Has There Ever Been a Bigger X Factor Transformation Than Dami Im?
It was about a year ago that The X Factor changed Dami Im's life. Once the live shows kicked off, the Korean-born piano teacher became a fan and judge favourite, as her performances earned standing ovations week after week. Her transformation on the show was amazing, and she'll be the first to admit that she was open to everything her mentor Dannii Minogue suggested, from the out-there makeup to the crazy costumes and the huge stage productions. On Monday night things came full circle for Dami when she performed her new single "Gladiator" as a guest on The X Factor's first elimination show, and she joked about being nervous in front of the judges because she felt like she was being judged. We caught up with Dami last week to talk about how her album's coming along, how being on the show has shaped her career, and who she loves on The X Factor this year.
POPSUGAR Australia: What's the meaning or story behind "Gladiator"?
Dami Im: "Gladiator" basically is about this girl who wants to fight for a boy's love. Well it can be a boy or a girl, but I sing it so it's a girl [laughs]. It's like, "I'm gonna fight for your love, I'm gonna be like a gladiator, strong." It's about empowerment. You don't usually expect a girl to sing about being a gladiator because usually that's a male thing. But there's also another meaning behind it — if you see the video later, it will be more clear, but it's about fighting for yourself, for your confidence, loving yourself, and fighting to achieve that.
PS: Were you involved with the writing?
DI: Yep, so I got to write with Trinity, who wrote "Super Love."
PS: How is the album coming along?
DI: The album is almost finished, about 95 percent finished. I've been working on lots of different songs, thinking about the title, and all of that. I just have to finish off all the ideas in terms of what I should call it, the photo — we haven't picked those last things. I've got the songs, I've just got to put it together.
PS: What is the vibe or sound of the album like? And is it what you wanted it to be? I know with first albums there can be quite a bit of pressure, especially off the back of being on a talent show.
DI: Well, at first, I wanted it to be really stripped back and acoustic-sounding, but the more I started working with people, I realised that I like that kind of style, but that I also really like the pop sound, where there's big anthemic pop. So I think it's a good mixture of really mainstream, pop sounds, and ballads as well. But I think overall, I'm quite happy about it. The biggest thing was that on The X Factor, people voted for me mainly because of my voice — they liked my voice and how I could sing different ranges, so I thought it was important to showcase that in my music. Certain genres don't allow me to do that, but the songs on the album do that.
Source: Sony Music