You can take the boy out of the midlands but you can’t take the midlands out of the boy – and that’s especially true for Jay McGuiness from pop sensation The Wanted. Andrew Trendell caught up with Jay to see how he was handling life in the limelight.
“I do miss home,” says the chirpy 20-year-old Jay McGuiness. Currently on top of the world with The Wanted, last year they took the pop world by storm with the chart-topping All Time Low and are currently riding high with Comic Relief single Gold Forever. But even after the smash-hit album and an army of young female fans, Jay says he hasn’t forgotten where he came from.
“I lived just outside of Newark and I had to get an hour long bus ride to Mansfield to go to school every day,” he remembers. “Then I decided that I wanted to do singing, dancing and all that kind of stuff so I left school after my GCSEs and went to college in Nottingham.”
“We’re all lads from the Midlands and up north and we’ve all just got more of an attitude to work. We put the hours in and people from around there are just a bit nicer.”
Jay says that back in school he wasn’t bad at academia but soon realised that he wanted a life in pop.
“I started doing stuff like this after school and thought that if it was fun I would try to get better at it,” says Jay.
“Even when I was doing this at college I was enjoying it but never knew if I could make it but my mum had spent all of this money and I didn’t want to let her down. Then when I left I spent nearly a year auditioning for stuff and getting knocked back, but I just kept going because I didn’t want to let anyone down.”
But all of the hours and dedication paid off eventually when Jay landed an audition for a boyband that would become The Wanted – and his dream finally came true.
Jay continues: “We did a gig at the Nottingham Royal Concert Hall around the time of All Time Low and my mum was there in the box. She likes to think she’s dead hard and never cries, so I sung this one bit of a song to her and she cried like a baby,” laughs Jay.
He adds: “That was just amazing to have all these girls there going mental and mum just saying ‘what are you doing? It’s just my son, he’s an idiot.’ I’m just so lucky.”
The Wanted play Nottingham Royal Concert Hall on Saturday 2nd April and Sheffield City Hall on Sunday 10th April. See www.gigsandtours.com for ticket details.