Dance extraordinaire, Boy Band hearthrob turned breakout solo star and new-found father? It's only our Artist of the Week, Aston Merrygold.
It was ten years ago that JLS first entered into line of sight, as Merrygold and former band-mates Oritse Williams, Marvin Humes and JB Gill wandered on stage at the X Factor for an audition that would changed their lives forever. The country fell for their smooth crooning and electrifying performances, and whilst they may have finished the X Factor second behind power-vocal Alexandra Burke, JLS still went on to become one of the show's most successful bands yet.
Together, they enjoyed five successful years releasing hit album after hit album and breaking box-office records with their very own film JLS: Eyes Wide Open, but by 2013 it was time to hang up the JLS name and pursue other things.
Soon after, Merrygold began working on his own solo debut with rumours of a full album Showstopper circulating in 2014. Soon, his first solo music video Get Stupid dropped, followed up by Show Me, I Ain't Missing You and Too Late.
Now, it's been a year since Merrygold released his first official EP Precious, and he's been touring around the country playing shows after having his first child earlier this year. We caught up with the young superstar to ask him a few questions about fatherhood, his career and what's coming next:
How has the tour been so far?
"It’s been an amazing start to the tour so far. It’s great to be able to visit some of my favourite places that we visited on the tour last year, as well as adding in some new stops. The crowd’s have been amazing, and there’s a great energy on this tour, we aim to entertain!"
What stands out as the weirdest to have happened on tour?
"Not sure what the weirdest thing would be but we’re always having a bit of a laugh and causing chaos on the tour bus! Between me and my dancers, there’s lots of pranks pulled and jokes being made."
Congratulations on becoming a Father, of course! How’s that been going so far – even more sleepless nights?
"Thank you! It’s incredible, it really is, and I couldn’t be happier. It’s such a special time in my life right now, and all of the sleepless nights are definitely worth it! We’re very lucky."
Has it been difficult being away from him and Sarah whilst touring?
"Of course, but they’re coming to a couple of the shows, and with facetime these days there’s not too much you can miss which is great."
Looking back on your days in JLS, how does it feel now that you’ve all entered a new stage of life? Fatherhood, families and such?
"It’s crazy to think how fast time has gone. It’s definitely a new stage of life for all of us! JLS, was and is, such a huge part of my life and I have the best memories from those years. We’re all still really close and it’s a really special thing for us to be raising our families together."
You’ve said that you prefer planning tours to planning weddings, what’s been the biggest hurdle you’ve had to overcome?
"Ha! There’s lots of decisions to be made that’s for sure! But it’s all good, it’s obviously a super special event to be planning, and we’ve got plenty of people who can offer tips and advice, so it will all come together."
We’re coming up to a year since you released Precious – time has flown by! Can we be hopeful for something new in the works?
"Absolutely. I know the fans have been waiting, and we’re going to get them some new music very soon. I’ve been locked away in the studio since we did Precious working on new material, and it’s almost ready. Precious was one of my favourite records to date, so we’ve got to follow it with something even better! Stay tuned!"
Hopefully we can expect it before the year is out! Merrygold will be playing Belfast this Wednesday (18th April), and he'll be hitting up the Mfor Festival in Swindon this July! Find & compare all tickets below to get the cheapest prices available.
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