Hands up if you’re an X-Factor fan! You’re not? Neither am I to be perfectly honest. It’s about as real as the wrestling I watch every week, on WhatCulture Wrestling (cheap plug). But if you are a fan or like me, one day walked past the living room and had a nosey, chances are you have heard of Janet Devlin.
Over the course of this article, I shall be talking about my experience as a Janet Devlin fan, from Day 1 to present day. I will also be giving my thoughts on her career and why she is indeed, a special kind of musician.
It was 20th August 2011. I had gone through some unfortunate, lets say “things” that year. I was passing through the living room, to go sit on Facebook as usual and complain about my day, using words like “lolz” because I was super edgy back then.
I was minding my own business with the door slightly open, when I heard an Irish voice on TV. My mum and sisters were watching The X Factor on ITV. I poked my head around the door to see where this cute voice was coming from. It was of course Janet Devlin.
Now I was 15 at the time, and at the time her audition was shown she was 16. I don’t need to say what went through my mind, but I kept watching. Then she started to sing and her audition song was “Your Song” by Elton John.
It has been a while since I’ve watched it back, but I remember everyone being stunned. The audience, the judges and myself. I had no idea what to think. It was as if my heart just melted. It was perfect.
Over the following weeks, I was hooked. I had created a twitter, spent a lot of my mum’s money voting, bought an “I love Janet Devlin” t-shirt from a guy on eBay. I was a huge fan. Her fanbase were, and still are great too.
One of my first followers was Jenii Rose, someone I became good friends with and who hunted Janet down almost every show. Janet herself even followed me! Janet performed some amazing songs, in unique ways. She changed her look, became more confident.
Eventually things went wrong. Despite having little to no flaws in her singing (only a few issues with lyrics), she was voted off. Fans across the internet were enraged, myself included. The one unique genuinely gifted performer they had, had been voted off.
We were all very proud of Janet and stayed loyal fans, although I will admit there were brief periods I maybe wasn’t as loyal a fan as others. At one point I fell out with some Devlinators and stopped listening to her music for a fair few months. I eventually started again, regretting the decision to not listen.
In 2013, I met my now ex-girlfriend. I won’t go into too many details, but we met through being a fan of Janet. On September 26th we saw Janet live at The Fleece in Bristol. I travelled all the way from Hull to do so. It was also to meet my ex, but if I’m honest I was more excited to see Janet. Afterwards, we got to meet Janet. She gave us a hug, took a picture with us and I told her how we met.
I of course choked on my words, I just met my favourite person on the planet. She seemed happy and then we moved on as there was a rather long queue. I will never forget that moment, despite the circumstances. It seemed Janet didn’t forget either as a while later when she launched her app (You can download the Janet Devlin App FREE on Google Play), she started to do shout-outs.
She gave a shout-out to us and remembered us from the gig. She was happy we were still an item. Even 2 years after that moment, I queried whether or not Janet remembered us and she said yes. The relationship ended in the second year, and that’s all I will say about that.
Over the past 5 years Janet has released 2 albums, 3 EP’s, 5 singles, has featured in 3 songs, has appeared in 7 music videos, uploaded many poems to YouTube and has took part in 4 tours.
She has performed gigs in different countries, on the internet and releases as many free videos to YouTube as she can. Not too bad for someone who broke the mould for X Factor contestants and didn’t even make the final 3.
Now I have rambled on now about my experiences as a fan and meeting her etc. It’s time I spoke directly about Janet.
This year, Janet released her single “Outernet Song”. I pre-ordered a bundle off of her store the second I had spare money. Janet has been asking fans to at least just buy her single and from what I’ve seen, many have done so. Within good reason too, the song is amazing!
It has a strong anti-bullying message and encourages people to get off the internet, and enjoy life in the Outernet every once in a while. I took her advice and occasionally spend an hour or two without the internet. It feels nice, going out and talking, rather than messaging on Facebook and Snapchat. It doesn’t mean I’ll give it up completely, but a break is nice.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bpmnH3aQCYQ You can listen to the Outernet Song here.
After listening to Outernet Song way more than any other song in my playlist, I sat down to think. Nowadays songs are about sex, drugs, partying and encouraging kids to do the wrong thing.
Musicians with fans who are only young, are putting out music videos that simply put, look like softcore porn. I thought about the old bands I listened to in school. The heavy, depressing lyrics. Then it hit me.
Janet has everything. If you’re sad and need sad music. Listen to Janet. If you’re being bullied and need someone to look up to, listen to Janet. If you’re happy and need happy songs, listen to Janet! All these people are looking up to celebrities who aren’t exactly ideal role models, and yet the perfect role model has been there all along.
Her kindness towards fans, her approach to bullies, her dedication to her career and most impressively her ability to adapt her style, look and attitude, yet still be relevant. Not many musicians can successfully say they have done that. So go buy a T-shirt, like her on Facebook, watch her on YouTube.
Hell, go and buy her new single (only 99p from Google Play, Amazon, iTunes and janetdevlin.com) because she deserves to be up there with all the rest. She deserves a number one single. She deserves a bigger fanbase. She deserves a major record deal.
I can genuinely say that although I may’ve had ups and downs over the last 5 years, Janet Devlin has made my life a whole lot better. Through her music, her kindness, her everything. There is truly nobody like Janet and I will be a fan, for as long as I possibly can.
In closing, I have only one sentence left to say.
Janet Devlin really is, a special kind of musician.
Thank you for reading.