Four-piece group Brooklyn formed in January this year and just five days later travelled to Cardiff to audition for ITV’s X Factor.
Despite hardly knowing each other and having only a few hours to rehearse, they made it through the first rounds to audition in front of Gary Barlow, Kelly Rowland, Louis Walsh and Tulisa Contostavlos, and a live audience of 4,000 people.
Billy Ashley, 24, said: “I have never felt that nervous before, ever. We were there from 6am queuing up for six hours. We’d never performed on stage before, until then we’d just rehearsed in J’s bedroom, but there we were at Cardiff Arena in front of 4,000 people. My heart was racing.”
Brooklyn, also made up of Jaymi Hensley, 21, J Brock, 25, and Lee Wilby, 22, (who couldn’t make our interview), performed Forget You by Cee Lo Green and In My Head by Jason Derulo.
Billy, who sings and plays guitar, said: “Our sound is quite pop, it’s similar to JLS, One Direction and The Wanted.
“As we develop we’ll probably do more of a mix of stuff. We are an all-singing, all-dancing boyband and I am proud to say that.”
Their audition caused some disagreements between the judges but the boys made it through to boot camp.
Former Putteridge High School student Jaymi said: “The whole experience was just surreal. We spent 24 hours a day with cameras following us round. The press were everywhere and we were being driven round in big X Factor buses that had to go on huge detours because we were being followed by paparrazi.
“When I went out back home it felt weird not having cameras everywhere, like I’d forgotten what normal life was like. You get so used to the X Factor bubble, it’s crazy.”
The talented boys do all their own promotion and management, from booking shows to arranging interviews.
Jaymi said: “At the moment we’re doing a schools tour and we’d love to visit as many as possible.
“The X Factor was a brilliant experience and we’re hoping people will get to know us from that. We’d absolutely love to switch on the Christmas lights in Luton this year.”
If you’d like to book Brooklyn to perform at your school, visit www.Brooklynofficial.com, go to the Brooklyn Official Facebook page or contact the News Desk on 01582 700600.
To see a video of Brooklyn perfoming for the Luton News go to www.lutontoday.co.uk.