X Factor who? Yes Lad prove they've moved on from reality TV image

Their debut single will be released on April 28

It has been a rollercoaster few months for Yes Lad since they were controversially dropped by Louis Walsh on The X Factor.

But although their reality TV dream ended, the lads were determined to break away from their manufactured image and make it on their own.

And with a debut single poised to be released later this month, followed by an album, it seems that very little harm has been done since they exited the show.

The band, made up of Cian Gleeson, 19, Joel Healey, 19, Sonny Hardman, 19, Lewis Maxwell, 16, and Jake Donlan, 20, write their own material and class their biggest asset is their “likability and northern humour”.

Fame has not made the lads forget their roots either – they love nothing more than hanging out together and going to their favourite nightclub, Level in Bolton.

Yes Lad

Cian said: “Since we left the show it’s been great because we’ve found our own style and sound and written our album, so we’re not like a traditional manufactured boyband.

“The thing is about X Factor is it’s the biggest talent show in the world that you can enter, but it’s a reality TV show first. We went on the show and it gave us a great springboard and fanbase, but it didn’t portray us as we wanted to be.

“The problem with reality talent shows is they’re not doing what they initially set out to do. Long gone are the days that Mary who works in Tesco will ever win.

“It was an amazing experience and we are grateful for the exposure the show gave us, but we are so much happier with where we are now.”

Yes Lad’s fanbase, known as #LadsArmy, has grown and grown since their first appearance on TV when they wowed the judges with their rendition of Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop The Feeling.

But with all that behind them, the lads are keen to show what they’re made of musically.

Sonny said: “We’ve been in the studio to record out album and we were writing two or three songs in a day. It just kept flowing. We wanted to put it together as quickly as we could because we were so keen to get out and tour.

“We’ve all got our own taste in music which you will probably hear in there, it has a very modern sound so relates to some music in the charts such as Justin Bieber, but it’s unique to us. We wanted to make music we like ourselves.”

The band is managed by Nigel Martin Smith – a man who has a very good track record for boybands (he was responsible for Take That’s early career). So it’s safe to say the lads feel like they’re in the best hands.

Lewis said: “Nigel’s great. He tells us all about his days with Take That so we’re hoping that history will repeat itself with us, but in a different way.

“He lets us be ourselves which is really important to us. He guides and mentors us, rather than tells us what to do. We don’t want to be manufactured.”

Jake, the newest member or the band who took over from Luke, who left seven months ago following the band’s edit from The X Factor.

He said: “I was really worried about how people would take to me but there’s been nothing negative thankfully. The fans have been great."

Joel added: “We’re all just normal lads from the north west and I think that people can see that. We don’t just work together, we hang out together and go out clubbing sometimes too. We love Level in Bolton, we go there quite a lot.

“We just want to be who we are, and if people like us, come and join the fun.”

Their debut single Walk Away is released on April 28, with their as yet untitled first album following later in the year.

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