C: So we?ve seen your fellow competitors Shayne, Chico, Maria and Andy go on to achieve success since the show, but what have you been doing since X-Factor?
B: Well whilst I was still on the X-Factor, unknown to me at the time, the general managers of Chicago had approached Sharon after hearing me sing Son of a Preacher and so when the show and tour had ended, I went on to play Mama Morton in London?s West End for a year, and then on to Carmen Jones. I have also sung at corporate events, one was supporting Smokey Robinson and the Bandits, and to 40,000 people at Cardiff?s Millennium Stadium. I have been GMTV?s X-Factor correspondent for several years and over the last 18 months, I?ve been putting my band together and been gigging with them, playing a mix of songs you will remember from the show, some new ones and some ones you wouldn?t maybe expect from me.
C: Do you still speak to anyone from the programme?
B: Yes I spoke to Chico last week, we went to see a Journey South gig recently. Also Nicholas (the good looking one, and no, I can?t give you his number) and also Maria and Andy. It?s nice to touch base every so often. On the show we were friends first and foremost and keeping the relationship is a testament to our unit.
C: What did you think of Andy?s shot at Eurovision? Is it something you would ever consider doing?
B: I was so upset, he should have been in the top three if not the winner. The song was really good, and he worked really hard on it, it?s a shame they don?t appreciate the quality in the contest. I would never enter, it?s too political and they don?t respect good music.
C: How has X-Factor changed your life?
B: I?m still the same person, I just can?t go shopping as easily as I used to. I get paid lots of money now to do something I love. I have also been very fortunate to work with some fantastic artists and lovely people who I have grown from. I was also very proud when I was voted Favourite Reality Show Person at Screen Nation?s Black BAFTAS. I was glad people voted for me and now I can give something back, because without the people you are nothing.
C: So what are your plans for the future now?
B: I?ve been working on an album, which I will be testing out tonight to see what you think. It?s got a funky sound and a bit of soul. Gospel is my background but I love soul music. I have worked with various producers but the main thing is my band, I really feed off them. It should be out this year if not the next. I really wanted to create a good album and not release one too early just for the sake of it.
C:Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
B: Maybe doing West End shows overseas like Vegas, and with at least one album, go on tour. As Arnie says; ?I?ll be back!?
You can hear Brenda perform with Paul Gambaccini, the BBC orchestra and other guests on BBC Radio 2 on July 4th to celebrate American Independence Day.