Interview: Rough Copy dream of Croydon homecoming gig and life after X-Factor

Croydon Guardian: Rough Copy, (L-R) Kazeem Ajobe, Sterling Ramsey and Joey Thomas. (pic credit ITV) Rough Copy, (L-R) Kazeem Ajobe, Sterling Ramsey and Joey Thomas. (pic credit ITV)

Rough Copy may have been knocked out of X Factor but the group are confident they can still make it in the music industry and plan to perform soon in Croydon.

The band were voted off the show on Sunday which meant they missed out on a potential £1m record deal.

The group lost out to Luke Friend after receiving the lowest amount of public votes but are far from despondent as they plan to make it in the music industry.

Made up of Sterling Ramsey, Joey Thomas, and Kazeem Ajobe, the band is already confirmed to go on the X Factor Tour in 2014.

They are also hoping to sign a record deal and release their first single next summer and organise a homecoming gig which they hope will involve fellow Croydon contestant Hannah Barrett.

It has been a rollercoaster journey for the trio, who at one stage thought they would be without Kazeem due to visa issues which also halted their progress last year.

But he was given a reprieve after Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell helped him sort out his visa and Gary Barlow dramatically re-introduced Mr Ajobe back into the group before the live shows started.

Croydon Guardian:

Rough Copy during their final performance in the sing-off (Picture: ITV)

Since then the group have earned rave reviews from the judges with a string of impressive performances in the live rounds which has only seen them finish in the bottom two twice.

Joey Thomas, 26, said it was an honour to get so far in the competition.

He said: "It was a crazy journey. We were so grateful that we could perform together as a three after we thought we had lost Kaz.

"To get through to the ninth week is a blessing and honour. We are very different to anyone who has been on the show really. It was humbling that people accepted us."

He added: "We would love to do a gig in Croydon. Headlining at Fairfield Halls would be great. It is just a matter of making a few calls.

"We want to celebrate Croydon and we have gone out there and tried to put Croydon in the best light. It would be great to get Hannah along as well. She is like our little sister."

Croydon Guardian:

The band are hoping to organise a homecoming gig.

Sterling Ramsey featured on the front page of national newspapers after stories emerged about his past, including his family's criminal links.

But the 25 year-old, who has done a lot of youth work in recent years, said he wants to be a role model for young people.

He said: "Everyone has a history, everyone has got a past, everyone has done something they wish they haven’t done. But I do not regret anything.

"I have never hurt anyone, I have just tried to live and get by in life. If you can work hard then you can get to where you want to be.

"Everyone’s history makes you who you are. I am so proud that I got this far and I am sure the other guys feel the same. This is a great platform for us now.”


Croydon Guardian:

Sterling Ramsey on being knocked out of X Factor:

“We are feeling good. I cannot wait to see final and support our people. It would have been great to make it but making the semi-final is a great achievement and we are proud to have made it this far.

“The first time we were in the bottom two we were against Hannah and that was tough as we were really close with her, she is our little sister.

“It was emotional this weekend. We made our mark on that stage and the whole world know about Rough Copy now.”

Croydon Guardian:

Kazeem Ajobe on the fans and X Factor memories:

“It is great that people like what we do and get behind the movement. We are so genuine in what we do and I think people want to get behind us.

“Being able to sing with the boys at the lives was a highlight. That first show we sang Phil Collins and that was a statement song to say we are here to stay. I will always remember that.

“We got some great comments that week, especially from Nicole who said we could be one of the best.

“In terms of what I have learned, you certainly have to be versatile but be true to yourself and know what direction you want to go in.”

Croydon Guardian:

Joey Thomas on the future:

“We have got gigs all over the place including overseas. Then we have the X Factor tour as well. It will be non stop work really.

“When we finish the X Factor tour that is when we can sit down and concentrate on our own music and our own brand and get into the recording studios.

“Hopefully we can get signed up and have a single out by the summer. Then in 2015 let’s see where we can go. Hopefully we can carry it on until we are in our 60s with grey hair.”

Croydon Guardian:

Sterling Ramsey on the group getting a record deal:

“I think we deserve it. There is no reason why we can’t get a record deal. People are saying we will replace JLS but we cannot fill their space.

“They created their space so we need to create our own. We are totally different groups and we want our own fan base.

“When you come off a platform like X Factor you just have to keep on working. There is not much time to relax at the moment.

“Our job is music, we are artists. So we need to work hard and if we don’t have a Christmas this year then we will have a bigger and better one next year.

“Our families understand where we have come from, there were times when we couldn’t afford the travel card to our own gigs so we know about putting in the hard work.

“We do it for us and we do it for them. We want to make them proud."




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