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RHYDIAN ROBERTS.

RHYDIAN Roberts has ably proved that there is life after parting ways with Simon Cowell.

The famously bleached-blonde baritone from Brecon finished runner-up in Series 4 of X Factor, and was immediately offered a record contract by the music mogul the day after the show's finale.

Rhydian, 28, went on to sell 600,000 copies of his eponymously-titled debut album and shifted 100,000 units of his second O Fortuna.

However, he made the decision to walk away from the showbiz svengali's label last year to sign with the independent Conehead Records. "I think I served my time with him and it just felt like the right thing to do," he explains matter-of-factually.

"We talked, he saw my point of view and we're still in touch today.

"Basically, I wanted to be a priority when it came to my record label, and when you're on the same roster as someone like Susan Boyle who's sold 11 million records then you're not going to get that.

"So I signed to Conehead Records because they're lovely, enthusiastic people who are behind me and my new album 100%."

In a packed post-X Factor career, Rhydian has become a patron of The Prince's Trust, posed nude in Cosmopolitan to raise awareness for prostate cancer, toured in a blockbusting musical version of The War of the Worlds and is now touring in Queen's West End smash hit musical We Will Rock You, as well as putting the finishing touches to his new album.

The singer confesses that the new long player may come as quite a surprise to fans of his previous output.

"It will, it's a New Wave pop record," Rhydian reveals "I don't really see myself as a classical singer anymore and I got the idea for this after hearing an old cassette tape of my brother's which had bands on it like Blancmange, The Lover Speaks and White & Torch, which a lot of people might not remember.

"When I heard it I got really excited and thought, 'I could put my stamp on that'."

He added that he hoped to emulate the recent '80s-raising chart success of artists like Hurts and La Roux.

"It's going to give me the chance to show off a bit more of the showman everyone got to see on the X Factor.

"People will be shocked but I hope it won't lose me any fans," he said.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 17, 2011
Words:404
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