The 2012 champ made a huge comeback to the charts in 2016 with a massive new single and album, which both went on to Number 1.
James is now off on a headline tour with his new music but is already planning his next record.
“I want my next album to be a mixture of confessions and a hip-hop vibe. I’ll definitely go more R&B – I haven’t shown off my chops in that sense," he teased.
Meanwhile, speaking to The Sun newspaper, James raved about former X Factor mentor Nicole Scherzinger revealing they remained close.
After enjoying a night out at the BRITs with her, James quipped: “I didn’t expect to be hanging out with Nicole at 2am drinking tequila.
He told the tabloid: “I was supposed to see her last night, but she was like, ‘Babe, I’m running late, I can’t meet up because I’ve got to sing on a flight.’
“When we catch up we have a couple of glasses of whisky and chill, listen to music and just talk. We talk on Whatsapp quite often.”
James praised Nicole - and other celeb pals - for sticking by him when he was "down and out".
He said: “People like Ed Sheeran are so refreshing. Even when I was down and out, he maintained support. He still messaged me.
“Same as Nicole and Labrinth. I didn’t have a lot of showbiz friends.”