X Factor selects St Albans singers for boot camp

ST ALBANS popstar wannabes The Keys may have the looks and the talent, but can they unlock success on ITV’s X Factor?

Former St Albans School pupils Rohan Kapoor, Nick Jackson and Dan Lipman, all 24, have made it through to the hit show’s boot camp alongside bandmates Lewis Codling, 23, and Charlie Healy, 25.

The Keys received plaudits from X Factor judges during an audition in Liverpool and they are now calling on St Albans and Herts to back their bid for stardom, as a band has never won the X Factor.

Nick Jackson, of Harpenden Road, told the Herts Advertiser that he, Rohan and Dan had been firm friends since meeting at St Albans School. They graduated in 2005 with Rohan now living in Luton and Dan in London, but both still have family in St Albans.

Nick described being on X Factor as, “a huge journey”.

He added: “To be honest, it was surreal, being in front of that many people and knowing it could potentially be shown on television to millions of people. It was nerve-wracking.

“The best thing was the standing ovation. That was breathtaking.”

Most Read

Nick does have previous experience to draw on, as he, Dan and Rohan were part of band Element which made it to boot camp last year but did not progress any further.

But it was there that they met Charlie, now The Keys’ lead singer, and went on to form the group with Lewis.

He said: “We know what mistakes we made last year. Our vocals and harmonies are our strong point.”

News of the X Factor contestants’ success has delighted David McCord, head of music at St Albans School.

He said: “The boys did indeed perform quite a lot when they were here. Rohan was an A level music student and did a great deal of singing. Nick and Dan joined with Rohan to perform a cappella arrangements and took part in several performances during their sixth form career.”

David said that while the music industry is fiercely competitive, the former pupils have Friendly Fires, also ex-St Albans boys, to aspire to.

He advised the trio to work hard and “keep their feet firmly on the ground.”

When asked who they looked up to while on stage at this year’s auditions, The Keys replied: “There is one band we would like to emulate in terms of their success and their longevity, and that is Take That.”

The super-group’s Gary Barlow said: “Guys, that was magnificent, really good. Individually you have got good vocals and you work as a team, the vocals are beautiful, they are smooth, you have really worked hard. I just thought it was awesome.”

Louis Walsh remarked: “We have been waiting for a group like you guys.”

Speaking after their performance, The Keys said: “It went better than we could have ever expected. Those comments blew us away. It was very emotional.”

Nick is now urging locals to support the band. The group can be found on Twitter: @thekeysUK and on Facebook.

X Factor hopefuls who made it through the first round will now be whittled down at boot camp this weekend.