America’s known for pumping out vocal harmony groups, AKA boy bands, since Jackson 5 and the Osmonds to New Edition, and of course, more recently Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync.
And now, there’s JLS.
Oh, but America is not responsible for birthing this group of fine-tuned, well-dressed, musically gifted lads. Yes, lads—the UK’s equivalent to American Idol, the X-Factor has made JLS stars overseas—even if they were the runner-up in the competition. That didn’t stop this band from selling over 2 million records!
Oritsé, Marvin, Aston & JB make up JLS, whose hype is starting to feel like the second coming of the Beatles. JLS made their first trip across the pond to promote their new single “Everybody In Love” and upcoming album in the US. StarShine was able to chat with founding member, the very humble and gracious, Oritsé.
When asked about the amount of TV exposure based around the X Factor, Oritsé seemed unaffected. “You don’t actually think about it while you’re in the competition. It’s kind of funny because you have cameras on you, but you don’t really get to see the outside reaction because you’re stuck in the house for so long with the other contestants,” he explains. “For us, we were literally fighting each week to stay in the competition and that’s all you can think about. You want to stay in the competition and achieve that record deal and that whole pop star package that comes at the end of it. Fortunately enough for us, we made it through to the finals, and following that we got signed to Epic Records. We were allowed to really get hands on with our creativity in terms of our writing and everything we did.”
With JLS’ hands-on creativity, the band managed to score a #1 album in the UK along with two Brit Awards, which is equivalent to America’s Grammy Awards.
JLS cites Usher, Justin Timberlake, Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder as musical influences, but also fellow vocal harmony groups like Jackson 5 and ‘N Sync. Oritsé told us JLS was lucky enough to do a show with the Backstreet Boys, another influence, as well as have dinner with Boyz II Men, who had a huge impact on the band. JLS was happy to receive advice from one of their idols. “Boyz II Men told us, ‘every time you go onstage give 150%. It doesn’t matter what situation you’re in,” Oritsé says. “Together, as a 4-piece band, you’re tighter than anything’. We’ll always remember that.”
The past month and a half, JLS has been going from city to city introducing themselves to US radio and fans with “Everybody In Love”, which is Oritsé’s favorite song of theirs so far. “That song is not just about being in love with your girlfriend or boyfriend. It’s about being in love with your family, with your friends, with anybody you’re in love with. It’s a very universal song.” The song is now available on iTunes.
JLS will be hitting America even harder in the summer of 2010 with many performances lined up at Six Flags across the states. “We like to entertain our crowd,” says Oritsé. “There’s a lot of different tricks, dancing, singing a cappella. We have real fun.”
As a group, what’s JLS’ main goal? “Our biggest goal is for us to let everyone hear our music,” Oritsé tells us. “It’s even more amazing when people outside of your homeland get to know who the band is and what we do.”
With Simon Cowell putting his stamp of approval on JLS, they’ve got a great big push in the right direction. Americans, even the ones who hate him, can’t seem to trust Simon’s opinion enough. After hearing JLS sing a cappella, it’s no wonder why Cowell is so adamant about this band. These four guys have all the chemistry and talent to be the next big thing everywhere!
To tie up our interview with Oritsé, we asked him to say something to his fans. “Thanks everyone for supporting us in America! We’ve been to as many states as we possibly can physically be in the last six weeks. We’ll continue doing our best out here to meet our fans and take pictures and give autographs and stuff. We’re so grateful to you guys.”
It’s about time there was a new boy band in town…JLS offers some new flavor with their R&B-pop, that’s not just bubblegum.