■ The JLS singer, 30, talks about Strictly, touring with louis smith and the renewed success of his single Get Stupid
Get Stupid came out three years ago – why has it come back?
It came out three years ago and opened up a few different territories for me. Three months ago Samsung said they wanted to use the song on their worldwide advert. Everyone’s found the track again. Why not capitalise on something that’s been played on every advert break during the Oscars and some of the world’s biggest events?
Are you doing overseas gigs now?
The promo run’s just started. People have to get familiar with the face singing the song and there are more gigs in different places to come. I’m going to do some in the US and there are gigs here over the summer.
The new video for it was done in your own dance studio. Why did you end up buying it?
The place is always full of dancers so I asked them to come down and join in with the video. It was a really good day. I bought it because London’s always crying out for rehearsal space, so it’s a good place for me to rehearse, and also I wanted to leave a legacy. When there are new artists on the scene they’re going to have somewhere to rehearse and I’ll get to oversee new and current talent in the industry, which is nice. I’ve got some other business ideas but nothing that’s off the floor yet. It’s just about trying to be as smart as possible. I’m looking to the future. I’ve just had a kid so things are a lot bigger than just looking after myself now. It’s all for the family.
Haven’t you designed some clothes for the video?
I’m actually working with a company called Mysnapp so that people can get hold of them. When you’re watching a video and think, ‘I like those shoes and that top’, you often don’t know where to find them. With this there’s a link in the video connected to Mysnapp that will take you to where you can get the T-shirts and so on. It’s the future. They do a lot of videos but this is where all videos down the line are going. It’s just good if it takes off – I can be one of the first to say I was pioneering it.
When JLS finished, JB bought a farm. Did you consider doing something similar?
Not really. He grew up on a farm in Antigua so he was comfortable with farming. When JLS finished I was hungry to start again and get music out there. It was a reset button on the industry for me – I was my main investment at that time.
Have you seen anyone from the band recently?
We speak all the time. I saw Marvin and Rochelle [Humes] last week. They gave me some advice about the baby – but all the guys have kids so they can all give me advice. Marvin and Rochelle said we should make sure we do date night once a week and that our relationship as a couple is as important as our relationship as a family.
How has fatherhood changed you?
My son’s just over three months old but you have to adapt quickly. There’s no training. I hope it’s changed me for the better. I’m more focused – I don’t have time to waste like I did in my teens and twenties. I want to spend as much time with my family as I can and watch him grow. He’s a good boy so I’m getting a lot of sleep.
What’s your tour with Louis Smith about?
It’s Rip It Up, a dance show with him and Harry Judd – it’s got a 1960s theme. It’s dancing with a live band and I’ll also be doing some singing. Harry will be doing some drumming. It’s an energetic show and I can’t wait to start rehearsals. I’m looking forward to singing Motown songs and some of those great rock songs from the time.
Were you bothered about your early exit from Strictly last year?
I’m grown enough to take it on the chin. Someone has to go each week. A lot of people around me were on the point of tears, saying I shouldn’t have gone out, but for me I was looking at it like, what does it mean for where I go next in the industry? I was fine and it was an amazing show to be part of.
What are you up to next, then?
The album’s been ready for a little while and now it’s about riding the wave and getting it ready to go. I need to work out how to make the most of it.
What lessons has your career in the music industry taught you?
Never celebrate until you’ve signed on the dotted line. A lot of people love to talk and make a lot of promises but I’m old enough now to know not to celebrate until everything’s signed and completed. I’m a lot harder-headed than I was in the past.
Get Stupid is out now, astonmerrygold.com