Keith Semple bounces back from The Voice exit with plans for record deal
Northern Irish singing star Keith Semple has said he is disappointed not to reach the finals of The Voice USA - but is now on the lookout for a record deal.
The Larne-born singer told the Belfast Telegraph he is hoping 2016 will be the year everything happens in his bid for singing fame and fortune.
Despite impressing Pharrell Williams and Gwen Stefani, the former One True Voice star didn't reach the final 12, getting the axe in a cull of half the contestants.
"It was disappointing, but at the same time I am happy that I went through it all. It was really good and it got me nationally recognised in the US so it's worked really well," he said. "It was a bit of a tough night, but I get to go back for the final where I'll be singing another song."
Keith was given To Be With You by Mr Big, a choice that proved controversial with fans who didn't think he had been given the right song.
But Keith said he doesn't believe the song would have made a difference as it was mostly down to the public vote.
Keith said he wanted to dedicate his time on the show to former bass player John Hamill, who succumbed to a heart attack at the age of 55 a couple of weeks ago.
Describing John as a 'legend', he said: "I spent half of my musical life with him. It was quite a hit to the system."
Keith says he will now concentrate on getting an album of his original work released nationally.
"I should have enough recognition on the show to make that happen," he says.
"I've written 500 or 600 songs and I really believe in a lot of them and what they can do if I get the right exposure. I didn't want to do it until the time was right."
With his second baby with wife Lanette on the way in February, Keith doesn't think he will make it home until the end of 2016 but is hoping to line up a few performances this time.
And he says he was overwhelmed with how much everyone from Northern Ireland got behind him. Anyone who wants to hear his music can find it on his website at www.keithsemple.net.