The faces of billboards, performances across the world and some of the biggest hits within the 2000s - Aston Merrygold reached the stars with JLS and is now hitting the mark with his solo career.
Although the past year for many has been slow, Aston took 2020 to hone his craft and made a swift return to the beginning of 2021 with hit singles 'Overboard' and 'Share a Coke'. But it hasn't all been singing and joys, as the established singer-songwriter is venturing the world of other routes and is excited about what the future holds.
Whilst the unexpected is still looming over, we caught up with Aston about all things 'Hundreds and Thousands', what it was like being part of the Masked Singer and how his journey is different to the past.
Firstly, how have you been since your third release, 'Hundreds and Thousands' and what has the life of the solo career bought you?
I’ve been really good. Being creative for a job is a blessing, so getting to do it daily and run with your ideas - win, lose or draw is satisfying.
Whilst you kicked off your solo career back in 2017 and had a small hiatus from 2019 to now - what influenced you to start over again especially, throughout COVID?
If the last year has taught me anything, it’s time isn’t promised! So, sitting on music isn’t my plan anymore regardless of what’s going on around it - my music will not sit on a laptop!
With already three singles out this year, have you found it challenging to be creative and, how has it influenced you as an artist?
Not at all. It’s made me more creative if anything. The number of songs I already have is a joke, but that has just got me amped to get more! Music can spark things in you like nothing else!
In the meantime, you also participated in the Masked Singer and came third within the competition. How did this come about and, what was the experience like singing behind that mask?
I've been in this game a long time, and I can honestly say that has been one of the most fun experiences of my career! Great show, great times! It wasn’t a hard thought process once they asked if I would do the show as having that much fun during lockdown had to be done!
Being part of one of the biggest boy bands in the world - do you feel you have a certain pressure to succeed in the world of music?
Not at all. It’s two different things, and people are free to pick and choose what they like. Just because they loved a JLS song in the past doesn’t mean I expect them to like all my stuff. I do music for me first, and it’s taken me a minute to learn that and not get caught up in the pressure of releasing before you even have the art!
As we talk about your ventures with JLS, what was the highest and lowest moment of being in a group?
Honestly never been a low, only been a learning moment. Highs, wow, I mean, singing in front of millions of people each night to start our career, signing our first deal, touring, the Queen's jubilee performance, performing with the Jackson family. The list doesn’t end for highs!
With your reunion tour planning to go ahead this June - how excited are you to get back performing with the group and, do you hope to perform solo in the future?
Hope? 100% will be! I look at it like this - JLS is my international caps, and AM is my club. (Football refs) you don’t have to just do one!
With your music kicking off - you are also delving into the world of acting. What does this entail and, what do you hope to achieve from it?
Acting is where it all started for me when I was young, so to go back to it is exciting! Something that isn’t easy to juggle at the same time as music, but I’m making it a priority so that it’s at the forefront of my career!
And then lastly, what do you want to gain from 2021 and, can fans expect any further releases this year?
They can expect A LOT more music from me this year! And the only gain I wish to get from 21 is normality back for everyone so we can all get back to appreciating the simple things!