Interview: Fresh off X Factor, U.K. boyband Yes Lad debut new music and choreographed dancing at Manchester show

UK boyband Yes Lad is made up of five young lads, Cian (20), Jake (20) Sonny (20), Joel (20) and Lewis (17) from the north west of England. They made their singing debut on the 2016 series of X Factor UK and got through to the judges houses where they visited and performed for judge Louis Walsh before being sent home.

Kicking off the show with their debut single, “Walk Away,” the band then proceeded to rattle through a collection of songs, this included songs that will be appearing on their upcoming album. All songs came with movement choreographed by Jake, the majority of fans had learnt the dance to the bands latest single and danced along with the band. The compulsory phone light and swaying hand moment happened during the bands cover over Harry Styles “Sign of the Times,” as Cian played the guitar and the fans sang back to them.

The bands level of enthusiasm never dropped during the entire set and they ensured they gave everything for their fans. The band greeted and took photos with every fan as they entered the venue and interacted with them throughout the show.

Before the show, we had a chance to talk with the young band about their origins, touring history, and upcoming plans.

Becca Arnold: Hi Yes Lad, how’re you all doing?
Cian:
We’re excited to be here.
Jake: Yourself?

I’m great thanks, now would you like to introduce yourself and describe how you feel right now with an emoji.
Cian:
Should I go first? My names Cian I’m 20 years old and my emoji for today would have to be 😝.
Joel: That like your go to pose on a picture that. Anyway, I’m Joel, I’m 20 and I think I just live with the smirk emoji😏.
Lewis: My names Lewis, I’m 17 and my emoji would have to be😇, because I’m all cool.
Sonny: Hi, I’m Sonny and I’m 20 years old, my emoji would have to be this one ✋🤚 because it’s reaching for the sky.
Jake: Can I have two emoji’s? They go together pretty well. My names Jake, I’m 20 years old and my two emoji’s would be the 🔝 and the 🌎 because I’m on top of the world right now.

For anyone that hasn’t heard of you, you guys appeared on the 2016 series of X Factor and got through to judges houses and grew quite the fan base from the show, how was that experience for you? Except Jake as he obviously wasn’t in the group then.
Cian: You know what X factor was an amazing experience overall, I think like you said it gave us a massive boost and gave us a fan base almost instantly and that kind of publicity you can’t really buy. We felt it was too big of an opportunity to turn down, so we just kind of went for it, we had a laugh and a good time, it was a massive learning curve for us all and I think it made us stronger as a band but we feel like now we’re onto like the next chapter of our career and we’re able to do what we want to do and write the music we wanna write and go and perform in the places we wanna perform. We’ve got a lot more freedom now and that’s not to say X Factor didn’t help us because it really did.

Jake how did you become part of the band?
Lewis: This is actually a good story.
Jake: Well I applied for an agency through a dancer that I knew, he’s a dancer for Bieber actually. I reached out to him and he was like “oh come meet up with us when we’re on tour with Justin”. So I just went out to meet him, it was quite bizarre really. He gave me a link for this agency in Manchester and I signed up left all my details and a show reel and they told me they weren’t looking for any professionals at the minute, a week later I got a call off Nigel Martin-Smiths Agency which is the bands manager and one of the girls in the office asked if I would like to come in and help work on the band and it was supposed to be just choreography at the time. So I went in and started dancing with the lads, taught them a routine and they started to signing and then I decided to join in and sing along.
Lewis: It was one of them moments when we all just looked at each other and we were like “do you want to join the band?”
Jake: That’s actually how it happened, like that was the day I joined the band. So do you choreograph all the dances in your live set then?
Jake: Yes, every single one of them.

Do the other guys get a say in them at all?
Joel: Nope not at all.
Sonny: That’s not to say that if we can’t do something or we don’t think somethings right…
Cian: That’s the only time we input, like we can’t do that.
Joel: It’s like when he tries to make us do a backflip its like no.
Jake: It is good though because these guys teach me the ways of how to sing and how to make your voice stronger.
Lewis: There’s a good balance it works.

So obviously since X Factor you have been touring all over the UK, including doing school tours. Which city has been your favourite to play?
Cian: I love to play Newcastle, they go mad for us there. We have a really big and loyal fan base in Manchester obviously with it being our home town but Newcastle is the second biggest city that we go to, they’re all just a bit barmy up there.
Lewis: I have three, mines Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle. Because I’m from Liverpool but were based in Manchester and Newcastle are just nuts.
Sonny: I just like going to places we’ve never performed before, like we’ve never been to Glasgow before but we’re playing there tomorrow.
Joel: I love the Scots.

You’ve just release your second single ‘Something More’. Describe it in three words.

Cian: Absolute, Banger, Buy.

What is the single about?
Lewis: When we were in the studio it was like for all of us it was a really new experience because we’ve never really done anything like that before. We literally just went in to find the bands sound and we just started randomly writing all these tunes and it just sort of happened naturally. It was a massive jamming session and we had a keyboard and guitars and it wasn’t necessarily about us either, it was just about like random situations and random stories that we had heard of or even films. It just sort of happened. With this single we were in a small room in London and we were just jamming and the hook just sort of happened.
Sonny: The hook came right at the last point actually right at the last minute, because we had the drop and we had to put some vocals on there so we just played the melody and then-
Lewis: One of you were humming the tune we decided on and then we were like why not just put it in, so we did.

What have the fans reactions been like to the single?
Lewis:
Oh they’ve been ace, haven’t they.
Joel: Theres like this little dance that we do at the chorus and when we go to schools and stuff we always like bring them up on the stage or wherever we’re performing and make them do the dance. They always like to get involved. They already know all the words, its mad like when you do a gig and they sing the words back to you.

So do you guys have any plans for the future?
Cian:
We do yes, so we’re going to be releasing an album, obviously the single something more is going to be on the album, we’re going to be releasing like another single later this year and then I think we’re going to be dropping the album this year but later on. But at the moment we’re just on tour for the next couple of weeks and just enjoying that. We have gig over the summer like prides and Morecambe Carnival, we’re booking up a lot of stuff. At the minute we just want to put as much music out there and perform to as many people as possible. Our aim is just gig everywhere and anywhere.
Lewis: But we are having a blast.

And finally have you got any messages for your fans reading this?
Cian: Just to say thank you very much for supporting us really.
Jake: Big thanks to the Lads Army.
Lewis: Yeah, they’re really really loyal.
Sonny: Obviously to keep supporting us because bigger things are going to happen.
Jake: We need you guys to be here with us for the ride, we appreciate it a lot.

Becca Arnold

Becca Arnold is a Manchester-based music photographer. See more of her work at beccaarnoldphoto.portfoliobox.net.

Interview: Fresh off X Factor, U.K. boyband Yes Lad debut new music and choreographed dancing at Manchester show

UK boyband Yes Lad is made up of five young lads, Cian (20), Jake (20) Sonny (20), Joel (20) and Lewis (17) from the north west of England. They made their singing debut on the 2016 series of X Factor UK and got through to the judges houses where they visited and performed for judge Louis Walsh before being sent home.

Kicking off the show with their debut single, “Walk Away,” the band then proceeded to rattle through a collection of songs, this included songs that will be appearing on their upcoming album. All songs came with movement choreographed by Jake, the majority of fans had learnt the dance to the bands latest single and danced along with the band. The compulsory phone light and swaying hand moment happened during the bands cover over Harry Styles “Sign of the Times,” as Cian played the guitar and the fans sang back to them.

The bands level of enthusiasm never dropped during the entire set and they ensured they gave everything for their fans. The band greeted and took photos with every fan as they entered the venue and interacted with them throughout the show.

Before the show, we had a chance to talk with the young band about their origins, touring history, and upcoming plans.

Becca Arnold: Hi Yes Lad, how’re you all doing?
Cian:
We’re excited to be here.
Jake: Yourself?

I’m great thanks, now would you like to introduce yourself and describe how you feel right now with an emoji.
Cian:
Should I go first? My names Cian I’m 20 years old and my emoji for today would have to be 😝.
Joel: That like your go to pose on a picture that. Anyway, I’m Joel, I’m 20 and I think I just live with the smirk emoji😏.
Lewis: My names Lewis, I’m 17 and my emoji would have to be😇, because I’m all cool.
Sonny: Hi, I’m Sonny and I’m 20 years old, my emoji would have to be this one ✋🤚 because it’s reaching for the sky.
Jake: Can I have two emoji’s? They go together pretty well. My names Jake, I’m 20 years old and my two emoji’s would be the 🔝 and the 🌎 because I’m on top of the world right now.

For anyone that hasn’t heard of you, you guys appeared on the 2016 series of X Factor and got through to judges houses and grew quite the fan base from the show, how was that experience for you? Except Jake as he obviously wasn’t in the group then.
Cian: You know what X factor was an amazing experience overall, I think like you said it gave us a massive boost and gave us a fan base almost instantly and that kind of publicity you can’t really buy. We felt it was too big of an opportunity to turn down, so we just kind of went for it, we had a laugh and a good time, it was a massive learning curve for us all and I think it made us stronger as a band but we feel like now we’re onto like the next chapter of our career and we’re able to do what we want to do and write the music we wanna write and go and perform in the places we wanna perform. We’ve got a lot more freedom now and that’s not to say X Factor didn’t help us because it really did.

Jake how did you become part of the band?
Lewis: This is actually a good story.
Jake: Well I applied for an agency through a dancer that I knew, he’s a dancer for Bieber actually. I reached out to him and he was like “oh come meet up with us when we’re on tour with Justin”. So I just went out to meet him, it was quite bizarre really. He gave me a link for this agency in Manchester and I signed up left all my details and a show reel and they told me they weren’t looking for any professionals at the minute, a week later I got a call off Nigel Martin-Smiths Agency which is the bands manager and one of the girls in the office asked if I would like to come in and help work on the band and it was supposed to be just choreography at the time. So I went in and started dancing with the lads, taught them a routine and they started to signing and then I decided to join in and sing along.
Lewis: It was one of them moments when we all just looked at each other and we were like “do you want to join the band?”
Jake: That’s actually how it happened, like that was the day I joined the band. So do you choreograph all the dances in your live set then?
Jake: Yes, every single one of them.

Do the other guys get a say in them at all?
Joel: Nope not at all.
Sonny: That’s not to say that if we can’t do something or we don’t think somethings right…
Cian: That’s the only time we input, like we can’t do that.
Joel: It’s like when he tries to make us do a backflip its like no.
Jake: It is good though because these guys teach me the ways of how to sing and how to make your voice stronger.
Lewis: There’s a good balance it works.

So obviously since X Factor you have been touring all over the UK, including doing school tours. Which city has been your favourite to play?
Cian: I love to play Newcastle, they go mad for us there. We have a really big and loyal fan base in Manchester obviously with it being our home town but Newcastle is the second biggest city that we go to, they’re all just a bit barmy up there.
Lewis: I have three, mines Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle. Because I’m from Liverpool but were based in Manchester and Newcastle are just nuts.
Sonny: I just like going to places we’ve never performed before, like we’ve never been to Glasgow before but we’re playing there tomorrow.
Joel: I love the Scots.

You’ve just release your second single ‘Something More’. Describe it in three words.

Cian: Absolute, Banger, Buy.

What is the single about?
Lewis: When we were in the studio it was like for all of us it was a really new experience because we’ve never really done anything like that before. We literally just went in to find the bands sound and we just started randomly writing all these tunes and it just sort of happened naturally. It was a massive jamming session and we had a keyboard and guitars and it wasn’t necessarily about us either, it was just about like random situations and random stories that we had heard of or even films. It just sort of happened. With this single we were in a small room in London and we were just jamming and the hook just sort of happened.
Sonny: The hook came right at the last point actually right at the last minute, because we had the drop and we had to put some vocals on there so we just played the melody and then-
Lewis: One of you were humming the tune we decided on and then we were like why not just put it in, so we did.

What have the fans reactions been like to the single?
Lewis:
Oh they’ve been ace, haven’t they.
Joel: Theres like this little dance that we do at the chorus and when we go to schools and stuff we always like bring them up on the stage or wherever we’re performing and make them do the dance. They always like to get involved. They already know all the words, its mad like when you do a gig and they sing the words back to you.

So do you guys have any plans for the future?
Cian:
We do yes, so we’re going to be releasing an album, obviously the single something more is going to be on the album, we’re going to be releasing like another single later this year and then I think we’re going to be dropping the album this year but later on. But at the moment we’re just on tour for the next couple of weeks and just enjoying that. We have gig over the summer like prides and Morecambe Carnival, we’re booking up a lot of stuff. At the minute we just want to put as much music out there and perform to as many people as possible. Our aim is just gig everywhere and anywhere.
Lewis: But we are having a blast.

And finally have you got any messages for your fans reading this?
Cian: Just to say thank you very much for supporting us really.
Jake: Big thanks to the Lads Army.
Lewis: Yeah, they’re really really loyal.
Sonny: Obviously to keep supporting us because bigger things are going to happen.
Jake: We need you guys to be here with us for the ride, we appreciate it a lot.

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