Nathan Sykes tries to learn Cantonese, and reveals why he was kicked out of art class in secondary school

Megan Ko

He might be musical, but art was never his strong point

Megan Ko |

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Nathan Sykes with (from left) YP cadets Jeanie Li, Martha Chow and Megan Ko.

Best known for being the youngest member of popular British band, The Wanted (before their 2014 split) Nathan Sykes took time out of his busy schedule to speak to Young Post on his recent trip to Hong Kong.

Upbeat, kind-hearted and absolutely hilarious, Sykes enthusiastically answered all the questions Young Post cadets Megan Ko, Martha Chow and Jeanie Li threw at him.

Hong Kong is a fresh experience for the former band member. While it’s not his first visit to Hong Kong, last time Sykes didn’t get much of a chance to explore our densely-populated urban jungle. So this time around, the British popstar had the chance to be a tourist for a day, visiting many of Hong Kong’s iconic spots with two of his lucky fans.

“Hong Kong blew me away,” said Nathan. “Everything from the outstanding food to the vibrant culture were all foreign to me!”

To help Nathan feel at home, the cadets offered to teach him some Cantonese phrases.

“I’ve never really thought about speaking in Cantonese,” said Sykes. “How do I say ‘pretty girl’ and ‘toilet’?”

Sykes picked up our language pretty quickly, and maybe it’s his musical ear, but we have to admit that his pronunciation was spot on.

Having been in the music industry for more than a decade now, Nathan told us what making music means to him.

“I think the last few tracks on my new album Kiss Me Quick are more personal, andI really wanted to focus on making music that would give an insight into who I really am,” he said.

But when it comes to his music, having to pick a favourite song is like having picking a favourite child; he loves them all equally. He also has no shame when it comes to jamming to his own songs during road trips. And we don’t blame him – his tracks are catchy, fun and clever.

For Sykes, one of the biggest perks of being a musician is getting to travel.

“The best part of being an artist is getting to meet people from all over the world who listen to my music. It really proves that music has no boundaries or limits, and can break through language barriers,” he said. “Going to a country where English isn’t the first language and hearing them sing every single lyric to your song is pretty amazing.”

But the best part of the interview was definitely the blindfolded art challenge, which you can check out below. Yes, we got pretty competitive, but it was great fun laughing at our lack of artistic skills.

We also uncovered a little-known secret from Nathan’s secondary school days – he was kicked out of art class for dragging the average grade down.

“Yeah, [my teacher] sat me down and said I should consider options other than art for next year.”

But Sykes proved his art teacher wrong with his outstanding depictions of a tiger, Justin Bieber and a birthday cake.

“I’m better at drawing with my eyes closed than I was at school!” Sykes said. “Hey, art teacher, look at me now!”

Fun fact: His favourite emoji is the “see no evil” monkey.

Follow Nathan on Instagram and Snapchat (@sykesmusic) to join him on his global adventure!