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Oritse tells of pre-JLS tough times

Published 08/06/2015

Oritse Williams is launching a solo career following the end of his band JLS
Oritse Williams is launching a solo career following the end of his band JLS

Former JLS star Oritse Williams has spoken about his struggle before finding fame and his transition to being a solo artist.

Williams, who now goes by the name OWS, revealed he did not always have life handed to him on a silver platter.

He recalled: " This is a long way from where I started. Every time I drive up to my house, I can't quite believe I live here now.

"A long time ago, before JLS even, when I was doing my own music, I used to be jumping the trains ... running away from ticket inspectors..."

"By the way, don't do what I did," he adds, "because it's illegal, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

"It was a crazy time for me, I was working three or four jobs at one time and making sure that every single day I did something to progress and get myself a bit further to where I wanted to be in music."

He said he believed hard work, dedication and tenacity eventually pay off.

Having recently launched a solo career, his new single, called Waterline, features American rapper Pusha T, who is signed to Kanye West's label.

Talking about his new music, Williams said: "Sound-wise, I'm writing a very personal record and a lot of what you'll hear from me, if you want to get closer to me, you can do that by getting closer to my music, because everything you hear through my music is going to be real life stories and things that really affect me."

Williams came to fame as part of boyband JLS, who were runners-up in the fifth series of The X Factor.

The band split up after five years, but Williams says they are all good friends.

Talking about making the move from a band to going solo, he said: "I think if you're going for the real commercial, aggressive, chart-chasing conventional solo career, it could be quite daunting for people that go that route.

"But for me this hasn't been that route, this has evolved organically."

He said making his latest album has been like therapy, adding: "Making this record and writing this music is very much like therapy for me at the moment.

"It's kind of strange, you know, that's the way I express myself as a musician and an artist, I don't know any other way. So, hopefully my fans will be able to get closer to me through my music."

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