The Irish boy band have near 40 000 000 likes on their Facebook page, have released countless singles and have won numerous awards, including five Brit Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, 11 MTV Europe Music Awards, to name but a few.
Any musician would agree an opening slot for the X Factor-formed quintet would be a dream come true, whether a fan of the group or not. Because, let’s face it, an audience of 100 000 is an audience of 100 000 despite your personal preferences.
Come 2015 and SA’s Got Talent‘s Johnny Apple will enjoy this honour. And all the more as he happens to be a One Direction supporter, or as widespread lingo would have it – a true directioner.
“Yes, hello,” he says. “They’re like the biggest boy band in the world. They’re young, I’m young, and they write catchy songs. They’re pretty awesome.”
At 17 years old, this will be the musician’s biggest live show to date. Though Apple knew his record label was trying to secure him the slot, he didn’t think it would happen.
He is thankful for their efforts, and says: “I am very grateful to have been chosen. I know a lot of other artists wanted the gig and I got it. And it’s not that I’m better than them, just fortunate.”
With only four weeks to prepare, things are all happening a little fast for the local rising star. “We’re still figuring things out, need to get a band together and start practising,” he says.
Considering his time on SA’s Got Talent, there’s no doubt Apple performs well under pressure and will make us proud.
Asked if he is going to meet the band, he confesses: “I don’t know. But if I do get the chance I’ll say something like: ‘Let’s take a selfie.’
“I’ll also wish them well done on their success, but I think they hear that all the time. I don’t want to sound like everyone else.”
Pointing out One Direction have probably also had their fair share of criticism, Apple admits: “Yeah, I’ve already had some people say they’re disappointed that I’m the opening act. You can’t be loved by everyone. Hopefully one day I can change their minds.”