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The Wanted's most Wanted

The Wanted's most Wanted

Posted 20 May 2016   |   1541 views   |   Men's Interest   |   Comments (0) Former The Wanted boyband member turned solo star Nathan Sykes has been keeping himself busy carving out a solo career that’s seen him duet with former girlfriend Ariana Grande and hit Number 1 on the Billboard US Dance Club charts

JUST A TEENAGER when he joined The Wanted, Nathan Sykes is enjoying adulthood. “I had the reputation of being the quieter one but that was mostly because I couldn’t go out clubbing,” says the 23-year-old singer. “They were all going out and I couldn’t even get into a club, or if I did, I was thrown out by security about five minutes later.” Having transformed from cute teen — he was just 16 when he started his boyband career — to handsome adult, the not-so-quiet-anymore star with the fantastic voice, as showcased on new single Give It Up, is making up for lost time. “I’m not behaving like an absolute nutter but I’m not at home in bed, reading a book by 8pm,” he laughs.

“I’m pretty much doing what most 23 year olds do, with the bonus of getting to sing and travel the world.”

His gay fanbase dates back to when The Wanted did G-A-Y and Pride. “And it’s changed as I’ve grown up. The messages and comments — not only from gay fans but also from mums — are getting saucier. Originally it was ‘Don’t go near him, he’s only 16,’ but it’s OK now that I’m in my 20s.”

Talking on phone from Glasgow, where he’s supporting Little Mix’s Get Weird tour, Sykes sounds psyched. “I’m really at ease with life and enjoying everything that’s happening,” he says. “The girls are lovely and they put on an incredible show. I’m doing a very stripped-back set, which is a contrast to the big production the girls are doing.”
And does it ever get weird on the Get Weird tour? Nathan laughs. “It’s been quite normal and not weird at all. Everyone is nice and friendly.”

Gloucester-born Sykes looks younger than 23 and he’s been singing since the age of six — performing in various competitions (he came third in the Junior Eurovision pre-selection and got to kiss Britney Spears when he won her Karaoke Kriminals contest). He briefly considered a career as a footballer, then won a scholarship to the prestigious Sylvia Young Theatre School. Then came the not-manufactured-by-a-TV-talent-show boyband whose All Time Low in 2010 was the first in a string of hit singles culled from three top ten albums. The boys called a hiatus in 2014 to pursue solo projects (but they’ve left the door open for reunions), with Sykes proving the most productive of the bunch, musically speaking.

Brilliant debut single Kiss Me Quick reached a respectable number 14 in the UK when released last summer and topped the US dance chart. Follow-up Over And Over Again fared better in the UK chart, peaking at number eight, and Nathan was joined by ex-girlfriend Ariana Grande (with whom he’s still friends) on a remix. Since The Wanted split, Max George has dabbled in acting, Jay McGuiness won Strictly, Tom Parker popped up on The Jump and we’re not sure what Siva Kaneswaran is up to. But it’s Nathan who has the highest profile, having done lots of UK telly and being hailed by People magazine as one to watch in 2016. No wonder he sounds chuffed and promises his debut album, out later this year, will prove his versatility — from the brassy Kick Me Quick to the sexy R&B of Give It Up via song-writing collaborations with Babyface and Diane Warren.

Comparisons to Zayn Malick are inevitable. “But listen, I’m a massive fan of Zayn and his album is brilliant,” is Nathan’s gracious response to that. He was also impressed with Jay’s fancy footwork on Strictly. “He was so good, wasn’t he? We knew he could dance but not like that. I was really proud of him.”

Nevertheless, Nathan isn’t itching to do the show. “Never say never, but I’m very music-focused and I’d never be as good as Jay.” And how do his biceps compare with Jay’s?

“They’re terrible!” he admits. “At the start of the year I decided to get in good shape and go to the gym every day. I went for a weekand I was knackered. I ordered a pizza and have never looked back.”

Give It Up featuring G-Eazy was released on 13 May

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