It’s nearly one year to the day since Cyrus Villanueva was awarded a Sony recording contract and he still finds it hard to process.
The past 12 months for the 2015 X Factor winner have brought a whirlwind of opportunities including free sneakers, meeting his idol and working with ARIA award-winning powerhouse Samantha Jade.
“Straight after X Factor finished I got the chance to meet Ed Sheeran and he’s like one of my biggest musical idols. Meeting him was definitely a high point,” the 20-year-old said.
The next best thing has been traveling and getting the chance to “take in Australia”, according to Cyrus, who only ever traveled to visit family in Colac or the Philippines.
Free shoes was another perk high on the singer-songwriter’s list, admitting his mum shakes her head every time she hears he buys a new pair.
“I have to take down a suitcase of shoes down to Wollongong because I have no more space in my closet in Sydney,” Cyrus laughed.
The latest door to open for him was to work on a duet with fellow reality show winner, “phenomenal artist and sweet person” Samantha Jade.
Jade penned the song “Hurt Anymore” in London and knew Cyrus had the right voice to meld with hers.
It’s landed the pair on TV and radio nationally in the past week, including a “walk down memory lane” with a performance on The X Factor.
“She’s such a professional and handles everything with ease so it makes the whole experience so much funner,” Cyrus said.
“We’ve found we have such a similar taste in music when we’re just jamming and rehearsing and mucking around, we always go to sing the same melodies in certain songs and fan over the same artists.”
It’s not the only thing the Kanahooka High School graduate has been working on.
The 20-year-old has been knuckling down in the studio when he can on a project that’s close to his heart.
“I really want to make sure that I get it right. It’s been a long time coming, but I want to make sure everything’s the way I want it,” he said, with hopes to share his new album in early 2017.
After that who knows, he’s just taking his new lifestyle “one step at a time”.
Although Cyrus would like to see his friends more.
After moving to Sydney on his own, aside from remaining mates with Jess and Matt (who came third place on the same series of X Factor and live just up the road), he hasn’t made too many new friends.
“The biggest thing I miss from living back at home is seeing all my mates and my family every day,” he said, joking we should start a petition to get them to drive up the M1 a bit more.