Aiden Grimshaw’s Debut Single…

In terms of pop artists, it’s important to strike whilst the iron is hot; if you don’t manage to get your next major release out whilst you’re still in the public eye it’s unlikely you’ll stay there. And when it comes to xFactor runner-ups, the iron does not stay hot for long, if at all. Which makes the fact that Aiden Grimshaw’s debut single is only being released now particularly interesting.

Aiden who? Well he was a contestant in the 2010 series of the xFactor (the one that Matt Cardle won. Now that’s a musical success story and a feckin half) and should be marked next to Cher Lloyd and Diana Vickers as an xFactor contestant who demonstrated a musical identity that was their own whilst on the show, especially in comparisons to mr/mrs ‘I cover Adele or Ed Sheeran and look serious’ (ie: everyone.) He had a deep, full voice and performed with a showmanship that was at times almost gothic, the best demonstration of his vocal prowess was when he covered Tears For Fears’ Mad World and actually pulled it off, seeming complex and talented rather than out of his depth.

Well believe it or not, now that the iron has well and truly cooled down in terms of Aiden Grimshaw’s fanbase (there’s been another series of xFactor since he was on tv!) he has officially announced his signing to Sony RCA (a big deal) and released his debut single, Is This Love, online.

It sounds like a good Magnetic Man track. Bare in mind that Cher Lloyd’s debut single was the most awful sickly sweet dubpop ‘banger’ imaginable, so much so that Skream got in a spat with Cher Lloydians on twitter as he joked about how awful this attempt at mainstream dubstep was, claiming that he turned down an offer to produce it himself. Well Aiden Grimshaw’s new single actively sounds like it was produced by Skream; it has a mixture of natural and vocoder-ed vocals (he uncannily resembles frequent Skream collaborator Sam Frank on the chorus), a thudding beat that isn’t quite 2step but does the job nonetheless, and the best attempt at a drop in a mainstream pop track I can think of. What really makes the single particularly interesting is that it’s the combination of a very well written and performed pop song, and a commercial dubstep track, the likes of which are hardly common at all (excluding Katy B and Magnetic Man’s previous output)

Here’s a youtube embed of the track, take note of the intensely moody artwork. Is the artwork more interesting then the song? The urban/rural contrast, the vibrant colour scheme and the mysterious hoodied youth holding a flare up, but not above his head. Who is he signalling to? Is he signalling to the city itself, because it’s left him behind? Does he feel seperate from modern culture. Does he represent Britain’s demonised youth?!?! Probably not. But it’s a pretty picture nonetheless.


I wasn’t the only person slighlty shocked when Aiden was kicked off the xFactor so early in the series, and have genuinely been waiting with baited breath for his first release ever since (I can’t say that about any other xFactor contestent) But it seems like Aiden might have the last laugh; Is This Love is a pop masterpiece, and even as I type, #IsThisLove is trending on twitter. Hopefully it’ll be a massive hit, because to be frank, it’s the most interesting thing to have ever come out of the xFactor by a long shot.