A MUSIC studio owner has described the moment he first heard talented X Factor finalist Louisa Johnson sing.

Gary Edwards, owner of Harbour Recording Studio in Battlesbridge, said the hair stood up on the back his neck when Louisa first visited his recording studio at the age of 15.

Louisa, now 17, from Chafford Hundred, recieved a standing ovation from all four judges with her rendition of James Brown classic It's a Man's World last weekend.

The impressive performance has seen bookies name her as the favourite to take this year's winners crown, with William Hill offering odds of 1/5.

She will battle it out against Che Chesterman, from Laindon, and duo Reggie and Bollie during tomorrow's final at Wembley.

Mr Edwards, 56, from Rettendon, recorded a handful of tracks with Louise and instantly knew she would be a star.

Among them were Go and Sitting on the Dock of the Bay.

He said: “Over my 30 years of recording I have worked with so many different artists from a lot of different genres.

“The moment Louisa opened her mouth I just knew she would be something special.

“I had never heard a voice like it.

“When we heard she was entering X Factor we knew she would win.

“We wanted to offer her a management deal and sign her when we first heard her sing.

“We had talks with her mother but it was before her GCSEs and we didn’t want to pressure her.”

By the time Louisa's exams were over, she had already been approached by Simon Cowell and applied for this year's X Factor.

Mr Edwards said he regrets not snapping up the talented singer himself.

He said: "I’m glad she has got to where she has, but retrospectively, maybe I do regret not pushing a little harder.”

The studio has worked with Lydia Lucy, Amy Connelly, Two Shoes and other X-Factor finalists.

It has also just finished recording an EP with Miss Essex Devon Mayson, to be released early next year.