Having released his first solo single in 2015, Aston Merrygold has continued his solo music career and his latest single Hundreds and Thousands was released last week after releasing his first two singles of the year – Share a Coke and Overboard – earlier in the month. With ITV’s series The Masked Singer returning for Series Two at the end of last year, Aston reached the Finals where he was unmasked as Robin with his performances being a hit with viewers, and he is currently in the cast of Almost Never on CBBC playing the role of band manager Jordan. In 2017, Aston was a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing where he was partnered with Janette Manrara and he’s since appeared on stage as part of Rip It Up performing at the Garrick Theatre in the West End. Aston rose to fame as one of the members of JLS, who had a successful career over a number of years before going on hiatus in 2013, and they announced their reunion last year with an upcoming UK tour which has been postponed due to the ongoing pandemic. We recently talked to Aston about his recent releases, appearing as Robin on The Masked Singer and his upcoming tour with JLS.
Can you tell us about your recent release Hundreds and Thousands and how long were you working on the track?
Hundreds and Thousands is a track that has been sitting on my laptop for years and always has been one of my favourites. It’s a song about back and forth, daily experiences I’m sure a lot of couples go through.. and the lead lines ‘we’ve done this hundreds and thousands of times before’ just became visual when writing.
Before Hundreds and Thousands, you had recently released Share a Coke, what was this song like to work on and how did the idea come about for it?
Again, another song I wrote years ago when travelling the world and my fiancée was back home. I just wanted to show her a song to let her know no matter what I’m doing you’re top of my list… always.
What was it like seeing the response to your first release of the year, Overboard?
So crazy. I didn’t expect it in all honesty. I’m now in a space of I want to release music for me not for anyone else… if people enjoy it, it’s a bonus. If people talk about it, play it or are inspired by it, it’s a bonus.
How have you found the process of working on and releasing solo music during the pandemic?
With everything going on you find yourself with time! Time that wasn’t and isn’t there especially when travelling and working all hours. So it’s actually been great to take you away from the crazy time we’re in.
What was the experience like performing as Robin on The Masked Singer and what did you enjoy most about your time on the show?
It was an amazing experience… getting to sing some of my favourite songs with basically no judgement… just people trying to work out who I was was honestly so great and refreshing.
How was it seeing the response from family, friends and fans to your unmasking in the final?
The main reason for doing the show was to see my little boy’s face once unmasked… that reaction was priceless and better than I thought!
What is Jordan like to play in Almost Never on CBBC and what drew you to the role?
Getting to play a manager of technically what I was doing for a major chunk of my life is fun… not to mention easy to draw experience from. It’s nice to play the part and know the reality of it.
Do you have any funny or favourite moments from your time on set you can share with us?
I mean, the blooper reel says it all to be honest, so you’ll have to check that out!
What was it like being part of Rip It Up and working on a show like this?
I met a lot of crazy talented people on this job and it was nice to be on a West End stage for such a stretch!! Hard but good times!
Can you tell us about your time on Strictly Come Dancing with Janette Manrara and did you have a favourite routine to perform?
Strictly was a lot of fun! As you can see from everyone’s reaction every year… great to be a part of! J is great, she really helped make the journey fun and taught me a lot when learning these different styles! My favourite was the Salsa, I think, or Paso!
Where does your love of music come from and did you always want a music career?
No, I was a footballer and athlete first, that was always the dream… then, once I got injured, acting came into play with music on the side. Then finally music took over and I haven’t looked back since!
Who are some of your favourite music artists to listen to?
Daily listens are Michael Jackson, Usher, JT, Mario… more recent artists I’d say Bryson Tiller and Tory Lanez.
JLS announced they are returning for a tour which has now been postponed due to the current pandemic, how does it feel reuniting as a group?
Feels great. Like old times and with the response given it’s really exciting.
How different do you think it will be performing as JLS now to when you first started out and before the group’s hiatus?
Well, we’re all older and uglier so it’ll be different for sure but it’s going to be nothing less than amazing.
What are you most looking forward to for when the music industry can fully reopen?
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