Nathan Sykes: ‘I’m having the time of my life’

Nathan Sykes at the Hallam FM Summer Live Show at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, United Kingdom on 17 July 2015. Photo by Glenn Ashley.
Nathan Sykes at the Hallam FM Summer Live Show at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, United Kingdom on 17 July 2015. Photo by Glenn Ashley.

Morning assembly was a little bit different for pupils at a Northumberland school when pop star Nathan Sykes popped in to perform for them.

The 22-year-old, best known for being part of boy band, The Wanted, has now embarked on a solo career and is in the middle of a hectic promotional tour.

Having stayed overnight at Doxford Hall Hotel, he was at Berwick Academy before 9am to get ready for his 20-minute set.

There was a real buzz among pupils as they waited patiently for his arrival, followed by a huge round of applause when he emerged.

He kicked things off with his first single ‘Kiss me Quick’, followed by a cover of Charlie Puth and Meghan Trainor’s ‘Marvin Gaye’ and his next single ‘Over and Over Again’.

He then answered several questions from pupils before posing for a group photograph.

Afterwards, he said: “With social media these days there are so many ways of interacting with people but there’s no better way to do it than meeting them face-to-face and obviously getting to perform and then doing a question and answer was a lot of fun.”

There are long hours on the road - Norwich yesterday and Glasgow later today and then back down to London - but he is taking it in his stride.

“I’m really enjoying it,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun. It’s good to have complete creative control and obviously when you are in a band the creative control is split between five people so you’re writing for four other boys.

“Now I’m starting to really know my voice a lot more and do things vocally I never thought I’d be able to do and obviously from a writing perspective I’ve written the whole album myself. it’s kind of telling my story from the last two years and I think it shows a couple of sides of me.

“There is obviously the side people might expect from me, the cheeky and flirty side and then the other more deep and emotional side which I think is going to surprise a few people.

“I think everyone expects Nathan from the boy band, jumping around a lot but it’s good to be able to show people that I can play another part.”

He is not ruling out a reunion with his former band mates in the future but there are no immediate plans.

“I’m still in touch with the lads. Everyone’s good,” he said.

“Jay’s obviously working really hard on Strictly at the moment and he’s doing absolutely fantastic. He’s a dark horse. As soon as I found out he was doing it i thought ‘he could win this’! It’s really good that people are getting to know Jay and see what a really nice person he is as well.

“I think Tom is just about to start his DJ project and the other two are living out in the States now.

“You never know what’s going to happen tomorrow let alone in five or 10 years’ time but right now I’m very much focused on being a soloist and I am honestly having the time of my life.”

Nathan achieved worldwide fame as the youngest member of The Wanted, chalking up 11 million record sales with hits including Glad You Came, All Time Low and Walks Like Rihanna.

For his debut album, which is due out in the new year, he has collaborated with the likes of Diane Warren (Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera) and Babyface (Fall Out Boy, Madonna).

He has also recently been appointed an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust as it builds up to its 40th anniversary in 2016 and he is taking a very keen interest in promoting music and education to young people.

“It’s been really good to encourage music in education,”. he said. “I think it’s really important and the more they are encouraged they will want to do it as a career because it is such a great industry to work in.”