EXCLUSIVE ‘A lot of us are paying the price’: Union J’s Josh Cuthbert reveals a ‘lack of care’ during his X Factor journey has negatively impacted his mental health
- For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see www.samaritans.org for details
The singer, 30, first rose to fame as a contestant on The X Factor in 2012, but later quit his boyband Union J in 2018.
In an exclusive interview, Josh explained he’s ‘grateful’ for the platform the ITV show provided him and his bandmates Jaymi Hensley, JJ Hamblett and George Shelley – but claimed there was ‘nowhere near enough support’.
‘A lot of us are paying the price’: Union J’s Josh Cuthbert has revealed a ‘lack of care’ during his X Factor journey has had a negative impact on his mental health
Josh told MailOnline: ‘It was a lot to take on at a young age with nowhere near enough support. We went from doing normal jobs to being in the music industry and having fans. It was incredible how much pressure we were put under.
‘Singing was my passion, so it was a dream come true at the same time. You don’t think of the impact it’ll have on your mental health because you don’t know what mental health is at 19.
‘Unfortunately a lot of us are paying the price for the lack of care we received during our journey.’
Fame: The singer, 30, first rose to fame as a contestant on The X Factor in 2012, but later quit his boyband Union J in 2018
The band, who recently reunited for a 10 year anniversary concert, came fourth in the competition and later signed a recording contract with Sony.
He said: ‘I’m very grateful for the platform X Factor gave us but the reality is being young lads you’re going into the industry and swallowed up. They know that because before us there was One Direction and JLS so we weren’t the first boy band.
‘I just feel there could have been a lot more help or just someone checking in every six months from the show, I don’t know who that person would be but they could have had a person to assign to each act.
‘It’s a really difficult topic to speak about but I’d love to hear these kinds of shows talk more about it.’
Now: The band, who recently reunited for a 10 year anniversary concert, came fourth in the competition and later signed a recording contract with Sony
The band originally consisted of Josh, JJ and Jaymi, going by the name Triple J but were sent home before Judges Houses.
However, when a band withdrew, they were asked back on the basis that former solo singer George was added.
After finishing fourth on the programme they released their debut song Carry You and had a string of other hits, but were dropped by their label after their second album.
George later quit the group in 2016 after coming third on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! and Josh followed in 2018, with Casey Johnson joining the group briefly before they announced their split in 2019.
Josh admitted: ‘X Factor wasn’t my dream, I just wanted to make it in music. I was in six bands before Union J, I was signed to various labels and management.
‘I got to 19 and thought what am I going to do now, X Factor is a good option it’s a good opportunity to make it in a challenging industry. I did that because I didn’t know what else to do.’
Josh, who has racked up 444k Instagram followers, explained the challenges he faced on social media when he rose to fame: ‘Twitter that was huge when we started, Instagram was around but not as popula.
‘Because I was in a band with three other lads it was so easy to compete against each other for the most followers, likes, retweets.
‘It’s so easy to slip into a competitive mindset and we struggled with that. You can’t help but search your name and look at the negative comments.’
Candid: In an exclusive interview, Josh detailed his ongoing struggle with depression and anxiety in a bid to raise awareness on the taboo topic
In an exclusive interview, Josh detailed his ongoing struggle with depression and anxiety in a bid to raise awareness on the taboo topic.
Josh bravely admitted: ‘I just didn’t understand it or how to deal with it and that’s why I want to make sure other people out there know don’t feel alone, especially men.
‘I didn’t have anyone to look up to or take inspiration from, I ant to be that guy for other men out there so they know they aren’t alone.’
He admitted: ‘Those feelings are definitely still there, there’s events I still won’t go to because my anxiety takes over, my insecurities take over and tell me I’m not good enough or I look s**t and I’ll have to cancel, that still happens a lot.
‘but you know I am better, I’m openly honest about being on medication for my mental health. I take anti-depressants and I have done for the last year and a bit, they take the edge off things for me.’
For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see www.samaritans.org for details
Josh bravely admitted: ‘I just didn’t understand it or how to deal with it and that’s why I want to make sure other people out there know don’t feel alone, especially men.’