4, December 2017
Before Rak-Su were famous: These fresh-faced young lads grew up to become a financier, a client manager, a physio and a street dance teacher and are now on their way to £200m fortune after conquering The X Factor
- Rak-Su last night became the first boy band to ever win the X-Factor
- Simon Cowell has predicted they will be bigger than One Direction
- Watford’s Myles Stephenson, Jamaal Shurland, Mustafa Rahimtulla and Ashley Fongho, all had humble upbringings and typical jobs before winning the show
Watford’s Myles Stephenson, Jamaal Shurland, Mustafa Rahimtulla and Ashley Fongho, all 25 and 26, were crowned winners of the show last night, beating Lancashire-born singer Grace Davies in the final.
If Cowell’s prediction is right and the band outperform One Direction, the foursome could earn as much as £200million – a far cry from their white collar jobs in the Hertfordshire town.
The boys have already shown their financial know-how as they set up a company to handle future earnings weeks before they appeared on the X Factor.
Watford boys Rak-Su were crowned the X Factor 2017 winners and Simon Cowell has predicted they could be even more successful than One Direction
Myles Stephenson, Jamaal Shurland, Ashley Fongho and Mustafa Rahimtulla (left to right) appear on Lorraine after winning the X Factor
Stephenson, 26, the band’s rapper and producer, was a client manager for Concept Care Solutions which involved recruiting and booking all types of health care professionals in NHS, before his success on the show.
He recently split from his long-term girlfriend Rebecca Bignel and reportedly grew close to researcher Demi Kaye while on the show – much to the anger of the X Factor bosses.
Stephenson admitted he had a crush on Cheryl at Judges Houses, which led ex-One Direction star Liam Payne to warn him off his girlfriend during the first live show when he quipped: ‘He fancies my missus so I’ve got to keep an eye on him!’
Myles Stephenson, 26, the band’s rapper and producer, pictured as a young boy
Stephenson pictured last night during the X Factor final which saw Rak-Su emerge victorious
Jamaal, who arrived in England from Barbados when he was 12, pictured as a boy
The Rak-Su boys Myles (pictured second right) Mustafa (centre) are pictured with friends
Ashley Fongho is pictured with his parents at his graduation ceremony at Loughborough University
X Factor winners Ashley and Mustafa are pictured together before their fame and fortune
Hertfordshire boys Ashley (left) and Myles (right) are pictured in their finest get-up
Shurland, who is the lead singer of the band, was previously a physiotherapy assistant
X FACTOR INVESTIGATED BY OFCOM OVER PRODUCT PLACEMENT
Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has launched an investigation into The X Factor on whether it breached product placement rules.
The regulator is assessing whether the show broke rules in a previous episode, on October 21, featuring judges’ houses.
A Three mobile phone was shown in several shots which involved both Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh.
An Ofcom spokeswoman said: ‘We’re investigating whether this programme broke our product placement rules.’
Since early 2011, TV programmes made for UK audiences have been able to contain product placement.
Barbadian Jamaal Shurland, 25, lead singer of the band, arrived in England when he was 12.
He is currently in a relationship with girlfriend Lara Rose McCabe and was previously a physiotherapy assistant.
Mustafa Rahimtulla, 25, also known as ‘Pharoahcious’, teaches street dance classes and is listed as having won competitions nationally and internationally.
Stephenson, Shurland and Rahimtulla all attended Westfield Academy in Watford, a coeducational secondary school and sixth form with academy status.
The fourth member of the band, rapper and songwriter Ashley Fongho, 26, attended Bushey Meads School and then Queens School for sixth-form, and is a psychology graduate who went to Loughborough University.
According to his LinkedIn page he’s a ‘business manager’ and is also a talented footballer having had trials at Tottenham Hotspur, Cardiff City and Bristol City.
Mustafa Rahimtulla, 25, pictured as a boy, is the band’s dancer and beatboxer
Rahimtulla taught street dance classes before his success on the X Factor
X FACTOR FINAL RECORDS LOWEST EVER OVERNIGHT RATINGS
The X Factor recorded its lowest ever overnight ratings for a final on Sunday night.
An audience of 5.2 million tuned in to see Rak-Su crowned champions, the first boy-band in the history of the show to win. But that was less than the 7 million who watched Matt Terry win last year’s final.
The overnight figures for the ITV show’s finals have been decreasing year-on-year since 2010, when a peak of 17.2 million saw Matt Cardle take the crown.
The talent contest, which goes head-to-head with Strictly Come Dancing in the battle for viewers, has found itself lacking when compared to the BBC show.
On Sunday night an average of 10.3 million tuned into see Davood Ghadami and professional partner Nadiya Bychkova leave the dance floor, just shy of double the amount who watched the X Factor.
Previous X Factor winner James Arthur told fans to stop calling Rak-Su, who were the first act to perform an original song and win the final, ‘brave’.
He paid respect to the group for performing their own songs but added that, in the first year acts had been able to do so, it had been an advantage.
Prior to the airing of this year’s X Factor the band formed a company to handle future earnings.
Rak-Su created a limited company – called About Ours Ltd – to handle any cash they make from performing.
According to records submitted to Companies House the firm’s aims are ‘artistic creation’ and ‘performing arts’.
All four members of the band are listed as directors of the company that was created on September 22.
Rak-Su previously had songs played by BBC Introducing before auditioning for the X Factor.
They will release debut single Dimelo, one of their original tracks, with Naughty Boy and Wyclef Jean after performing it with them on the show.
X Factor boss Simon, 58, told them after their victory at ExCeL London: ‘You are gentlemen. You are stars.’
And he said the childhood friends can go on to great things as they share the same ‘certain class’ as Harry Styles and Co.
One Direction, who came third in the 2010 series of the show, have gone on to sell more than 70 million records.
Cowell said: ‘There’s an awful lot of artists in entertainment who appear nice in front of the cameras, but behind them, they’re monsters.
‘Not these guys. These guys have that same thing as 1D, it’s a certain class.
‘The group is so important to the show for that reason. There’s so many s****y things going on in the world.
‘When you have people like these guys who have ambition, it’s great and there’s this wonderful afterglow.’
Rak-Su ‘rapper and songwriter’ Ashley Fongho, 26, pictured as a child
The 26-year-old is a psychology graduate who attended Loughborough University
Name: Myles Stephenson
Old job: Client manager for Concept Care Solutions
Role in the band: Rapper and producer
Name: Jamaal Shurland
Old job: Physiotherapy assistant
Role in the band: Lead singer
Name: Mustafa Rahimtulla
Old job: Street dance class teacher
Role in the band: Dancer and beat boxer
Name: Ashley Fongho
Old job: Business manager
Role in the band: Songwriter and rapper