battling visa troubles Gamu Nhengu is now preparing to launch her music career.
The former X Factor contestant is back and has a new single Shake The Room. Gamu, 21, turned to the 1960s for inspiration and mixed it with a contemporary twist of the RnB sound that she loves.
Her official first single from the album A Love Like This, is Shake The Room and it is her introduction to the world as a solo artist with a sound she has dubbed Nu: Vintage. SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO
Gamu took a year to complete her debut album because she wanted to make sure her first offering was something she could be proud of.
She said: 'I wanted to make something that would last, something timeless, classic and classy – like a Chanel suit.
'It was all about what direction I wanted to take, about trying to find who I was. Most of the songs are about love, because I wanted to sing about what I knew.
'I wanted things I could relate to: being in love, and heartbreak. The same things any young person will write about, really.'
Music has always been a big part of her life and it has helped her through many tough times. She said: 'Music has always been an escape for me. I wrote my first song when I was six, and even in nursery school, I was in every play.
'If you’re African, music is embedded in you. If you’re doing the dishes, you’re singing.'
Having grown up in Harare, Zimbabwe, she moved to the small Scottish town of Clackmannanshire when she was young and auditioned for X Factor in 2010.
Unfortunately, Cheryl Cole chose to take Katie Waissell and Cher Lloyd through to the live shows instead of Gamu.
The media exposure also triggered a brief storm about her family’s visa status, although they have always lived in the UK legally, and when their case went to court, it was dismissed in a matter of minutes.
'It was all overwhelming,' Gamu says now. 'I couldn't go to get my eyebrows done without someone chasing me down the street and offering me a record deal, or saying they could do this thing or that thing for me.
'But though I was very flattered that people were interested, I needed to feel comfortable, like I wasn’t selling myself short. So I waited for the right thing.'
With the support of the British public Gamu found the strength to carry on with her pursuit of a music career and eventually signed to Scottish independent label GSound Records, because it felt 'like a family'.
She said: 'It's more like a family. In a big label, I think I'd have been more like a child, being told what to do. But in a small label, you get to know everybody and they get to know you. That was definitely important to me.'