The golden boys of last year's "X Factor," Emblem3, have made it official: They've signed to their mentor Simon Cowell's label, Syco Records, via Columbia. This makes them the first act from Season 2 to land a record deal--aside from winner Tate Stevens and his much-ballyhooed $5 million contract with former judge L.A. Reid's Epic Records, of course.
A Syco/Columbia press release issued today announced that Emblem3 (Wesley Stromberg, Keaton Stromberg, and Drew Chadwick) have already started working on their debut album, to be released some time this year, with producer and frequent "X Factor" advisor Savan Kotecha--who has worked with Usher, Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, Maroon 5, Adam Lambert, Leona Lewis, Cher Lloyd, and of course, Emblem3's across-the-pond equivalent, "X Factor U.K." finalists One Direction. Will Savan and Simon be able to strike lightning twice with an American "X Factor"-spawned boy band? We shall see.
Other collaborators on the album will include Benji and Joel Madden from Good Charlotte; Goldfinger frontman John Feldmann (who has worked with Panic! At The Disco, Foxy Shazam, Plain White T's, Neon Trees, the Veronicas, Hilary Duff, and Ashlee Simpson); Ke$ha/Nicki Minaj songwriter Kool Kojak; and a couple of artists that sound pretty interesting to me: Peter Svensson of the Cardigans and Jack Antonoff of fun. Since the Emblem3 boys spent much of Season 2 insisting that they're a real band (i.e., "not a boy band") and that they write their own songs and play their own instruments, it'll be interesting to see how much input Simon will actually allow them to have on their own album, with this gaggle of A-list hitmakers crowding the studio.
In today's press release, an optimistic Wesley Stromberg said: "With our new teammates at Columbia and Syco and along with Savan, I hope we can not only produce some empowering tunes, but also impact other people in a positive way and maybe help brighten things up a bit. Music is all we've ever wanted to do--and this is what we love to do. Simon Cowell was an excellent mentor and we were proud to have him as ours. We hope to keep a good relationship alive with him not only as business partners but as friends." Simon was additionally quoted as saying: "Wesley, Drew, and Keaton are complete stars. They have a great attitude, are fun, and genuinely love music. They deserve this and I'm really pleased we are continuing working together."
Rumor has it that Simon's other top-four group from "The X Factor" Season 2, Fifth Harmony, will also be signed (the girls' official website is actually already emblazoned with a Syco logo), although no official announcement has been made.