Back in 2014, the X Factor threw together eight solo auditionees to form a boyband super-group called Stereo Kicks. The octoband, made up of Barclay Beales, Tom Mann, Casey Johnson, Chris Leonard, Jake Sims, James Graham, Reece Bibby and Charlie Jones, impressed the judges with their vocals and made it through to the live shows, with Simon Cowell calling them ‘one of the best bands they’d ever had on the show’. They were also a hit with the public but after eight weeks in the live shows, they were eliminated and finished the competition in fifth place.
After the show, Stereo Kicks enjoyed some success together, building an army of fans and selling out various shows across the UK, including their own headline tour. They also released a brilliant debut single in 2015 called ‘Love Me So’, which was written by Tom. The underrated track charted at number 31 in the UK (although they had the number one single of the week in the physical singles chart).
After only 11 months together, the band then decided to go their separate ways after failing to secure a record deal. We think it’s a shame that no-one took a chance on Stereo Kicks – ‘Love Me So’ showed that they had a lot of potential and so much more to give, but the music industry has become so much tougher recently.
Nevertheless, the eight members are now doing their own thing so we decided to take a look at what exactly each member is up to now!
Barclay, who infamously yodelled the first time he auditioned for X Factor in 2013, has been doing gigs alongside Tom. They also formed an acoustic duo called Crosstalk, making themselves available to perform at weddings and other functions. However, most recently it seems that Barclay is working towards entertaining the masses on cruises and at live events. Barclay is now a member of Peel Talent and has been pictured in the ‘Thompson Spirit Summer 2016 Show Team’ photoshoot. They will be performing their first live show in less than two months.
Casey has also been gigging with Tom, most recently on a mini-tour in January. He also performed as a soloist for the first time since before Stereo Kicks in November 2015. His Twitter bio states that he is a musician and model, and he has shared some stunning pictures from photoshoots on his Instagram. He is also still dating Betsy-Blue English, better known from her time in fellow X Factor group Only The Young.
The youngest Stereo Kick is still in school working towards his GCSE’s, but has made time for a few gigs, co-headlining some ‘View My Gig’ shows with Tom and Chris. He has also started his own YouTube channel, sharing covers and challenges with his fans. He has also released his own merch, including t-shirts, beanies and wristbands. Charlie has already showed great potential as a solo singer, by sharing an original song called ‘Choose You’, which was written by himself and Tom.
Like most of the boys, singer/songwriter Chris has been performing across the country at various gigs. We can expect to hear his vocals again soon, as he has been working with DJ Paul Morrell on a track called ‘Move’ which will be released in the Spring. It seems that Paul has a great track record for working with ex-band members, having previously released music with Sugababes’ Mutya Buena and Pussycat Dolls’ Kimberley Wyatt. We can’t wait to hear what brilliance Chris will bring to one of Paul’s tracks!
— Paul Morrell (@PAULMORRELL) December 17, 2015
Bristolian Jake has just launched his solo career. He will be releasing his self-written EP Long Time Coming on February 15th, alongside a launch party in London on the same day. He has also become an ambassador for Teens Unite, a charity dedicated to improving the lives of young people aged between 13-24 with cancer and life limiting illnesses.
Many called James the lead singer of the group, so it’s no surprise that he too has launched a solo career. After signing to the James Grant Group, everything’s been kept pretty schtum, with promises of big things to come. However, James did share a gorgeous cover of Sam Smith’s ‘Writing’s On The Wall’, reminding us of his fantastic vocals and what we can expect from him in the future.
Reece is the only member who’s not gone solo, and has actually joined another boyband instead. He is now a member of trio New Hope Club, who are managed by Prestige Management and are signed to The Vamps’ label, ‘Steady Records’. The band will also be going on tour with The Vamps across the UK later this year. The trio have put up several videos online, covering The Vamps, One Direction, Justin Bieber and more. Their latest cover is a version of Shawn Mendes’ ‘Stitches’.
Tom has been super busy since Stereo Kicks split up. After showing the world that he could write a damn good song with ‘Love Me So’, he then released a beautiful three track EP called ‘In the Blink of an Eye’. Tom also supported the EP with a mini tour, doing shows with ‘Showcase Live’ and ‘View My Gig’. He didn’t do these shows alone either – any fan who’s gone to see Tom perform will have most likely seen Barclay, Casey, or Charlie along the way too. Tom seems to want to focus on the writing side of things, which is brilliant as he is extremely talented, but we hope he keeps on singing too.
It’s great to see that all of the boys are keeping busy and working hard after the split. We wish them all the luck and success in the future! Who are you looking forward to hearing more from? Tweet us @CelebMix or leave a comment below.
Let’s throwback to when Stereo Kicks were still together – watch the acoustic rap version of ‘Love Me So’ below.