Crouch End star of BBC’s The Voice speaks of life in the spotlight
15:00 05 March 2016
Vangelis Polydorou, 24, whose first name means ‘angel’, says he wants to be judged by his artistic originality.
He quit his job at a frozen food shop to concentrate on his music career.
Vangelis, who is half-Greek and half-Scottish, made it into the battles stage of the contest, where singers go head-to-head after passing the blind auditions, where they are judged solely on their voice.
He said he felt liberated in the early stages of the contest, when the judges sit with their chairs facing away, and only swivel round after deciding they like the performer’s voice.
“It’s a good thing – you’re not judged on the way you look,” Vangelis said.
Outside of the competition, performing in gigs growing up, he felt judged before he opened his mouth.
“I still don’t think there’s lots of gay artists. If you look at the ratio there’s not that many.
“I felt I had to prove myself more,” he said.
“I have worked really hard on my voice.”
It was important for Vangelis to be identified as gay in the contest, rather than coming out after he became famous, like other reality TV stars such as Will Young.
“I don’t want to be one of those people who don’t come out until afterwards,” he said.
“I would rather just be myself.”
In the competition, Vangelis is mentored by Boy George and is up against other contestants who are coached by Paloma Faith, will.i.am and Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky Wilson.
He was told there were originally 43,000 contestants who entered the competition, and only 100 people were selected to appear in front of the celebrity judges.
The singer first joined a choir when he was four and went to performing arts school in Islington.
An ex-employee of frozen meals shop Cook in Crouch End, Vangelis does not regret giving up his job.
“I gave notice last week – I said if I did well I’d just leave and focus on music.”
“The industry is very hard and there is more than one way to get your foot in the door,” Vangelis said.
Inspired by female artists Celine Dion and Lana Del Ray, Vangelis believes in improving his sound, rather than copying the style of other singers.
And he believes contestants on The Voice are different from certain short-lived reality TV stars.
“There are so many people you can see being artists – not just singers.”
The Voice is next on the BBC on Saturday evening.