southampton. Louise now raises her two sons, William and Isaac, as a single mum
Speaking about the tragic incident, she explained, “The tragedy we went through was a big old push for me to get up and finally try to achieve the dream I’ve been so hoping for all of these years.
“Him passing away really made me feel you’ve got to grab life with two hands and run with it. You can’t give up because if you do there’s no one else to pick up those pieces for you. You’ve got to be a warrior, you’ve got to be a champion.”