Let’s admit it; when X Factor babes JLS announced that they were all going their separate ways back in 2013, we were left feeling a little bit gutted/ sobbing into our annuals and listening to Everybody In Love on repeat.
However, as it happens, the four-piece split wasn’t entirely bad - with each of our fave boys going on to be super successful as dads, DJS, TV hosts, TV judges, and with their individual musical endeavours.
Still, despite all of that excitement we couldn’t help but feel like our lives were missing Aston Merrygold’s pitch-perfect high notes, which is probs one of the many reasons why we just had to nab the 27 year old for an exclusive chat when we fi-na-lly heard his long-awaited solo single ‘Get Stupid’ last month.
Can we get a 'hallelujah’? How about an 'about bloomin’ time’?
Explaining to us why his solo music took so ruddy long to reach our eardrums, Aston shares that after being in a band for absolutely yonks, he needed to dedicate the time to work out exactly what he wanted to do, and it can’t just be us who thinks that he reached the right decision, can it?
He tells us: “I have literally been in the studio and toying with styles. Coming out of a band, it was quite hard to leave that group frame of mind. It sounds really deep but I had to try and find myself a little bit - I am my own entity now and I couldn’t put out something that I didn’t believe it.”
And one of the biggest obstacles that stood in Aston’s way as he wrote and recorded his debut album was getting to grips with being a solo artist, and all of the perks that come with it, dishing: “Because there were four of us before we had to compromise with eachother.
“Nobody overruled anybody but now, without four minds for one song, it’s just me getting to do what I love to do.
"There was more compromise then and I had to think of other people - there were awkward moments where one of the others would be writing for JLS and have to stop to ask me if I was able to reach certain notes, you need to check with people, whereas now I already know if I can do it and if I can’t I just move on.”
Still, despite the lack of compromise being your own entity after spending seven years on the road with three of your bezzies does have one teeny tiny downside - it can all get rather lonely.
Aston admits: “The promo stuff and the downtime is lonely, of course it is, those were the times we would mess about and have the fun and banter. On stage it’s not so much because you are always in a zone so it’s easier to turn off and on… It’s okay though.”
And JLS fans will be super pleased to know that two years since the split, Aston, Marvin, JB and Oritse are as close as ever and just because they are no longer performing together, it doesn’t mean that they’re not constantly in eachother’s lives.
“I literally live so close to Marvin’s house - him, Rochelle, and obviously Alaia,” the star explains, “Then the other two are just on the opposite side of the M25 next to each other, so when one comes this side they’ll see us both and vice versa.
"We never get sick of eachother; we were together every single day for seven years and it never got annoying then - amazingly enough.
"You see some bands and some of them would travel in separate cars, but we were just like 'No, put us in the same car and we’ll just chill’. It didn’t ever feel like work but it was like working with your best friends every day.”
And with Aston laughing that his former bandmates are “thankfully” a fan of his new sound, we have a sneaky suspicion that they’ll be the singer’s biggest cheerleaders as he embarks on his solo career.
Erm… After us, of course.
Aston’s debut single ‘Get Stupid’ is released on 24th July. Pre-order on iTunes - http://po.st/iGetStupid