CelebMix Exclusive Interview: Jack and Joel

Duo Jack and Joel have made quite the impression on this year’s series of ‘The X Factor,’ right from their first audition, where they performed a medley of tracks from Ed Sheeran’s latest album. As the various stages of the competition progressed, the talented duo continued to impress with their vocals and musical abilities. Jack and Joel were brought back as a Wildcard into the Live Shows, and impressed with performances such as ‘New Rules’ and ‘Havana.’

Since coming off the show, the duo have gone on to announce their debut headline tour around the UK. 

CelebMix had a chance to speak to Jack and Joel about their time on the show, their upcoming tour and their plans for the future. Keep reading to check out our interview with the duo!

How has life been for you since leaving ‘The X Factor’?

Joel: ‘It has been incredible. Especially when you are in ‘The X Factor,’ you are kind of shielded from the real world, you are living this glorified superstar life, where you don’t see what’s going on outside. Having come out of it and being immersed back into the real world has been lovely because there are so many people who come up to us and congratulate us. Often, the feedback we are getting is really positive, which is so nice. There are way more people who seem to care than we ever thought there would be. 

What was your favourite performance throughout your whole time on the show?

Jack: We felt that we really came alive at the Six Chair Challenge, where we sang ‘Bang Bang.’ We got really amazing feedback from the terrific crowd at Wembley and it obviously got us a seat, and Nicole was going crazy dancing on the table. I think also every week at the Live Shows, we were really proud of our performance. There wasn’t one that we aren’t happy with. Every week just got bigger and bigger. On the Live Shows, you get Production, Wardrobe – it was so so exciting. Everything just came together. But either ‘Bang Bang’ or the general Live Shows experience.’ 

Knowing that there were millions of people watching on the Live Shows when you were performing, how did that make you feel?

Joel: ‘You don’t think too much about the people behind the camera, or you have to try not to because that is so daunting being live on television and people are literally sitting at home talking about you, while you can’t see or hear them or what they’re saying. You don’t think about that, you keep yourself present and in the room. The studio itself is really nice, it seats about 900 and that is a really sizeable crowd, but it’s just enough to make it feel like you are sharing the experience with the people there and you don’t get too worried about the millions of people at home.’ 

Jack: ‘You can always see where your family and friends are sitting, it’s not like you are at Wembley and they are miles away!’

Were you ever nervous before performing?

Jack: ‘We probably were. I think I was always a little bit less nervous than Joel before we went on. As soon as you are performing, all that goes away, particularly because in the other rounds I felt like we were looking at the Judges for their validation and you do get really nervous at that! But at the Live Shows, you vibe off the audience so much that you don’t really concentrate on what the Judges are doing unless they are going bonkers and Nicole’s dancing again. It’s very much like you are in the moment and you are having the best two minutes of your life. Nerves are obviously there, but I think it’s not as nerve-wracking once you are doing it as you expect it to be.’ 

You were brought back as a Wildcard on the show. How did it feel to know that this is something that the public had voted for?

Jack: ‘Amazing. We were very geared up to not get through. For us, it was super flattering, just to know that people actually cared. It was lovely. We went into the house a week later than everybody else – they were already preparing. We had to learn things really quickly, but I think knowing that we had that public support there really got us through – it was super helpful. I think Simon saw more in the others, but to know that the people at home, who we really want to impress, voted for us, meant the world.’

Simon Cowell was your mentor on the show. How was he as a mentor?

Jack: ‘He wasn’t nasty at all, I think he has softened up over the years. I think people are starting to realise he isn’t as bad as he was once known to be. More than anyone I’ve ever met, he’s very what you see is what you get. He doesn’t say anything he doesn’t mean. We definitely take what he says and think ‘this is what he thinks and this is what he needs.’ It was tough love with us. I don’t think Simon ever fully got us as an act, I think he respected that the public had voted us back in as the wildcard and that we are different, we are the feel-good factor, but I don’t think he really saw us necessarily as rival artists mainstream-wise. In some ways, that has helped us, because it has made us have a think about the angle we want to take and where we want to go. It’s forced us to do that more than we did before, to analyse that. He is what you expect really, he’s quite tough, but in the way that he is looking out for you.’ 

What is one thing you miss most from ‘The X Factor’ experience?

Joel: ‘The thing I definitely miss the most is performing in the Live Shows. That is an experience that doesn’t compare to anything else – it’s incredible, all the small things that you get from people styling you to hair, make-up and then the most amazing sound that you could ask for, with monitors and enjoying yourself and the creative that they have developed and worked on with you. Seeing it come to life and then watching it back after is so amazing. I also think the people that we met on our journey, from contestants to production staff. There is a huge team around the show. Everyone was so lovely and we had the best time getting along with everyone.’

Was there any part of the show that stood out for yourselves as being the most memorable?

Joel: ‘For me, it’s performing at the Live Shows. That was just the best experience.’

Individually, did you both know that music was something that you always wanted to be involved with?

Joel: ‘When we both got to university, we both knew that we wanted to be doing music in some extra curricular capacity. We both ended up doing an acapella group, being in the same acapella group together, which is kind of how we met, also as we happened to be at the same college, at Oxford. I definitely came to university ready to be a very nerdy mathematician. As soon as we got involved in the acapella group, it was just so clear that everything was music, music, music and the degree almost came second. Music has definitely been a passion for a long time for both of us.’

Jack: ‘I was singing in a school choir and school musicals, it was always something that l was very passionate about. I went to university to study Geography, never really knew what I wanted to do. I really enjoyed Geography, but I don’t think it was the right decision. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. Everything has just snowballed really well for us. The acapella group was really good fun, that took up more time than we expected. There were loads of rehearsals and it kind of opened our eyes to the impact that music can make. We were always so happy doing it and being our best on stage and entertaining people. It clicked for us when we were in our second year of university when we started doing YouTube videos together on our channel and we thought ‘maybe this is the dream.’

Who are your musical influences?

Jack: It’s very much divas – Beyoncé, I listened to a lot of Whitney Houston growing up. I just love the range of a female voice, I’ve never been that fussed about listening to male singers. That has changed a bit – I love Ed Sheeran now and Sam Smith’s voice is stunning – I think it is pop, but more R&B style. Diva vocals are always where I got my inspiration from.’

Joel: ‘At the moment, for me, it’s Bruno Mars. I just love his music and his musicality, I very much consider myself a musician first, so his musicality and songwriting skills are incredible, but also the way he performs.’

You have your own tour coming up very soon! Are you looking forward to it?

Joel: ‘We are so excited about the tour! It is such an accolade for us to be able to say that we are headlining a tour around the UK. We’re going to be bringing all sorts of things – from covers to our original stuff to stuff from our ‘X Factor’ journey as well, and maybe chucking bits and bobs of comedy in there as well. It should be a great tour, we are excited for everyone who wants to join us in the different places.’ 

How would you persuade someone to attend your tour?

Jack: ‘What we pride ourselves on is being super fun, that’s brilliant when it’s on TV, but where we really come alive is in person, so hopefully we bring across happiness in our performances. We’ve also got some originals that have never been sung before, so it will be an exclusive there. We will be selling our merchandise for the very first time. For us, it just shows that we are making our mark fully now as artists. The show was a brilliant platform, now this shows the direction that we want to take. We’re just really hoping that people are going to want to be on that journey with us.’

Joel: ‘Definitely the headline tour, the first time that our official merchandise is going to be out, the first time that some of our originals will ever be seen and heard before. It is a great time to come and see us as well.’ 

Do you have any plans yet for 2018 that you can reveal?

Jack: ‘Oh, massively. We are in a lot of meetings. We’ve always loved the music and that’s what we love doing, but there’s been a fair bit of interest from people recommending that we go into presenting or TV, doing personality-based things, which is obviously super flattering, because it means that people cared about our personalities. That is a door that we are very excited to open. Along those lines also, we’ve just launched ‘The Jack and Joel Show’ on YouTube, which is about people getting to know us better and listen to what we have to say in quite a relaxed setting. It’s a little bit like a vlog, but more individual and more us. We are doing one a week at the moment and talking about ‘The X Factor’ and then we will carry on with other topics in the New Year. The music is great and we are very excited about releasing our originals and doing our own music videos for that, getting the music on Spotify for people to stream. We are very excited, there’s loads of exciting stuff coming up.’ 

Finally, do you have a message for those who support you?

Jack: ‘We just can’t thank people enough. Everyone has been so phenomenal. All we ever wanted, we said, was to ideally get to Judges’ Houses, because then hopefully you do get on TV, and you get your exposure and have a brilliant time. It has just been amazing. I mean, it is a rollercoaster, I’ll say that, but it’s just been brilliant. We have had the absolute best time and the whole reason we are where we are now – the support from the people at home picking up their phones and going on the app. It means the world, people really don’t realise that they are making our dreams come true.’ 

Tickets for Jack and Joel’s headline UK tour by clicking here.

Are you seeing Jack and Joel at any of their upcoming tour dates? Make sure you tweet us and let us know: @CelebMix.


Written by Rachel Dempster