Friday 23 February 2018

'They want original artists so we're just going to keep doing our style' - Irish duo Conor and Sean Price won't change for X Factor

The Price Brothers during episode 5 of the ITV1 talent show, The X Factor: Tom Dymond/Syco/Thames/ITV Plc/PA Wire
The Price Brothers during episode 5 of the ITV1 talent show, The X Factor: Tom Dymond/Syco/Thames/ITV Plc/PA Wire
Sean and Conor Price celebrate after the four X Factor judges give them the thumbs up. Photo: Twitter/ @X Factor
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Wicklow brothers Sean and Conor Price won't be tackling other genres on The X Factor.

The siblings from Wicklow gave a phenomenal first audition on Saturday night's episode, prompting judge Simon Cowell declare it "one of the best auditions we've had".

The regular buskers performed their take on Jimi Hendrix's All Along The Watchtower with Conor (15) singing and Sean (17) playing guitar and rapping and as the applause died down Simon added, "I'm going to say something to you guys - I don't want to change a single thing from what I saw and heard today."

Many viewers wondered how the boys could possibly avoid switching things up as X Factor traditionally has a different theme featuring different genres of music each week.

Sean and Conor Price celebrate after the four X Factor judges give them the thumbs up. Photo: Twitter/ @X Factor

However, it looks like this year could be different.

"As far as we know X Factor is changing format this year to facilitate original artists," Sean tells  "They're looking for more original artists so we're just going to keep doing our style, keep doing what we do, maybe throw a few original songs in there, and just keep true to ourselves."

With four easy yeses from Simon, Nicole Scherzinger, Louis Walsh, and Sharon Osbourne the lads are heading to Bootcamp.

Reaction to their first audition has, they say, been "bonkers" and several days later it's "still mad".

Their audition has racked up more than a million views on YouTube since Saturday and became the number one video in the country.

"It's actually insane," says Conor.  "We're just two lads. Before the X Factor people would just see us and say 'There's the lads' and after X Factor everyone's been coming up to us and congratulating us and saying 'well done'.  It's just such a surreal experience."

Well used to busking on Grafton Street, the lads didn't have a nervous bone in their bodies performing for the judges.

"Obviously it was in our minds who were performing in front of - they're massive people in the music industry but they're just people at the end of the day," says Sean.

"So that's what we said to ourselves before we went on; we're just going to pretend we're singing in front of four people in our kitchen.  So that's what we did and the nerves sort of went out the window."

price brothers.jpg
Sean and Conor Price. PIC: Sean and Conor Price Facebook

As for the comments, which included Nicole saying she had "goosebumps on my goosebumps", and the reaction since, Sean adds, "It's just literally been the best week of my life so far!"

Amazingly, the lads were back at school at CBS Naas on Monday morning.  They're both in exam years, Junior Cert and Leaving Cert, so their feet are still firmly on the ground.

"We were straight back to the books after the mad weekend," says Sean.  "We still have the heads in the books in school and we're still focused on the exams, obviously with one eye on X Factor!  But we're still just functioning like normal."

Things are anything but normal at school, however, admits Conor.

"We were like celebrities walking around the school," he reveals, adding that it can be tough to concentrate. 

"You could be sitting in class and all you want to be thinking about is X Factor but you're doing Pythagoras's Theorem, algebra and all that.  Obviously we know it's a big year so we're just taking everything in our stride and just going with the flow.  We're just riding the wave - keeping our heads in the books but also trying to do well in the X Factor."

Despite the fact that their amazing audition on one of the biggest shows on British and Irish TV is all anyone can talk about the lads are remarkably cool-headed.

"The competition obviously attracts massive talent and even to be there and even to get through the first round... We're amongst some really talented acts in bootcamp but we're ready for the hard work," says Sean.  "We know bootcamp takes a lot of work but we're ready to get stuck in."

However, while they would love a career in the music industry, Sean adds, "It would just be an unreal experience to have a career in the music industry.  We love music but we know there's loads of hard work to get to the top in music so we know it's not easy and we're not taking anything for granted.  We're going to put in the work and see."

Conor and Sean have been busking together for three years so they're used to performing in front of people.

"You have good days and you have bad days," says Conor.  "We've been in every type of situation and we also love to go busking and practice our songs.  That's where we get our songs down to a 't'.  We just love it."

They self-released the single Deja Vu two years ago and they hope to bring some more original material to X Factor.

With their proud mum and dad, school friends, football teams (Sean plays for Cabinteely CF while Conor plays for CBS), new fans (most of whom are female and some of whom have even proposed via Twitter!) and the entire country behind them, they're determined to do their best.

"We don't want to walk away from the competition with regrets so we're going to put everything into it," says Sean.

The X Factor airs on ITV and TV3 on Saturday and Sunday at 8pm.

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