The pianist, who triumphed in Saturday (3 June) night’s grand final, was a session musician for the late singer, has described how Amy “saw something in him” and encouraged him to go solo.
Speaking to The Mirror following his win, Tokio said it was only after Amy’s death from alcohol poisoning in 2011 at the age of 27, that he felt he could pursue his dreams.
“I was totally in awe of her and I could hardly speak to her at first. But she was really sweet and lovely, like a big sister, and would always come up to me and give me a big hug. I think she saw something in me, something unique. But she also said: ‘Stay humble and keep being you’, and that’s in my DNA now.
Tokio previously revealed how a bond he formed with a music teacher who shielded him seeing his headteacher collapse after being fatally stabbed at his school, helped him to get where he is today.
The musician was just 11 when Philip Lawrence was brutally murdered by then-15-year-old Leacro Chindamo outside the gates of St George’s School in Maida Vale, West London, in 1995.
Paying tribute to his music teacher, Mr Morgan, in his audition, Tokio said: “He was the guy I looked up to as a kid. He was my music teacher, and if it wasn’t for him guiding me and showing me where I could go, I probably wouldn’t be here or doing what I’m doing today.
“I grew up in a really rough estate in London and that definitely played a role in sticking at music, because it was a way of releasing negative energy and turning it into something positive.
“Playing piano kept me out of a lot of trouble,” he added.