We headed down to Thorpe Park yesterday to see Little Mix and Only The Young at their Island Beats gig and managed to grab an interview with the last remaining band from the last series of The X Factor (Blonde Electra don’t count). In our interview we speak about their debut single ‘I Do’, snogging Rita Ora and why they’ll never enter Eurovision (boo!)
It’s been just over six months since you left The X Factor. What have you been up to since the competition ended?
Charlie: We’ve just been promoting the single which is out at the end of the month. It’s available to pre-order now on iTunes and Google Play. We’ve been doing like five or six radio stations everyday and then playing festivals in the evening so we’ve been very busy and looking forward to the single coming out.
It’s quite rare for a band to do as well as you did on The X Factor, especially a band that’s just pure pop. What do you think it is about the four of you that helped you do so well on the competition?
Betsy: I think it’s just how we different are. There isn’t really a mixed group out there that produces the same music as us. Well, there’s not a mixed group out there, period. So that’s probably what it is and we brought something new to The X Factor, I feel. At our first audition everyone said they could really see our chemistry and tell that we really do like each other so I think people probably warmed to that and I think we made songs quite different on the show.
You didn’t win The X Factor but do you think you could win Eurovision? We think you’d do amazingly well on it.
Betsy: There’s actually an inside joke in the band, we always say “We’ll just go on Eurovision if all else fails” but no, I don’t think we’d ever consider it.
We shouldn’t be giving the BBC a call after the interview then?
The debut single ‘I Do’ is released on July 31. How long did it take for you to settle on it becoming the first single?
Charlie: It took a while. We heard the song about a year/two years ago for the first time and we really really liked it and then when we started thinking about what we should do for the first single, we came back to it and we changed it up a bit and we went back and played around with the song and made it our own. We played it at one of our headline shows and it felt really right so we went into the studio and cut it and then put it out there within the process of about three weeks.
Much like your YouTube covers and the performances on The X Factor, it’s a really fun pop track. Is that the sound that you’re going for or will there be something different to come?
Betsy: I think there’ll be something different. It’s summer and people kind of want to hear that uplifting summer anthem.
Charlie: At the same time we’re kind of wanting to go for an acoustic driven sound. Every instrument on the track is played in live, there’s no electric instruments, there’s nothing like that. We obviously played the song live before we recorded it so all the instruments are played the way we would play them and they’re all instruments that we can play and we really wanted to focus on that.
As the single’s about marriage, we want you to play Snog, Marry, Date and Avoid with the new X Factor judges Simon Cowell, Cheryl-Fernandez Versini, Rita Ora and Nick Grimshaw.
Betsy: My favourite! We’ve done this already. I’d marry Simon, Snog Cheryl and Rita and avoid Louis.
Parisa: Louis isn’t there anymore…
Betsy: Who is it? Nick? Oh, I’d avoid Nick.
Parisa: I’d date Rita, snog Cheryl, avoid Nick and marry Simon.
Charlie: I would date Cheryl, snog Rita, avoid Simon and marry Nick.
Mikey: I’d do the same as Charlie.
Betsy: Why would you marry Nick?
Charlie: We’ve got similar hair and he’s just crazy. Have you seen his cover of ‘Beauty and a Beat’? It’s amazing. Why would that not make you want to marry him?
Speaking of the new X Factor panel, does it make you sad to see your mentor Louis go?
Betsy: Errrrrr…. Errrrrr…. Errrrrr….
Parisa: Maybe he needs a break. He’s getting a bit old.
Charlie: His wrinkles are getting deeper.
Betsy: He’s got new bands and all that jazz so maybe he just wants to concentrate on them. He might just need a bit of time.
Charlie: Everyone needs a bit of old Louis.
Betsy: TLC. Tender Louis Care.
Before X Factor you covered Rita’s ‘How We Do’. If you were to audition this year would you have performed it for her or would that have been a bit too scary?
Betsy: I think that’s a bit cheesy, to be honest. To sing songs that judges have sung. Saying that, we did sing ‘Viva Forever’ at our Judges’ Houses audition.
Parisa: Mel B wasn’t there though so it was fine. It’s a good song. You didn’t get to see it but it’s a good song.
We’re here today at Thorpe Park because you’re supporting Little Mix at the Island Beats gig. Have you had a chance to get any advice from them about what to do after X Factor?
Charlie: We’ve done quite a few gigs with Little Mix now. We did a few before X Factor but we’re both really busy because we’re the two main acts for tonight’s gig so we’re busy sound checking and getting ready and we’ve been doing loads of press around the park but I’m sure we’ll see them later in the change over between our two sets.
What’s your favourite Little Mix single?
Betsy: We love ‘Black Magic’ but bar ‘Black Magic’ because that’s the single at the moment, I really like ‘DNA’. There’s something about ‘DNA’.
Parisa: Yeah, I love ‘DNA’.
Mikey: I really like ‘Black Magic’. I think that’s a really good song.
Will there be more chances for your fans to catch you live soon?
Charlie: Yeah, we’re doing over thirty events and appearances over the course of the summer and we’re doing a signing tour for the single so just head over to our socials (OTYOfficial on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) and all the details are over there.
Finally, after the single’s done what next for Only The Young?
Betsy: Well, hopefully we can have a lay-in. That’d be amazing. More gigs, working on the second single, working out which one’s best and then hopefully an album.
Only The Young release ‘I Do’ on July 31. Pre-Order here.
Thorpe Park’s Island Beats runs until August 29. Tickets are available here.