There is a real tendency on singing competitions at the moment to reward over-singing. In the post-Jessie J pop landscape, ‘talent’ is often confused with ‘being able to hit every note possible in as little time as possible’.
There are a lot of ‘belters’ in this year’s ‘X Factor’, with varying degrees of success (from Louisa and 4th Power down to Tom Bleasby). There is one person not doing that though, and she absolutely must get through.
Havva Rebke is a popstar. She doesn’t have the range of Louisa or Kiera, but her tone is much warmer and would sound much better on record. Let’s start with her audition. She should not be rewarded for picking a Jessie J song at her first audition, but it was all very good:
Then at the Six Chair Challenge, she did ‘No Diggity’, and showed actual popstar prowess:
She also has a popstar name. It’s like her parents knew at the birth that their daughter would need an easily identifiable name for future pop duties. Admittedly (unless you have a stage name/are in a group), you don’t have much say in having a popstar name, but still.
It’s particularly clichéd to say this but The X Factor is about having ‘a journey’, and Havva is the one person who could ‘grow’ on the show. Let’s look at Fleur East, for example. Who’d have thought when they aired her doing (a rather shoddy) cover of ‘Paper Planes’ that she’d send ‘Uptown Funk’ to Number 1 a few months later?
Or Little Mix. Although they were good at Judge’s Houses, they did not look like a band who could go on to pull off ‘Don’t Let Go (Love)’ a few months later. Not only that, but they did not look like the winners.
This could be Havva.
She’s also the girl in this year’s competition who could compete with pop girls at the level of an X Factor winner. The problem with being an Adele-lite is that level of success is almost unachievable off the back of a couple of singles. It’s the problem with Ella Henderson; her success is over-shadowed by the likes of Adele and Jess Glynne.
Havva is not that kind of popstar. She is more in the lane of, say, Pia Mia, Becky G or Zara Larsson. These are all at the start of their careers, and all have great pop voices. They all have star quality, and all are making amazingly simple pop music. Imagine a Havva single. It’d be a 7.5/10 at least.
So go on Rita, put her through. Here’s some songs I’d like to hear her sing:
- ‘Here’ by Alessia Cara
- ‘Love Me Badder’ by Elliphant
- ‘All My Friends’ (feat. Tinashe and Chance The Rapper) by Snakehips
- ‘Got ‘Till It’s Gone’ by Janet Jackson
- ‘Unpretty’ by TLC