LONDON (Reuters) - Nearly 30 years after forming British chart toppers Take That, manager Nigel Martin-Smith hopes to emulate his 1990s boy band success a second time round with a new all-male group.
Just like Take That in its heyday, Yes Lad counts five members - Cian Gleeson, Joel Healey, Sonny Hardman, Lewis Maxwell and Jake Donlan - hailing from northern England and ranging in age from 17 to 20.
The group, which auditioned on talent show “The X Factor” under a slightly different line-up last year, release their debut single “Walk Away” this month. Nigel-Smith describes their music as “quality pop”.
“I have not put a band like this together since Take That,” he told Reuters in an interview.
“It was the anniversary of Take That’s first hit or whatever and I thought...why haven’t I put all the ingredients that made Take That so successful - why haven’t I looked for them and done it again - and this is the result really.”
While plenty of boy bands stormed charts and secured legions of female fans in the 1990s, the most recent success story has mainly been One Direction. Martin-Smith said there was space for “a fun, musical uplifting act” like Yes Lad.
“It’s getting a bit heavy at the moment the charts, it’s a bit boring...There’s some great acts out there but I think what the lads are...they’re having fun, they’re young and I think there’s a market for that,” he said.
“They are a boy band in the fact that they’re a band and they’re all boys but they’re not a boy band in that they’re not just pretty boys who have only just learned to sing or can’t sing. They are genuine musicians.”
In a digital age, Martin-Smith said the music industry had changed since Take That’s heydays, whose members went their separate ways and now perform as a trio.
“There’s less money in the business now because people are streaming so much more and downloading music...so it’s a lot harder now to develop new artists,” he said.
While developing a social media presence is key, he added Yes Lad were visiting schools and community centres to build a fan base.
“We would love to emulate the success of Take That,” Gleeson said. “It’s a dream to us and we feel like we can get there.”
Reporting By Sarah Mills; Writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; editing by Susan Thomas