INTERVIEW: District3

District3 are coming to Glasgow to do an exclusive Source Session – and you could be there! We caught up with Greg ahead of the gig…

What have District3 been up to since The X Factor finished?
When we finished the show, we went off to do the X Factor tour. That was really good, amazing venues and we got to work with some really cool people. Since then we’ve still been gigging but for the last month or so we’ve been locked away in the studio working on the EP and getting everything ready for the tour. We’ve got about a week and a half now and we’re off on tour.

How would you describe the whole X Factor experience?
It’s pretty crazy. It really puts you through it – emotionally as well. Boot camp is a really tough week and every week on the live shows you’re always getting worried for Sunday. It’s a mad experience but it’s given us some really great opportunities, it’s been a massive platform and we’re really grateful for our fans.

Do you think because you guys were a band before the show, it helped you with the experience?
Being in a band, in my opinion, always helps because you’ve always got each other’s back. Because we’d been together for a couple of years before we’d started the show it really did help, especially in the emotional times of the experience. We’ve always got each other’s back and you can have a good laugh whilst you’re doing it with your mates.

How has life changed for you since The X Factor?
It has been pretty different. From the little things like getting noticed in the street or the opportunities it’s given us to go on and do our own tour. There is a lot of credit due to The X Factor for getting us to this stage. It’s been pretty mad and we’re so grateful for the things we can do now.

How would you describe District3’s sound?
Vocally, it’s still got an R’n’B influence like we’ve always enjoyed. As far as the sound of the music, it’s a bit of a variety actually. We’ve got some pop tracks you can have a good little dance to and then we’ve got some mellow stripped back ones. Some tracks are more acoustic sounding. We’ve also thrown a bit of dubstep in as well as a little bit of drum and bass. It’s a nice variety.

Who would you say are your musical influences?
I think we’ve all got slightly different influences which helps to create a unique sound. At the moment, I’m really into Tori Kelly. She’s an American artist and she’s incredible. I love my R’n’B stuff, like Chris Brown, Usher, Justin Timberlake. Then again I also like a lot of acoustic, organic stuff like John Mayer, Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars.

You guys are off on tour soon – are you looking forward to it?
Yeah, it’s going to be great. It’s going to be nice to get up and down the country and see all the fans. We’re finally going to be able to give something back to them with the music.

Will it be good to do your own headline slot rather than being one of many acts in the X Factor tour?
Yeah, it’s a bit nerve wracking!

What do you enjoy about performing live?
For us, it’s really nice for us to have a lot of interaction with the fans just because it makes it a lot more of an intimate gig. If we just went on and sang the songs and then walked off the stage it would be pretty boring so it’s nice to have a bit of fun, do some Q and As and meet and greets.

What’s a District3 live show like?
Pretty crazy. You’ll have a lot of fun. Occasionally there is some semi-nudity, whether that’s intentional or not is another matter. There also might be some water pistols on the tour so prepare to get wet on our tour.

What are your fans like?
They’re pretty crazy too. The best way to describe it would be loyal. The last three years we’ve been together doing our thing, doing covers and stuff, but this will be the first time we’ve actually released our own music. The fans have really stuck by us and we’re really grateful for that.

So, you’re coming up to Glasgow and before your big show, you’re going to do a little acoustic session for us for some competition winners. What can the winners expect?
There’s definitely going to be a little teaser of one of the original songs so that’ll be nice. We’re going to give it a little test run and see what the feedback is. It’s going to be fun.

What would you say has been the highlight of the District3 experience so far?
The X Factor tour was really fun. We got to see loads of places and perform in some amazing venues. For where we are in our career, to play the O2 and Wembley is mad. For me, it’s sort of a taster for what it’s going to be like on our own tour. I’m really looking forward to it, being on tour is fun.

What would you say is the best thing about being in the band?
It’s really hard work and it’s a lot of long hours but I couldn’t see myself doing anything else, really. Days in the studio are always so much fun because it’s nice to be creative and expressive. On the tour is really nice to interact with the fans and see how they react to the music. 

Click here to find out how YOU could be at District3’s secret Source Session!

Image  Courtesy of flavourmag.co.uk, photographed by Courtney Philip

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