“When in doubt, do the Gangnam Style.” – Max George
The Wanted was back in Singapore recently for their first ever concert here at the Fort Canning and despite having gained international recognition, the band remains modest and tells their fans that they should not expect a polished show as they’re still “rough around the edges”, and ultimately, the band feels that it is most important for the crowd to “remember the night as a good one.”
During the press conference, the band was presented with a platinum plague to symbolise 10,000 units of their digital and physical album sold here in Asia. The board at Universal Music Asia loved The Wanted so much that they decided to commit themselves to making the band stars in Asia; in fact, The Wanted is the first ever band that Universal Asia is personally promoting as their record label, as opposed to traditionally relying on external promoters!
Us at Poached Mag were certainly delighted, then, to be present as the British-Irish heart-throbs waxed lyrical about their fans, Singapore and dished out handy pieces of advice to budding artists (granted, they were directed at their teenage selves, but the same applies!).
If you could go back to a time when you were still teenagers, what kind of advice would you give to yourself regarding your career?
Tom Parker: Always follow your dreams. I never stopped believing that I would make it. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.
Jay McGuiness: Do your own thing and be yourself. At that time in your life, you always struggle with yourself as a teenager. But in the end it’ll pay off. Keep doing your own thing.
Max George: Whatever you do, try to be the best at it, whether you are a singer or a plumber or a butcher
Nathan Sykes: Practice! Practice! Practice! Put into as much hard work as you can and you’ll get your rewards.
Siva Kaneswaran: I wouldn’t change anything. I’ll just go back and tell myself to enjoy the ride
What would set you apart from any other boy band?
JM: We are very musical! We have control over our songs. We co-write a lot of them and we take a lot of pride in our music coming first. For our first song that we released, we toured with it across the UK. We made sure that the song was huge before we were huge, and I think our songs do very well! We also play instruments and we do take our music very, very seriously.
MG: I think we have more fun than all the other boy bands. I have no memory of last night. It was crazy!
From the last time we’ve seen you in Singapore, things have changed quite drastically in America. How does it feel for the band at this stage in time?
JM: I think we’re all very proud of what we achieved in the past 2 years. We’re really proud of ourselves even though we didn’t win the VMAs. With the success in America and worldwide, we’re just happy to be in line with the biggest stars in the world.
How do you feel about your fans in South East Asia?
JM: We love our fans so much and sometimes it is hard to make that seem sincere. Every single fan is important to us, from the quiet fan to the fan that screams and grabs you and goes crazy. They all mean the same to us. We know how much we mean to them and we read the letters they send in. It’s an escape for a lot of them. We take it with a pinch of salt because we know that things don’t last forever!
But the love they feel for us and we feel for them is really real. We want them to know that the time at our concerts is time to have fun and forget all your troubles. We’re just here to party and make you smile for a bit. When we meet them we try our best to give them good memories to keep after we’ve left because they’ve kept us here getting awards and doing concerts for years without even meeting us and we really do appreciate them.
MG: I’ve just become a huge fan of you (laughs)
Do you guys want to collaborate with any artists in the near future?
MG: We should do a collaboration with Psy. I did Gangnam Style all night last night at the club because I can’t dance. When in doubt, do the Gangnam Style.
NS: Psy came with us for a gig in LA last week and he did his song and he thought us the dance. We looked like idiots
Siva you have family back here in Singapore. How is it like being back home?
SK: It is amazing. Last night I went to see my family and all 5000 relatives that I’ve got. It’s just weird to be back home after having been gone for a year.I can’t put it into words because it gets me emotional. I’m missing home so much when I’m away, but when I’m back I always have a great time.
MG: Siva has got the nicest family as well. His little cousin followed us everywhere last night.
JM: It was momentous for Siva last night as well because his girlfriend met his family for the first time. They accepted her to the family and made her welcome so it was truly momentous.
MG: Siva absolutely loves it here. His soul is away with the clouds everywhere we go in the world and as soon as we land here in Singapore he switches on. He wants to meet people and he wants to talk. He could sit in an empty room all day with people coming in to chat with him, as long as they’re from Singapore!
Images courtesy of Harris Sim