The Voice hopeful Ross isn’t looking to follow in 1D cousin Liam Payne’s footsteps

A hopeful on The Voice who happens to be the cousin of One Direction’s Liam Payne says he isn’t looking to follow in the boyband’s footsteps.

Ross Harris, 23, is a session musician who has played the drums for the likes of Union J, The Saturdays, Neon Jungle, Ella Henderson and Laura Welch, but takes to the stage as a drumming singer in Saturday night’s episode of blind auditions for the BBC One show.

Despite being related to 1D star Liam, Ross explained he didn’t want to play on his connections: “Liam doesn’t actually know about it. I didn’t tell many people. I’ll mention it to him this week though. I mentioned it because I knew it would come out in the press, but not at my audition because I didn’t want it to seem like I was using it to get further in the competition.”

He said of Liam’s success: “They’re such a big phenomenon. He’s done so well and that’s really cool, but I kind of want to go down a different path really. It’s not like I want to replicate what they’ve done, because they’ve done their own thing which is completely different to what everyone else has done.”

However, some of One Direction’s fans have already thrown their support behind Ross: “Some of them have already followed me and are tweeting loads. If their fans want to tweet and follow me then they’re more than welcome to.”

Ross, whose brother is also a session musician, said their paths hadn’t crossed much with Liam’s in the music industry.

He said: “My brother and I left them to do their thing. We didn’t really want to get involved. I did actually play keys for them once. I played piano for them on a TV show which was a surprise for my cousin as well, because he didn’t know.”

At his audition, Ross plays the drums while singing, but said he wasn’t sure if he would stick to it as a long term act: “I think Phil Collins did it. I did it a few times when I was singing backing vocals for artists but I’m not sure if it’s a cool image nowadays, although it is a cool gimmick for the show. But Usher did it in his video, so maybe…”

While he will be showing off his vocal talents on TV on Saturday night, he said it might be a different story for him at home over the weekend: “I’m having an operation to take my tonsils out, mainly for the benefit of my singing voice. I’ll have a sore throat all weekend which is quite ironic as I’ll be singing on TV.”

The Voice continues on BBC One on Saturday at 7pm.