12 June 2012
"We’ve been getting a lot of people asking, ‘Are you guys a gimmick?’ We want people to walk away from our shows seeing us as real artists. We really sing and we really dance, and we do both with a passion.”
As the three members of Young Men Society were all too aware when they first entered the television talent search X-Factor, exposure on the show can act as a double-edged sword. The boys are sitting in TMN’s offices, where they discuss their projected career trajectory, and their reasons for entering the competition.
“We just really wanted to take it to the next step,” explains Nate. (He, along with Andi and Josh, make up Young Men Society. As with all good pop acts, no surnames are needed). “We’d been pushing R’n’B music at the start, and we were finding it really difficult to push through. X Factor came around at the right time for us. Obviously we combine singing and dancing and we thought it’d be a perfect opportunity for us to showcase both those talents. We thought, ‘Let’s go in there as the group we want to be seen as, let’s go in there with the song that best represented us at the time and just give it our best shot.’”
After receiving a standing ovation after their first audition, the trio felt that X Factor may provide the career breakthrough they’d been seeking since forming three years earlier at a hip hop dance class. Producer Israel Cruz–who has co-written tracks with Ricki-Lee, Jess Mauboy and Stan Walker, among others–worked as an early mentor to the group, bunking down with them in the studio and helping them build both their songwriting and production chops. However, by the time the X-Factor audition had swung around, the group began to feel they were banging their heads against a brick wall. Not long after, the weather broke.
“After the first episode aired, our Facebook and Twitter went insane,” explains Nate. “We had three friend requests,” continues Andi, “then I woke up the next morning with over one hundred friend requests on Facebook. “I thought ‘What the hell is this?’”
Despite this instant adoration, the group still found that once the program had ended, their top eight placing didn’t exactly lead to a flood of record company interest. Regardless, they kept building upon this exposure, self-recording a single and creating their own accompanying video.
“Some of the [X Factor] artists got given everything on a plate, in our case we created the plate,” laughs Andi. “After the show we actually didn’t have any kind of [label] options, there was a point in time where we were really down, but we just told ourselves, ‘Let’s just keep going, let’s make this track, let’s just keep recording, let’s do a video for it,’ and that ended up being We Own The Night.
The track piqued the interest of Sony, who put the band on tour with dance pop act Justice Crew. “When Sony heard the song they loved it,” recalls Nate, “and we said, ‘We’ve actually made a video for it’, and they loved the video, so they pretty much just dove straight onboard.”
“We’re really proactive,” adds Josh. (Evidentially the quiet one; although later he describes the group’s goal as “to take over the world.” He is only half-joking.) The group’s hard work with Cruz, and the way in which they secured their deal with Sony means they are now in a privileged position for a pop act. “We can go away and create the material, and take it back and go, ‘These are the ones we’re feeling’ – we get more creative control than most,” explains Nate.
With the group currently in the studio, working on creating a batch of “strong singles,” there seems to be no cap on their ambitions. “We want to be big,” Nate confirms. “We’re in this because we love it. It’s not a hobby for us, it’s our lives so if we are gonna do it, we might as well go hard.”
17 May 2013
The President of the Wee Waa Show Society, Brett Dickinson tells us more about the annual agricultural event, which starts today.
17 May 2013
We chat to the founder and CEO of Kobalt Music Group about changing the game of music publishing and copyright administration.
16 May 2013
We chat to Paul Jackson – dmg Radio’s Group Program Director – about smoothfm's impressive first year.
09 May 2013
Thom Yorke's favourite festival OutsideIn is coming back on September 21, and the curators are planning to up the ante, which probably means that Bowie will be dropping in this year. We chat to Astral People's Leron Danilewitz to find out what to expect.
09 May 2013
We put Paul Higgins, Managing Director and A&R Director, Empire Records & Publishing, also playing in pop against the majors.
06 May 2013
MusicNSW invited 16 musicians to take part in the roundtable, selecting representatives of diverse scenes such as electronic, underground and improvised music.
03 May 2013
We chat to Colin Blake, the newly-appointed head of Rdio Australia, a joint venture with DMG Radio.
26 April 2013
Lars Brandle catches up with Dwayne Cross, Director of Paperchase Sports and Entertainment and Promoter of Supafest, to find out what went wrong.
18 April 2013
We caught up with Nick Adams, Director of One to One Marketing at Telstra, to chat about their new ticketing service.
17 April 2013
Nominations have just opened for this year’s National Indigenous Music Awards, which makes this the perfect time to chat to Music NT Manager Mark Smith.
16 April 2013
We heard reports of a new musical about the Rugby League State Of Origin, being penned by noted author Hugh Lunn. Naturally we had a few questions...
12 April 2013
Stephen Halpin from Cattleyard Promotions chats to TMN about Groovin' The Moo and his recent trip to SXSW.
12 April 2013
Feel Presents is behind the Dig It Up! national concert series, which starts April 18 at Brisbane’s Tivoli.
+ SHOW MORE
18 March 2013
One of the most important aspects of the policy is that some initiatives will allow the music industry to be more involved in funding and policy-making policies. We ask the industry for early reactions.
15 March 2013
We ask Jack Flanagan, co-owner of Weathermaker Music, all about their one-stop-shop setup.