X Factor Union J's Josh on One Direction and The Wanted and babies at Bluewater book signing (From News Shopper)
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X Factor Union J's Josh on One Direction and The Wanted and babies at Bluewater book signing
A YEAR ago, band Triple J and singer George Shelley were sent home from the X Factor bootcamp having failed to make the judges houses stage.
A slice of luck and some visa problems for a fellow band later, they were reinstalled in the competition as four-piece Union J and reached fourth in the contest.
Since then, the band have amassed well over a million Twitter followers, had a top ten hit and performed to 80,000 at Wembley.
Ahead of the release of their second single and debut album in the middle of October, the band launched their first book Our Story at Waterstone’s in Bluewater yesterday.
Picture by Nick Johnson
Bandmember Josh Cuthbert told Vibe: “It is crazy to be signing our own books. It’s quite surreal.
“I’m only 21, I’ve barely started living. To think there’s a book out about me and the boys is a dream come true. We’re over the moon.
“Even though we’ve only been together a year, we’ve done a hell of a lot in a year. It’ll give people more insight into what we’ve been doing.”
Prior to joining the group, Josh was a keen footballer but was forced to give it up after a nasty injury and was working in sales for IBM while trying out for the X Factor.
He said: “In between all of our auditions I went back to work.
“After bootcamp, I went back to work for four weeks before we got the call.
“I kind of had highs and lows through those four months. As much as I enjoyed my work, it wasn’t what I wanted to do.”
When the second chance came, it did so in dramatic circumstances.
Josh said: “They didn’t show it on TV but Louis Walsh ended up knocking on my door. X Factor said they needed everyone to get to my house in the next two hours.
“The doorbell rang and Louis Walsh was at the front door and broke the news to us. It wasn’t the most normal of days, I have to admit.”
Post-X Factor, Josh said the band were “living the dream”.
He said: “We’re four really lucky boys that are getting on so well and having the time of our lives. It has just been surreal and so crazy.
“We don’t know how long it is going to last – hopefully 10 or 15 years – but we also know most groups have a shelf life so we’re making the most of it.”
With bandmate JJ Hamblett recently announcing he is to be a father, some fans have already begun to speculate about the band’s future.
Josh said: “Obviously it is a blessing. We’re chuffed to bits for the boy and we’re going to be there to support him.
“We have read a few little comments saying ‘is this the end of Union J?’ It’s not, it’s just the beginning. We are very proud of him.”
After their debut single Carry You went to number six in the charts in June, and Josh is hopeful the follow-up Beautiful Life will do even better when it comes out on October 21.
He said: “We’re hoping that our next single will be a top five – a top three would be a dream.
“It is a special song to us, that’s why it’s more important to us that people like us.
“Our first single was my least favourite on the album, so that inspires me to think maybe we can push on.”
It is obvious to point out that the boyband sector is a crowded one, and Josh said Union J are friendly but competitive with their rivals.
He said: “We get on really well with One Direction and The Wanted but at the same time, I’m not going to lie, I want to beat them.
“I want to be more successful than them. I’m just a very competitive person.
“One Direction are a phenomenon. I don’t think it’ll happen again in my lifetime for a band to be that huge.
“The have done so well – right place, right time – and they are five great guys with great voices and great songs.
“We can’t even consider being as big as them at the moment. I suppose a few years ago they were in the same position.”
Union J’s second single Beautiful Life is out October 21, followed by their debut album Union J on October 28. Our Story is out now.
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