At the beginning of 2012, Trent Bell, Jayden Sierra, Will Singe and Julian De Vizio were just four guys from all over Australia who had auditioned with hopeful ambitions for the hugely successful reality show The X Factor Australia. Never could they have guessed that they would be thrown together as a boy band, in the hopes of creating Australia’s own One Direction, or end up coming third in the show’s grand final.
Two years later and The Collective seem like an entirely different group to the one seen on television. With a change in their group’s line-up and a more mature sound, they’re ready to release new music and to perform for their thousands of screaming fans. Jayden Sierra took time out from his busy schedule to chat to Renowned for Sound, and this is what he had to say….
Melissa Redman: Hi Jayden! How are you going?
Jayden Sierra: Hey Melissa, I’m good thanks.
MR: Where are you guys in Australia at the moment and what are you up to?
JS: We just arrived in Melbourne today, because we’re performing at the Royal Melbourne Show tomorrow, which should be a lot of fun!
MR: You recently released your new single The Good Life. Tell me a bit about that.
JS: Well The Good Life is the fourth single that we’ve released now. It’s basically an uplifting summer track about living the good life. We have the video clip coming out soon and that’s really cool, it has us jumping out of airplanes and bungee jumping and stuff.
MR: How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it? Has this changed since you originally formed?
JS: I guess we’ve always had a base of pop, but now we also have a lot of RnB, urban and rock influences. I mean, we have a rapper (Will) in the band and Trent has a fairly high-pitched voice that has more of a rock sound…. I’d say we’re pop with a bit of rock.
MR: Zach left the band at the beginning of this year. How did you guys feel about that and how did it change the group dynamics?
JS: It was pretty sad but we’d sort of been feeling like he hadn’t been giving it his all for a while. He came to us and told us that he just wasn’t really interested in the band anymore, and we respected that. We still keep in contact with him. In terms of our music, I guess we just had to try to make up for the voice that we lost.
MR: Your website bio says that you’ve been busy ‘Reinventing The Collective’. What does that mean to you exactly?
JS: Well I guess part of it goes back to what we were talking about with Zach and stuff. We’ve had to make up for what we lost and I think our music has really evolved and just gotten better. Our first single Surrender was really popular but we didn’t get much of a say in it. Our single from ealier this year Burn The Bright Lights was a more adult track and now we’re here with The Good Life, which I think is definitely the direction we want to be going in.
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MR: After the initial adrenaline of being on X Factor and being in the spotlight, did you find that having a career in the music industry differed to what you thought it would be like?
JS: It was sort of like a brick wall hit me after X Factor. I hadn’t really done much singing or anything before I auditioned and so it was a whole different world being in the music industry. But I think that X Factor was a good way to transition into this career; all the practicing and publicity that we had to do really helped to lead us into what we’re doing now.
MR: Would you encourage people to audition for X Factor?
JS: Yeah, absolutely! Today’s audience likes to watch people grow, and I feel that X Factor has that very visual component. I have some great memories of being on X Factor, and like I said before, it’s a great stepping-stone to a music career.
MR: You guys have supported Jessica Mauboy and Reece Mastin on their Australian tours. What was that like, and what was some of the best advice that those artists gave you?
JS: Touring with then was really exciting for us, because it was the first sort of big live shows we’d done. Both Jessica Mauboy and Reece Mastin have different fanbases to what we do, so it was nice to be able to show our music to different audiences.
As for the advice, it wasn’t actually anything that Jessica Mauboy said; it was one of those ‘actions speak louder than words’ moments. When we first met her she didn’t talk to us or say anything for the whole day, which was kinda weird. But it turns out she was saving her voice and making sure she was at her best for the show, which is really important.
MR: Have you had any crazy fan experiences so far?
JS: Oh I do have one story that I tell all the time! We were in Canberra, and it was just after we’d released out second single Another Life. We did a performance and signing in a shopping mall. When we were doing the signing, this one girl comes up and says to me ‘I hurt myself to see you today’. I was like uhh okay…. It turns out that the girl really wanted to come to the performance, but was meant to be in her school’s rowing finals that day. So she had her friend shut her fingers in a door and dislocated two of her fingers so she couldn’t row and could see us! I didn’t know whether to thank her for her dedication or to call someone…. Haha!
MR: You guys have over 100k followers on Twitter alone. Do you think about how crazy it is to have amassed so many fans over so little a time?
JS: Yeah it’s really weird! Our fans are all really dedicated and we love them for that. A lot of those fans came from X Factor, but we also gained a lot from doing the X Factor tv special in Indonesia.
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MR: Oh yeah! What was it like to go over there and do that show?
JS: It was amazing. Indonesia really was the next step for us, to try and get ourselves out there in a different country. It was the perfect experience. We got to meet some really talented people – we performed a duet with Fatin Shidqia and she was just amazing. 50 million people watched the X Factor in Indonesia, so that was just huge for us. We can’t wait to go back there sometime.
MR: Do you have an album in the works? If so, are you able to give me a sneak peak?
JS: Yeah we do. It hasn’t been officially talked about yet or anything, but we’ve got a lot of music that we’ve been working on. I can’t really give you any sneak peaks because we’ve been working on songs with other songwriters and stuff, so it wouldn’t be cool to give away some of their work.
MR: Ah well, I tried!
JS: Yeah you did, it was a good effort!
MR: Will we see a tour in the works soon? I noticed a ‘tour’ tab on your website.
JS: Well once we have an album done I hope so! We really loved doing the X Factor Tour shows, as well as our shows with Jessica Mauboy and Reece Mastin, and we just can’t wait to go and do our own show.
MR: If you’re going to tour just remember Tasmania. I like to remind everyone that we’re here haha.
JS: Oh we went there on the X Factor tour! I hadn’t been to Hobart before, it was really nice. The people in Tasmania were really polite… If we do a tour in the near future I’ll try to remember we have to come back!
MR: I’m going to hold you to that or else I’ll keep tweeting at you to come down to Hobart haha. Hmm I have time for one last quick question…. Who do you think is the most annoying member of the band?
JS: Oh that’s a tough one…. hmm….. I’m going to go with Julian.
MR: Any particular reason why?
JS: Uh, no…. Everyone’s sitting in the car with me at the moment so I don’t want to say something that will get me in trouble haha. You’ll be responsible for breaking the band up even more!
MR: Oh dear! Well thank you for your time this morning Jayden, and good luck to you and The Collective with the next step in your music career!
JS: No problem, it’s been really fun! Thanks Melissa.