Union J, the boy band that came in fourth place on "The X Factor" U.K. in 2012, has signed with Crown Talent and Media Group for management. The London-based company also represents singer Jessie J and girl group Sugababes. Crown is headed by chairman Marc Marot, a former executive at Island Music Publishing and Island Records in the U.K.
Union J, which was previously represented by Alpha Dog Management, has been recording its debut album for Sony Music. The album's songs, title and release date are to be announced, but the album should be released before the end of 2013.
Meanwhile, Union J is one of seven acts on "The X Factor" U.K. 2013 tour, which runs for one month, beginning on January 26. The other acts on the tour were in the Top 7 of the show in 2012: James Arthur, Jahmene Douglas, Christopher Maloney, Rylan Clark, Ella Henderson and District3.
It was widely reported that Union J had signed with Louis Walsh Management. Walsh, who is a judge on "The X Factor" U.K., was Union J's mentor on the show. There was also a rumor that Union J was in talks to be managed by Oritsé Williams of JLS, the R&B/pop group that came in second place on "The X Factor" U.K. in 2008.
On January 14, 2013, the members of Union J did an interview on ITV's "Daybreak" in which they talked about the group's new management, "The X Factor" tour and recording Union J's first single.
Union J's Josh Cuthbert said, “We've met loads of managers since coming off the show. We love Louis; [he] was incredible for us during the show. We did meet JLS’s Oritsé."
Union J's Jaymi Hensley added: "It was great to get feedback from someone who’s been in a boy band, And I think when we came out 'The X Factor,' and we were looking for new management it was really important we made the right decision so we wanted to see as many people as possible, weigh up all the pros and cons. We have made a decision and we're extremely happy with it. We’re now with Crown management.”
Union J's Jamie "JJ" Hamblett said of the tour: "It'll be exciting to see everyone again ... It will be amazing to do it in a huge arena as well."
As for recording Union J's first single, Cuthbert said, "It's something we wanted to do for years and years. We're so excited and will hopefully record an amazing song."
The members of Union J said that One Direction and JLS are inspirations to Union J because these groups did not win on "The X Factor" U.K. but they went on to become successful groups anyway: Hamblett commented: "It gives us a bit of hope to know that you don't need to win the show to have a career outside. It's a great career to have." Cuthbert added: "We were gutted we didn't get into the final, but looking back at it now we're so happy with how well we did. And we've got a bit of exposure now to release the single and hopefully people will buy into it."
Cuthbert tweeted on January 14, 2013: "Love love love how our first single is sounding already!!!! Excited lol....josh."
Cuthbert then tweeted on January 15, 2013: "Had a wicked day finishing off the first single....fingers crossed you all like it :) josh x"
As previously reported, Union J had to cancel a mini-tour of Ireland after Union J's George Shelley sustained an undisclosed injury. Members of the group, including Shelley, posted messages on social media assuring fans he would be okay and that the concert dates will be rescheduled.
On January 18, 2013, Union J tweeted that the group would be doing a late-night follow spree for fans on Twitter. The hashtag #UnionJLateNightFollowSpree soon became a No. 1 trending topic worldwide on Twitter.