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Gillingham singer Joseph Apostol in quarter-final of The Voice

By Rebecca Hughes

The Voice contestant Joseph Apostol

The Voice contestant Joseph Apostol

When he was at school, Joseph Apostol just couldn’t sing in front of a crowd.

After moving to Britain from the Philippines, he started attending St John Fisher School, in Ordnance Street, Chatham.

But the shy student kept his stunning voice a secret and never once sang in front of his classmates.

It wasn’t until he started attending a nearby church and singing in its choir that his confidence grew.

Now former classmates will be watching him sing live to millions of people when he performs in the quarter-finals of hit TV talent show The Voice today (Friday).

The 21-year-old said: “I was really shy back then in terms of my singing. I wasn’t that confident. I always knew I could sing, but I didn’t start doing it in public until I went to church.

“I used to jam with my friends and my college course at MidKent really helped.”

During his time at MidKent, Joseph performed several times in front of staff and students, including the opening of the soundproof live room at the Gillingham campus in November.

He also received a standing ovation at the annual student awards ceremony in January after wowing the audience with another spectacular vocal performance.

While there he formed his first band, Midnight Soul – a blues, jazz and soul group – and performed at open mic nights at local pubs including The Eagle Tavern in Rochester.

Joseph, who lives in Gillingham, added: “In a way my mum, Rebecca, got me into music. She listened to a lot of ballads and slow records.”

Joseph's mentor Tom Jones

Joseph's mentor Tom Jones

But tonight he will be proving he can sing more than just ballads by singing Jackie Wilson’s hit Higher and Higher.

“That is another classic one,” he said. “I just thought I had been doing a lot of ballads, so I decided to do an up tempo one.

“It has been a bit stressful picking the right song, but my mentor Sir Tom Jones is happy with it.

“I’m really confident too. I just have to think positively. If you think you are going home, you are going home. That’s how I look at it.

“My nerves are going to be there all the time, but you have to think this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Adam and Joseph share a hug as Joseph makes it through to the quarter-finals

Adam and Joseph share a hug as Joseph makes it through to the quarter-finals

Joseph won his place in the quarter-finals in last weekend’s knockout rounds when he was chosen ahead of fellow Medway singing talent Adam Barron and Welsh rocker Ragsy.

Each of the four celebrity coaches now has three singers left from their original teams of 12.

Tonight, in the first live show of the current series, each judge – Sir Tom Jones, Jessie J, will.i.am and Danny O’Donoghue – will choose one singer to go through to the semi-finals.

One more member from each team will also go through and that will be decided by a viewers’ vote.

  • See Joseph in The Voice on BBC One tonight, from 7pm.

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