He didn't make the cut last year but Merriwa-raised singer Josh Brookes is determined to make something of his music career when he tries his luck for a second time on the next season of Seven's reality talent series, The X Factor.
The 20-year-old, who was beaten by fellow Perth singer and former concreter Johnny Ruffo last year, told Access All Areas that he was "much more focused" this year, having spent the past nine months focusing on his music.
"I just really kept a low profile, kept my head out of trouble and just stayed behind closed doors working hard on my vocal technique and stuff," he said. "Just working on my vocal ability was my main focus."
While losing out to Ruffo was a blow to Brookes' confidence as a budding artist, he said it gave him even more drive to pursue a singing career.
"I think any good artist knows that in show business, when you get knocked down you've gotta get back up," he said. "So that's exactly what I did, I got knocked out and it just gave me more drive, made me want more and made me hungry for it so I went after it."
When asked how far he had come since auditioning for last year's show, Brookes said he had grown not only as a musician but also as a person.
"I feel like I'm just a more mature person in general than I was back then," he said. "I mean, I was still a teenager back then and being 20 now it feels like society expects a bit more from me so I stepped up to the plate and I give it a bit more."
He also added that this year, given he makes it through the audition stage, he would take his journey on the show much more seriously: "I'm definitely taking the competition a lot more seriously. I'm going to try and make a living out of this, hopefully."
With Brookes' fan base continuing to grow - his Facebook fan page has hit more than 9000 likes since its creation last year - the 20-year-old said it was reassuring to know he had a support base back home.
"That does give me a little spring to my step, I get a buzz over that," he said. "I definitely love having a big following in my home town and having everyone behind me, I couldn't ask for anything more."The X Factor premieres today at 7.30pm on Seven/GWN7.