Josh ( 17) tops chart with Louis Walsh’s new band Hometown
IT’S been a crazy few months for Blessington native, seventeen year-old Josh Gray.
Since getting a call while in class at Blessington Community College to tell him that he was the sixth and final member of Louis Walsh’s new boyband Hometown, his life has changed forever.
After a rigorous seven months of rehearsing and recording, the group released their debut single ‘Where I Belong’ which went straight in at number one in the Irish charts.
‘I couldn’t believe it,’ said Josh said yesterday on his way to Belfast to perform at the Cool FM Jingle Ball. ‘We were hoping it would do well, but I don’t think any of us expected a number one. It was mad really.’
Having been together just seven months makes the bands achievement all the more astonishing, but hardly surprising given Louis Walsh’s involvement and the fact that he’s already billing them as potentially being a new One Direction.
With chart topping success comes big shows and Josh and the rest of the band had their first experience of a massive show when they played the Cheerios Childline Concert in the 3 Arena. ‘ That was crazy as well,’ said Josh, who is the youngest band member.
‘I was shaking beforehand. Hopefully it didn’t distract too much from the performance. It was surreal getting to share a stage with the likes of McBusted and Shane Filan and to play somewhere like the 3 Arena was unbelievable. Hopefully we can make it back there again.’
Back home in Blessington, champagne corks were popping as the news of Hometown topping the charts arrived.
Josh’s parents Catherine and Aaron and his little sister Alex are all delighted about his newfound stardom.
‘Everyone back home has been really great about it,’ said Josh. ‘My friends and of course my family are all delighted for me. My little sister is a really big One Direction fan, but I think she’s starting to understand and become a Hometown fan now! Unfortunately I haven’t made it home for a while now because I’ve been so busy with the band, but it’s great when I do make it back to Blessington to see everyone.’
With a number one single under his belt, Josh will find that when he does make it home, everyone will be out to congratulate him.
‘We’re starting to get recognised a bit on the street and that now alright,’ he said.
‘We’ve no airs or graces about us or anything like that though. We just take everything as it comes, but it is weird.’
Josh remains busy for the next few weeks as he performs with the band in the Olympia Panto ‘Aladdin’ and then their sights will turn on the UK.
‘Hopefully the new single will do well,’ he said. ‘We’re planning on heading over to the UK for a bit to get our name out over there and hopefully things will go well.’
With a number one single and a performance at the 3 Arena under his belt at the age of just 17, you can be sure that this is just the beginning for Josh Gray and Hometown.
(Above) Louis Walsh with the members of Hometown, including Blessington’s Josh Gray(second from right); and (right) Josh’s Twitter reaction to the band reaching no.1.