Aston Merrygold has divulged that Prince, James Brown and Michael Jackson have influenced the sound on his debut solo album.

The former JLS star has revealed that the music icons have been a huge inspiration for the songs on his first album without his former band members. 

Speaking to BANG Showbiz at The 60th Anniversary Ivor Novello Awards, he said: ''My hair's inspired by some of the greatest of all time, James Brown, Prince, MJ, I'm trying to take it back to the roots a little bit. 

"And that's hugely reflected in my music, they are my biggest inspirations, that's the music I grew up listening to, the music I listen to now, the first thing I put on in my car. For me not to do something in that vein I think would be wrong.''

Merrygold also confessed that he found it liberating to be in the studio as a solo artist.

He said: "'The experience has been liberating so far. It's exciting because you don't know what's round the corner.

"Publicly me and the boys aren't together as a band, but we're still in touch, we're always messaging each other and we're behind each other 100 percent.''