Northern Irish singer David Jackson is preparing to do battle in The Voice tonight, buoyed by the support he has received from fans in the Province.
“The messages of support have been incredible, I hadn’t expected any of it,” he said.
“It’s been nuts. You know what people are like from Northern Ireland. They find it hard to take a compliment.
“It’s a nice thing to have to get used to.”
The football fan who supports Liverpool and Rangers commented: “A few of the contestants have had a bit of trolling but I’ve had nothing but positive comments.
“They used a photo of me wearing a Rangers top on the show and I thought maybe I’d get a bit of stick for that.
“I’m from Taughmonagh and that’s not something I want to hide. The great thing about music is the power to bring people together. It’s not about where you’re from, your football team or your politics. It’s about the music.”
Tonight the 29-year-old is up against J-Hud team mate Israel Allen as The Voice move onto The Battle stage.
He said: “Israel is an incredible singer so it’s going to be nervewracking.”
“The blind audition was the first time I’ve been out on my own on stage for 10 years,” said David.
He explained: “What made me do it? It was the big 3-0. Music has always been a big part of my life, but now I’m approaching 30 I felt the need to put everything into it.
“I’ve been in some bands but they didn’t turn into worldwide successes which is what anybody in a band is trying to get.
“I’d always said about doing The Voice and my mum, who has been my biggest fans since I was a boy singing in a wee church in Sicily Street, has been on at me to do it.
“The Voice is such a credible show. It’s literally just about your voice, it’s not about how you look or any other gimmicks.
“Perfect for a big lad from Belfast who’s about to turn 30.”
David explained that he had recently quit his job so he could concentrate on making an impression in the music industry.
He said his experience on The Voice has given him the extra push he needed.
“The fact that I got three of these coaches to turn round, I can’t describe the boost it gives you,” he said.
“It would be great to get through to the live shows and public vote, but if I’m unsuccessful tonight I have plenty of options to explore.
“I’m not ruling out anything. I’ve now got the confidence to do solo stuff as well as being part of a ban. I can write my own songs, do covers, record with other artists. As long as I’m making music I’m happy.
“There are some great acts coming out of Northern Ireland at the minute – Foy Vance, Soak, Ryan McMullan, Jealous of The Birds. Fiona, my bandmate from Runaway GO, is doing her own thing with Larks. That’s another one to listen out for.
“I’ve a lot of friends around Belfast involved in music – Ryan McMullan, Russian Dolls, Emerald Armada.
“It’s a great time to be involved in music.”