Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

M.A.D about the boys - Busking Belfast teen now set for stardom in his own hit band

Michael Sutthakorn with fellow M.A.D. band members

Just a few months ago he was a schoolboy busking in Belfast.

Now 16-year-old Michael Sutthakorn looks set for chart glory as part of the latest boyband to hit the UK pop scene.

The talented teen makes up one-third of the band M.A.D after he was spotted by a manager singing on social media earlier this year.

And although they were just put together in July, the trio have already scored a Top 40 hit and a recording contract.

M.A.D – made up of Michael, AB Pryer and Dan Lewis – say they are "like One Direction meets Busted".

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph while home for Christmas, Michael said he couldn't believe it when the group's debut single Toyboy reached number 37 in the UK charts.

"We couldn't believe that after only 16 weeks of being together, we were already in the charts after having no major exposure on TV or radio," he said.

"We couldn't believe our luck."

The former pupil of Wellington College now lives in an apartment in Redhill, Surrey, with his bandmates while they plot chart success.

"I busked most weekends in Belfast city centre since I was 12 and this gave me the initial confidence to perform," the teenager said.

"I donated all of the money to charities in Haiti, Romania, and an epilepsy charity.

"Then my manager's team found the videos on Facebook.

"I flew over to London to have an audition and to see how I got on with the other boys. Luckily, everything went well."

He described his bandmates – AB who is from Petworth, West Sussex, and Dan who is from Bridgend, South Wales – as "best friends" with an unbreakable bond.

He also spoke of the reaction of fans to the fledgling stars.

"There are girls crying over us at the gigs," he said.

"My fans are amazingly supportive. We wouldn't have got this far without them. I now have over 100,000 followers on Facebook, it's absolutely crazy."

He's even had the chance to perform in his native Belfast where a signing was held at HMV in October.

"It was amazing, 800 people came and people were even queuing up from the early hours of the morning. It really hit me how much the band had achieved in such a short period of time," he said.

While the young star is living his dream, he admits the transition hasn't been easy at such a young age.

"I've missed home a lot, especially my family and friends. Leaving home at 16 has made me grow up very quickly. However, I come home once a month for a few days," he said.

"A few months ago I was only a schoolboy.

"It's all changed. Now we're in the studio recording our new album. We have trended worldwide on Twitter on a few occasions. It's crazy."

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