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You can beat the bullies... Britain's Got Talent star Bailey McConnell tells ROZ LAWS how he used his music to come out of a dark place and how he hopes to inspire kids going through similar difficulties.

EING bullied left singer Bailey McConnell feeling so depressed that he wished he was dead.

BThe first single from the Britain's Got Talent star is about how he overcame a dark time in his life.

Now he wants to help others who are having problems and encourage them to open up as he has done. He has become an ambassador for the mental health charity YoungMinds.

Bailey is just 16 and has seen his life transformed in the two years since he wowed the judges on Britain's Got Talent.

my troubled time. hope of can to it That appearance has now been watched 16 million times on YouTube and he has 124,00 followers on Twitter.

He has toured America and is now on his second UK tour, which includes Birmingham - the city where, he reveals, he met his idol Ed Sheeran.

Bailey is releasing his single, Crystalise, on September 11. He uses the lyrics to open up for the first time about his battle with depression.

He says: "I went through a tough time at the start of secondary school when I was bullied.

"I was about 11 and I got really down about it, although now I look back and think 'Why did I get myself in such a state?'.

"It was awful at the time, a lot of name calling and I wasn't strong enough to not mind. It got inside me.

"I thought the only way out for me was to not be here anymore.

"I got through it by talking to my family and through songwriting. I got my first guitar for Christmas 2012.

'' Crystalise describes most "I've turned that negative experience into a positive one by writing a song about it.

i a lot people relate "I used to dwell on it all the time but now I've found an outlet for my feelings. It always makes me emotional when I sing Crystalise as it describes my most troubled time and has the most meaning to me.

BAILEY MCCONNELL "I hope a lot of people can relate to it. I am thrilled to be helping YoungMinds and will be doing some workshops with them.

"I have also written a song called The Power Within about how, if you put your mind to it, you can overcome anything.

"Don't let it ruin your life. "I still bump into the boys that them any more. I used to be petrified of them."

Bailey has also made up with the friend whose ''betrayal'' inspired Dying Hole, the song he sang on Britain's Got Talent which so impressed the judges.

He says: "We are on good terms now, there's no point in holding a grudge.

"He knows the song is about him but we were just immature back then."

Bailey, from Milton Keynes, has now left school and is devoting his time to music.

He will be chaperoned by his manager while he's on tour but already has a trip around America under his belt.

"That was an overwhelming experience," he says.

"It really didn't sink in that I was there until I stepped off the airplane in Atlanta and then we drove down the road on the wrong side.

"My three favourite cities were Washington DC, New York and Las Vegas. My most memorable experience was skateboarding around Times Square in New York at 3am when I couldn't sleep and there was nobody around."

Another memorable experience in Britain was meeting Ed Sheeran after his gig at Birmingham's Genting Arena last October.

"I know his cousin so he fixed it up for me.

"He is one of my idols and such a nice guy.

"He knew who I was, he said 'Hey Bailey, how are you?'. I was like 'How do you know my name?'.

"He gave me lots of tips, like which loop pedal to buy."

" Despite his fame, Bailey remainsdown to earth as possible. "I am still amazed that so many people have seen my YouTube clip.

"That can't be me! It baffles me.

"I'm not a celebrity, I'm just a normal 16-year-old who has to do his chores at home and likes going out on his scooter with his friends."

? Bailey McConnell plays Birmingham's O2 Academy tonight. Standard tickets and meet and greet with Bailey VIP tickets are available on 0844 477 2000.

'' Crystalise describes my most troubled time. I hope a lot of people can relate to it BAILEY MCCONNELL
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Aug 21, 2015
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