Aston Merrygold rose to fame back in 2008, as part of boyband JLS. The group came second on The X Factor UK and continued to garner incredible success for five years, including sold-out tours, eight number one singles (five as a band, three through involvement with charity singles), five albums, and numerous awards. In 2013, however, they announced that they would be splitting, and performed their last gig at the O2 Arena on December 22.
In 2015, Aston stepped out as a solo singer and showcased his debut single ‘Get Stupid’. Since then, he has been honing his craft, perfecting every inch of music for his fans, who have remained loyal and dedicated since the band’s split.
Earlier this year, we were treated to another single called ‘I Ain’t Missing You’, which showcased another side to Aston. As well as new music, he has been touring the world, including several performances in Australia.
In December, Aston will be releasing more new music, in the form of ‘Too Late’. We caught up with Aston to talk about ‘Too Late’, adapting to life as a solo artist, and what the future has in store for him.
Your new track ‘Too Late’ will be released in December, what can you tell us about it?
Yes, ‘Too Late’ is out on 2nd December. l am making it available online for the fans to get a side to me that they haven’t necessarily seen before from anything l’ve done in the past. I recorded an acoustic video for Children In Need and l’ll have a new video coming out alongside the release. This time of year is really about reflecting, making changes etc and not losing sight. ‘Too Late’ is about our own experiences, falling and getting back on track. Check out the acoustic and click here to have a sneaky peak and to pre-order!
‘Get Stupid’ and ‘I Ain’t Missing You’ are both incredible tracks but very different from each other. However, ‘I Ain’t Missing You’ is more of what we’d expect an Aston song to sound like. Where does ‘Too Late’ fit in on the spectrum, or is it a completely different sound again?
Yes they are different. I listen to various genres of music and l have quite a wide range of sounds to music. ‘Get Stupid’ was really just about having fun. ‘I Ain’t Missing You’ is still upbeat but in a slightly ‘cooler’ way. My influences come from different places and therefore my songs are quite varied.
With ‘Too Late’, the song is quite an emotional one. It’s about perspective. I’ve been on a journey, and everyone in life has ups and downs. How we rise from our falls is not always straight forward. ‘Too Late’ is about reminding people that whatever you’ve been through in the past, it’s too late to change it so don’t waste time. Change the future by being in the present. Think about where you are going, what you really need to move forward before you jump. It’s not always about the fast track.
“It’s too late for yesterday, too early for tomorrow. You can’t go back home till you find the reason you were gone.”
Have you filmed a music video for it yet? What can we expect from it?
The video for ‘Too Late’ wasn’t something that l wanted to be over the top or elaborate. It’s stripped back, raw, different again to the other videos l’ve done.
We’re excitedly anticipating your debut album. Are you close to releasing it, and is it still expected to be called ‘Show Stopper’?
Stay tuned! There will definitely be an album next year.
You’ve been a solo artist for a while now – how have you adapted to the process of recording, writing and performing on your own instead of as a group?
It’s obviously slightly weird making a transition of being around a group all the time to doing it on your own but I love it. I loved being in the band but the time was right for me to do this as a solo artists an so l’m embracing it! I still have close friends around me, in the band, dancers etc so l can always get up to mischief!
How does it feel to have sole control of your musical direction now?
That’s something really important to me. That’s also why it’s taken so long. You have to be sure. The music is a reflection of me now, not a band. I am so passionate about the music I make so to have control is really key.
The artwork for your last single, ‘I Ain’t Missing You’, featured wrongly spelt versions of your name crossed out. We remember people calling you Ashton back in the JLS days! Do you finally feel that people are acknowledging the real Aston Merrygold?
Haha… STILL happens! Hence the T-Shirt! We’ve also created a range of T-Shirts and hoodies where people can personalise their own names!
You recently teamed up with Throttle and LunchMoney Lewis for ‘Money Maker’. How did that collab come about?
It actually came through the record label, Warner. Throttle and l are both signed to the same label and they thought it would be a good combination.
You got to perform the track on X Factor Australia – what was it like to revisit your talent show roots, albeit in a different country?
I love doing those shows. I performed on X Factor there last year too. It’s always slightly nostalgic and a great reminder and feeling that l’m performing on the show l came from. Last year funnily enough Dannii Minogue was a judge, and she was also a judge on my series when JLS competed, so that was a nice moment. She was proud, it was special.
You’ve been busy performing across the globe, from supporting Jason Derulo on his UK tour, to appearances in Australia and shows in Ibiza. What has been your performing highlight so far as a soloist?
Yes, everything on building a global career is really exciting. Performing throughout the summer with Kygo was great, he’s such a talented producer so we’re trying to work on some new music together and yeah.. Jason Derulo was great too. I’ve spent a lot of time in Italy, and touring in Australia and doing all the TV shows and radio shows out there was amazing. A real highlight was doing the Late Late Show with James Corden too. That was a lot of fun. So many really, it’s hard to pinpoint but hopefully these are all just the beginning highlights!
We’re hoping for your very own solo tour in the future! Are there any plans for this?
Definitely! I absolutely cannot wait to do my own solo tour. I would do it tomorrow if I could but we have a few things musically and strategically to get in place first and then I will be ready to gooooo! I really can’t wait for this side of it, it’ll be a lot of fun. I have so many ideas!
What does 2017 have in store for Aston Merrygold?
New music, new collaborations and more shows!