Ex-Britain’s Got Talent star opens up about past battle with depression and self-harm

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The Bailey McConnell that meets me in a Milton Keynes coffee shop for a chat is cool, calm and casual, like any happy 16 year-old.

Except that in 2015 Bailey has already enjoyed a super successful five week tour of the US and is about to begin a second tour of the UK.

That’s anything but usual. That’s extraordinary!

Things are most definitely hunky-dory for the singer-songwriter who also has a superb single ready for release.

That single, Crystalise, sees Bailey open up for the first time about his past battle with depression and self-harm.

“I used to say I wrote the song about a friend who was going through a really terrible experience to the point where they didn’t want to be around anymore...but really the song is about me going through that experience and not wanting to be here anymore,” he admits.

“I just didn’t feel comfortable telling people...”

Bailey hopes that by speaking out about his experience he can help prevent others from feeling so alone.

“I had a difficult time for a while back there,” he says, “It got really tough.’

But when he started a music course at MK College things settled and the difficulties fell away.

“It was perfect timing, a great opportunity to start afresh, and I had no problems at all,” he says with a grin.

Bailey is smiling proof that you can come through troubles and has supportive words for anyone facing similar problems.

“It’s really cliched and something you hear all the time, but the main thing is tell someone if you are having problems.

“It seriously is.

“If you don’t, it will drive you over the edge and potentially get you to the point where I was. That’s not a place where you want to be...

“Everyone reading this has it within themselves to get through tough times.

“Don’t listen to the little devil on your shoulder – flick him off and listen to the the angel who is telling the truth.”

Today Bailey is buzzing as he relays stories of his recent Stateside tour, and of one memorable night in New York.

“The biggest memory was skating around Times Square at 3am. It was insane, it felt like I was in a movie – it was dead, like a ghost town.

“It feels like you are in Zombie Apocalypse – like everyone has dropped off the face of the earth, but the electrics and everything are still there – Times Square is still alive.

“We were stood on one of the main streets that goes past the Empire State building, and every single block had smoke coming from the drains.

“We looked down the road and it went on for miles, you couldn’t see the end of it.

“Being in Times Square at 3am in the morning needs to be on your bucket list...”

A trip to Los Angeles wasn’t too shabby either: “Being on Santa Monica beach in LA watching the sun go down was beautiful, so nice...

“America was an amazing experience,” he says summing up those five weeks Stateside.

“Not many 16 year-olds can say they’ve toured America and I am so grateful for the opportunity,” Bailey says with a smile.

And he’s barely even started yet...

> Crystalise is released on Friday, September 11, 2015.

> After tomorrow morning’s appearance on ITV with Lorraine, Bailey begins his UK tour this weekend.