Life has been a whirlwind for teenage X-Factor contestant Luena Martinez since she reached the six chair challenge stage of this year’s series.

The 17-year-old, who grew up in East Finchley, has just returned from LA where she recorded the music and video for her first single, Be My Baby, and has spent the summer performing familiar songs that made her a household name on the popular ITV show, including Snow Patrol’s Run.

Luena will be debuting her new track, which is expected to be released in December, at the Precious Moments charity concert at St James Church, Muswell Hill, next Saturday, in support of the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice, which is the only children’s hospice service in Islington, Camden, Haringey, Enfield, Barnet and Hertsmere.

The concert is a north London pre-Christmas tradition and will bring school children from different boroughs together with community choirs, along with an appearance from local singer Luena, who has also been a long-time supporter of Noah’s Ark hospice, as when she was eight-years-old, she entered We’ve Got Talent, which raised £2,000 for the charity.

She explains why she wanted to get involved again and which song she is most looking forward to perform…

She says: “I’m really excited to perform at the concert next Saturday. I’ve been a supporter of Noah’s Ark for most of my life, as I believe that young people do need help and it is nice knowing that you are helping people for such a lovely cause.

“When I’m on stage, my favourite song to perform is my own, as it makes me feel good, but I also like to sing covers from Leona Lewis, as she is one of my inspirations and her version of Snow Patrol’s Run is lovely.

“Life has been really busy since the X factor, as I’ve been doing a lot of gigs and last week I got back from LA, where I was making songs and shooting some videos over there. I’m also training to be a vocal coach as well and have been getting a few more clients, so it has just been nonstop.”

Luena admits being part of the X Factor was really tough at times, especially as she missed out on a place in the live finals, however, she is still proud of how far she got in the competition.

She says: “Performing on a show as big as the X Factor was amazing and such a great experience, but it was also a tough show to be on and a huge challenge, as we were always nervous due to singing in front of a crowd of 5,000 people.

“Being in front of such a huge audience was overwhelming but I loved it, as I knew my family and friends were there to cheer me on, but hearing the applause and support from everyone else in the crowd was really nice too.

“I was sad to miss out on a place in the six-chair challenge, but the girl they swapped me with was my really good friend from boot camp and so I was happy for her as well. I am proud of myself for getting that far in the competition and I don’t look at it as a bad thing, as it has hopefully led to a lot of exciting things for me now.”

Luena is no stranger to performing in front of crowds, as she started singing at the age of three and over the years has sung at church events, as well auditioning for Britain’s Got Talent.

The X Factor has been her first television appearance and she is full of words of wisdom for other young people who may be thinking of entering similar singing competitions.

She says: “You have to be very strong and believe in yourself, which might sound cheesy but is so true. In those types of competitions, you have to have strength as so many people are competing against you and you can feel quite intimidated, but you just have to keep going and believing that one day you will reach your goal.”

Precious Moments Concert, St James Church, St James Lane, Muswell Hill, N10 3DB, Saturday, November 26, 2pm and 7.30pm, details: 0208 449 8877,