As one fifth of boy band The Wanted, 23-year-old Nathan Sykes was always known as ‘the cute one’. Now, he’s back as a solo artist, and his third single, the very saucy Give It Up, is set to be a huge hit. Currently on tour with Little Mix, we caught up with the singer for a chat…
How has solo life been treating you?
I have never been happier – if I’m completely honest! Especially on the creative front. The videos and songwriting are all coming from me – there are no discussions with four other people or input from anyone else. It’s very much a me driven project, and it’s exciting. Every day I’m learning new things about myself as an artist and as a person.
Is it like starting again?
Absolutely! I get really excited that people are treating me like a new artist. I was nominated for Best New Artist as part of the Radio Disney Music Awards recently and that was amazing. The fact that people are taking it seriously is so nice.
You are on your third solo single now…
I know, it’s mad isn’t it? It’s called Give It Up and I think it shows yet another side of me. With my first solo single, Kiss Me Quick, you got the cheeky playful side, then I really stripped it back for the second, Over And Over Again, and I think this one is sexier.
When I started writing it, I didn’t think I’d have a sexy song on the album. I think I almost surprised myself with it.
Is there anything you particularly need to give up?
I think I probably need to give up my laziness. In the Over And Over Again video there’s a scene where I take off my shirt. On the day, I was looking at all the different scenes and then thought: “Oh, no! I haven’t been working out, this is going to be really embarrassing.” So I literally got on the floor and did 20 sit-ups – but then realised it was a bit too late for the sit-ups! I should be in better shape than I am.
Have you enjoyed being on tour with Little Mix?
I’m really enjoying it. I’ve just been with my guitarist Louis and I get to play the piano as well. The Little Mix ladies are amazing. They are the loveliest girls and are so talented too. That shows when they are performing – their vocals are outstanding! It’s a pleasure to be part of their tour, and I know half the team from my time with The Wanted, so it has been nice seeing them as well.
Will you be bringing out an album soon?
Oh yes, the album is due out in the autumn, which is exciting. It’s a complete introduction to me and hopefully some of the old fans will like it, but it’s also a time to make new fans too. There’s a lot of variety on the album, but essentially it’s a pop album with soul, R&B and jazz thrown in. There’s one more collaboration to come too, with a male artist you won’t be expecting!
You performed again recently with your ex-girlfriend Ariana Grande. Was that weird?
It was really nice working with her, and I think it shows real maturity that we can put everything aside and just focus on the music. A lot of people in that situation wouldn’t have done it. She is a sweetheart and she’s having great success at the moment, so it’s great to see her doing so well. We are both very supportive of each other’s music.
She has launched her own fashion line. Is that something you’d like to do in the future?
Well, it’s not something I’ve thought about. I’ve been busy concentrating on my music. I do keep an eye on the fashion side of things, though.
Where do you go shopping?
I try to keep it sophisticated, so I’ve stopped wearing jeans and now wear trousers that are rolled up. I go shopping at Cos, Reiss and I like the French designer Sandro too. I do love my shoes. I’ve got some from designer Louis Leeman. They’re cracking!
How many pairs do you have?
Too many! I still have all my hightops and boots from my time in the band, which I don’t even wear any more. There’s probably a room full of clothes and shoes from back then… so, if anyone wants them!
What’s coming up next for you after the tour?
I’ll probably be going back to America. I’ve got lots of summer shows to do. There’s a great reaction to the songs over there, which is amazing.
Nathan’s new single Give It Up will be available soon