Having already got to know Josh a little better, we sit down to pick JJ’s brain, who tells us all about his musical influences, son Princeton, and throws in a confession…
It’s an exciting time for you boys at the moment, looking back at the past couple of years what would you include if were to make an epic Union J montage?
There are so many moments, obviously releasing our first single ‘Carry You’, hearing it for the first time on the radio was just incredible. It’s obviously a dream come true to be doing this, it’s a dream to be a singer and we’re living that dream. I’d definitely include performing at Wembley, that was a really special moment, coming from the X Factor to performing in front of so many people to releasing our first album to then doing a headline tour – it’s crazy.
Your second single and second album are on the way, tell us about that.
Yeah, the new single ‘Tonight’ is out on the radio now, it’s going down really well and then towards the end of the year the second album is coming out. We changed things up a bit this year – we moved labels and we’ve changed our sound a little bit. The first year is like a learning curve, and felt like it was all there and done for us – so this year it feels like more of us.
What was the first record you bought?
The first record I bought and actually the first record I remember dancing to and learning all the words to was Backstreet Boys ‘I Want It That Way’. I tried to dance to it for a school competition but failed, for some reason I’m the worst dance in the band.
You’re obviously busy with the band, new single, new album, touring, and you’ve got your boy Princeton as well – what’s it like juggling both?
It’s a blessing really. He was born November last year when we were just going straight into the tour, now he’s 8 months old and he’s got his first tooth. He’s like Union J’s mascot.
I always think its like any other job, there are so many people out there who work longer hours and are away from home longer than I am, I always think its a good thing that I’m away working – the harder I work hopefully the more successful Union J will be and the better life Princeton will have.
What were you listening to at the time of writing the new album?
For me, I listen to anything from the likes of Kings Of Leon to The Script. I listen to any chart hits, from dance music to rap to pop. I really like Ella Henderson’s ‘Ghost’. I think it’s a good think about Union J that we’ve all come from different backgrounds and we all listen to different music.
Being in a band, you must get to see a lot of other artists backstage and at festivals, who do you hang out with and who’s the most fun?
They’re all fun. The Rixton boys are lovely, they’re really cool, and Neon Jungle and Little Mix. That’s the good thing about doing summer shows, you get to meet so many different people and hang out.
We did trash Neon Jungle’s dressing room once… Little Mix did it to us and we didn’t realize who it was until they confessed it in an interview not long ago… and now I’ve confessed…
But what have Union J have been listening to since finishing the album? Have a listen to their Hosted By station by clicking below:
Not content with an exclusive live version of new single ‘Tonight (We Live Forever)’, we decided to get up close and personal with each of the Union J lads to find out just what makes them tick!
To kick things off, we sat down with Josh to talk about his Union J highlights so far, as well as inspirations for the new album…
So, first things first – it’s an exciting time for Union J, there’s so much going on – if you were to put an epic montage together with a few clips of the best bits from the past 2 years what would it look like?
For me, moments that have stood out are definitely Summertime Ball, playing Wembley in front of 80,000 people, that was pretty nuts! I think releasing a song for the first time on iTunes, and seeing ‘Carry You’ slowly go from being like 300 on iTunes to then getting into the Top 10 was a great feeling. Doing our first tour, going out there at the beginning of the tour and thinking this is your first headline tour was amazing.
What was the first record you ever bought?
It was Peter Andre ‘Mysterious Girl’, great song! The only thing is, he’s got great abs. I don’t have those abs and its always been a disappointment for me watching that video.
Let’s talk about the new album, what was the goal when you were writing and putting it together?
I think the most important thing about album 2 was finding our sound and finding the right path for us to go down. I think the fist album went really well and its always going to have a place in our hearts, but with the second album we wanted to make sure we put songs on the album that suit where we are now and songs that we enjoy singing and enjoy performing. So that was the goal and I think so far we’ve managed to do that.
What kind of music were you listening to at the time? Who inspired you?
It has to be Ed Sheeran. Just as we were writing and putting the album together, Ed literally burst back onto the scene after being away for a couple of years. He’s got such diverse songs on the new album and we took a lot of inspiration from him.
Have you met Ed before?
No we’ve not met, I don’t know if he actually knows who I am… but if you’re out there Ed I’m josh, follow me on Twitter! I’d literally be the happiest guy in the world.
The video for ‘Tonight’ is fun, how did the idea come about, did you all just decide to have a party?
I think with the style of the song, it’s a summer song, it’s feelgood, it just felt natural. I think that’s what we wanted to do – we wanted to show a different side to Union J that maybe hadn’t been shown on the last album. It was a bit more serious the first time around and we wanted to show everyone out there that we do have fun, we like to have a good time and we’re a group of young lads that like to party.
Tell us about the fans, the J Cats are a massive part of Union J. What crazy stuff do they do?
J Cats are just nuts, they always try to run on stage and our security guy has a heart attack every time. But they’re amazing and without those guys we wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing. Their continued support and the fact they’ve stuck with us for the past 6 months whilst we’ve been out of the public eye is a great feeling, they’re loyal and we can’t thank them enough,
If you were to one day add a 5th member to Union J, who would it be?
I would pick Michael Buble. I think he’s Mr Cool, he’s got a tone that not many people have in the music industry. I also think he touches the hearts of so many women out there that hopefully if he joined we’d then touch a lot of hearts that we don’t already. And, he pulls off a suit!
Listen to more live audio from Union J plus some of their favourite songs in Union J’s Hosted By station here:
Calling all fans of The Saturdays!
Your favourite ladies Frankie, Mollie, Una, Vanessa, Rochelle will be hitting the road this autumn to make the party super naughty and perform all their Greatest Hits, including number one single ‘What About Us’, plus their top 10 hits ‘Higher’, ‘Ego’, ‘All Fired Up’ & many more!
We have a pair of tickets to give away to their headline show at The SSE Arena, Wembley on Sept 19th!
For your chance to win, simply answer the below question on this Facebook post & tag the friend you’d take with you to the concert.
Which Adele song does Frankie request in our Hosted By: The Saturdays station?
A) Chasing Pavements
B) Someone Like You
C) Rolling In The Deep
We’ll announce the winner on August 26th.
Good luck, see you down the front!
Competition Terms & Conditions
We all have a favourite movie soundtrack, whether it’s Ellie Goulding’s “Bittersweet” from The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2,or The Neighbourhood’s “Honest” from The Amazing Spider-Man 2, or even a classic like Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” from The Bodyguard. There’s literally tons to choose from!
Sometimes though, it’s nice to have a little guidance, especially from those who know their stuff! Step in Richard & Adam, the Welsh singing sensation, ex-sandwich makers, and self-confessed cinema addicts.
The dashing duo who came third on the seventh series of Britain’s Got Talent, brought out two fantastic albums, The Impossible Dream and The Christmas Album, and stormed the charts here and in the US, are BACK and better than ever!
Inspired by their love of films, the Johnson brothers’ next exciting album, At The Movies, will features songs like “Moon River” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, “Without You” from The Rules of Attraction, and “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
It’s going to be a good’un!
We wanted to know more about why this pair loves films so much, so we caught up with the lovely Adam to get some insight.
Single greatest musical moment….
A: Ooh that’s a tough one. One that springs to mind is unchained melody and the famous pottery scene. Who can forget that.
Fondest memory of watching a movie…
A: I always remember watching Disney’s The Lion King with Richard when we were younger and we used to sing along. Our voices hadn’t broken, so I think we were about 10 keys too high! It’s amazing to think that we’ve now recorded “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” [originally co-written and sung by Elton John] for our new album.
What prompted the movies album?
A: Our family has always been big on cinema, Richard, my Dad, and my older brother try and go every week. So, when we were thinking about our next album it seemed like an obvious choice. The songs we’ve chosen are from a variety of film genres, so hopefully will appeal to young and old alike.
Direct and soundtrack a movie…
A: I’m a big horror fan so perhaps combine that with a musical…. a slasher version of phantom perhaps!
So, find yourself a comfy seat (like our boys here), grab some popcorn, and get ready for the most memorable movie playlist of all time!
Listen to Richard & Adam’s Chosen By station here:
Time for the latest update of our Next Big Thing! Every week we try to keep you ahead of the game with the hottest and most talented up and coming artists around. This week we’re focusing in on bands, and we’ve handpicked the groups that we think are a total shoe-in to light up the worlds of indie, folk and pop in the near future. Keep up with all the best new music from these guys and all our favourite newbies on our Next Big Thing station, linked below.
Run River North
Dubbed the Korean Fleet Foxes or Mumford & Sons (depending on which side of the pond you’re sitting), and its not hard to see why. With thoughtful lyrics about pursuits of the American Dream, tied with catchy melodies, Run River North may have found the perfect formula for pretty folk pop. There is no better example of this than in their delightful new single ‘Excuses’, giving us high hopes for their new self-titled album.
Who’s up for a little playful pop? On their new single ‘Kingfisher’, the swirling vocal’s of PHOX’s frontwoman Monica Martin, with colourful sprinkles of guitar and banjo, give the song a fairy-tale feel that we are loving. Having already released their self-titled debut album in June (recorded in Bon Iver’s home studio), PHOX are patiently waiting to soundtrack your slow Saturday mornings.
Sticking to a theme, and a great one at that, Coasts’ sunny hit ‘Oceans’ (released on Tidal Recordings), tells a love story with a musical backdrop made up of jangly guitar riffs, a bouncing beat and drum synths. Despite hailing from Bristol, the five-piece’s EPs wouldn’t be out of place blasting out of an old boombox on a warm beach somewhere in California.
Here at blinkbox Music we love to go the extra mile when it comes to bringing you exclusive access to the biggest stars. And we reckon there’s quite a few of you out there that’d like to get closer to four lads in particular.
That’s right – the Union J boys! We managed to get our hands on George, Jaymi, Josh and JJ for a day of great banter, top tunes and tell-all interviews.
With the band gearing up to release their hotly anticipated second album and their new summer single, they treated us to an exclusive live performance of ‘Tonight (We Live Forever)’, which you can watch right this minute below!
And why not tune into the band’s Hosted By station for more from the boys including a selection of their hits and favourite songs.
Stay tuned and be sure to check back our Youtube channel for more exclusive content.