Oritsé Williams

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Oritsé Williams
Oritsé at LCM 2016
Born Oritsé Jolomi Matthew Soloman Williams
(1986-11-27) 27 November 1986 (age 31)
West London, England
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • dancer
Years active 2006–present
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Associated acts
Website oritsewilliams.com
Oritsé Autograph Transparent 1.png

Oritsé Jolomi Matthew Soloman Williams (/ˈrʃ/ oh-REE-shay; born 27 November 1986), professionally as Oritsé,[1] is an English singer-songwriter, dancer and record producer. He is best known as the founding member of the boy band JLS, who were runners-up to Alexandra Burke on the fifth series of The X Factor in 2008. JLS sold over 10 million records before disbanding in December 2013. Williams also won the ITV dancing competition Stepping Out in September 2013.

Early life[edit]

Since the age of 12, Williams has cared for his mother, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and his three brothers and sister. He attended Larmenier & Sacred Heart Primary School in West London, where he learnt to play the trumpet. He also attended British International School, Lagos, Nigeria and the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School


2006–2013: JLS[edit]

JLS in Chicago, April 2010

In 2007, Williams and his brother came up with a "grand plan" to cure their mother's MS. His brother was studying to be a scientist to find a cure for the condition, whilst Williams was going to back him up through his love of music. Williams then set up a boy band called UFO ("Unique Famous Outrageous") with Aston Merrygold, Marvin Humes and JB Gill. In 2008, UFO auditioned for the fifth series of The X Factor, but changed their name to JLS ("Jack the Lad Swing") as there was already a rock band called UFO. JLS made it all the way to the final, finishing as runners-up behind Alexandra Burke.[2]

Since being on The X Factor, JLS have sold over 10 million records worldwide and had four UK top three albums and five UK number-one singles. They have also won five MOBO Awards and two BRIT Awards. In September 2010, they launched a range of condoms called "Just Love Safe".[3] In February 2011, they teamed up with Burke to release a clothing range as well.[4]

On 24 April 2013, JLS made the announcement that they would split after the release of their fifth album, Goodbye – The Greatest Hits. In a statement, they said: "We wanted to make sure that you heard it from the four of us, that we have decided to bring our time as a band to an end."[5] When they appeared on Alan Carr: Chatty Man to discuss splitting up, Williams remained silent at first whilst bandmates Merrygold, Humes and Gill spoke, but he finally broke down in tears and had to be comforted by Humes.[6]

2013–present: Life after JLS[edit]

Since JLS announced their split in 2013, Oritse started his own entertainment company, Overthrow Recordings. Oritse changed his stage name to OWS and his first solo song under that name is called Waterline (OWS song) featuring American rapper Pusha T which was released in June 2015.

2012–13: O-Street Entertainment[edit]

In 2012 Williams founded O-Street Entertainment

2013: Stepping Out[edit]

In August and September 2013, Williams and his girlfriend Aimee Jade "AJ" Azari took part in the ITV dancing show Stepping Out, reaching the final against Brian McFadden and his wife Vogue. Williams and Azari went on to win the series on 28 September 2013.[7]

  • Note: In week 4, the challenge was for each celebrity to dance with someone else's partner in the "Wife Swap" challenge. Oritsé danced once with AJ and the second time with Brian's partner Vogue, her scores are not displayed on the chart below.
Week Dance Judges' scores Result
Wayne Sleep Mel B Jason Gardiner Total
1 Tap dance 8
53 Safe
2 Salsa 8
56 Safe
3 Quickstep 9
55 Safe
4 Bollywood 10
60 Safe
4 Jazz 10 10 10 30 Safe
5 Rumba/Salsa 10, 10
10, 10
10, 10
10, 10
10, 9
10, 10
119 Winners

2015–present: Name change and Waterline[edit]

Oritse changed his stage name to OWS and announced his first solo album Waterline to be released in June 2015 available on iTunes.

Other ventures[edit]

Products and endorsements[edit]

In September 2010, an "Oritse doll" was launched, along with the other 3 members of JLS.[8] Updated dolls where produced for the launch of JLS' second album Outta This World.

Durex teamed up with JLS to produce a condom range called "Just Love Safe", with each member of the group having their own box.[9] Oritse's box being red. JLS also released their iconic hoodie range, with Oritse's Hoodie being, again, red.

In 2010 Williams alongside Gill, Humes and Merrygold endorsed Nintendo Wii Party appearing in 7 different TV adverts.[10] JLS where also part of the Walkers crisps "Make sandwich more exciting" advertising campaign, they're performance at Sandwich Technology School appeared on the television ad alongside other celebrities such as Gary Lineker, Pamela Anderson and Jenson Button.[11]


Oritse and the other 3 members founded "The JLS Foundation"[12] a foundation that sets out to raise money for 6 different charities: Cancer Research UK, Rays of Sunshine, Brook, Childline, Beat Bullying and the MS Society. Despite the split, the foundation still exists and all members are still committed to continue the foundation. Oritse is an ambassador for the MS society, a charity that helps raise money and awareness of Multiple sclerosis ; an illness that Oritse's mum was diagnosed with when he was younger.[13]

WAll sales from the JLS number one single Love You More (JLS song) went to Children In Need.[14] In 2012 JLS performed at the "children in need rocks Manchester" concert performing Take a Chance on Me (JLS song).[15] In 2013 Aston appeared on Children In Need for the last time as a member of JLS where the group sang a medley of JLS songs at the EastEnders set.[16]

Oritse, along with the rest of JLS, have also helped raise money for comic relief, appearing in comedy sketches with both Miranda Hart[17] and James Corden.[18]

In 2012 all the JLS members visited Uganda for Sport Relief appearing in emotional VT's across the night.[19] The same year JLS released the official sport relief Charity single Proud (JLS song) which peaked at number 6 in the chart,[20] as well as hosting a special charity concert "JLS sing for Sport Relief"[21] and doing the Sport Relief Mile.[22]

In total JLS have appeared in 5 charity singles: A cover of Hero (Mariah Carey song) as part of the X Factor 2008 finalists (for Help for Heroes), Wishing On A Star Xfactor finalists ft. JLS and One Direction (For organization Together for Short Lives) Love You More (JLS song) (for Children In Need) and Proud (JLS song) (for Sport Relief)and Everybody Hurts (for Helping Haiti). 4 out of 5 of these charity singles got to number one on the UK singles chart.


  1. ^ http://www.oritsewilliams.com
  2. ^ Gould, Lara (13 December 2008). "Alexandra Burke wins X Factor". Daily Mirror. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  3. ^ Bull, Sarah (10 September 2010). "You don't have to say yes to every promo, boys: JLS have the late-X Factor as they launch Just Love Safe condom range". Daily Mail. DMG Media. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  4. ^ "JLS launch their own clothing range". Capital FM. 2 February 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  5. ^ "JLS announce split after farewell tour and new album". Newsbeat. BBC News. 24 April 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  6. ^ Saunders, Louise (25 April 2013). "'Emotions are running high': Oritsé Williams breaks down in tears during television appearance as JLS discuss their shock split". Daily Mail. DMG Media. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  7. ^ Rigby, Sam (31 August 2013). "Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen: 'I turned down Strictly to dance with wife'". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  8. ^ "Here are JLS with their very own dolls". Reveal. 
  9. ^ "JLS have the late-X Factor as they launch Just Love Safe condom range". Daily Mail. 
  10. ^ "JLS Wii Party". Archived from the original on 19 February 2014. 
  11. ^ "Walkers puts the celebrity into Sandwich". Pepisico. 
  12. ^ "JLS re-launch JLS Foundation with INCREDIBLE fan competition". 
  13. ^ http://metro.co.uk/2009/08/18/jls-oritse-i-want-to-cure-mums-ms-349841/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ "JLS sing official Children in Need single Love You More". 
  15. ^ "Children in Need Rocks Manchester: Lady Gaga and Coldplay rock charity gig". 
  16. ^ "Children in Need in pictures: One Direction and JLS help raise £31m for charity". 
  17. ^ "Miranda Hart , JLS and Louis Spence join forces for Comic Relief". Archived from the original on 20 February 2014. 
  18. ^ "JLS, James Corden and Justin Bieber were hilarious in Comic Relief". 
  19. ^ "JLS visit Retrak in Uganda". Archived from the original on 19 February 2014. 
  20. ^ "JLS Proud Of Sport Relief Single". 
  21. ^ http://www.rugbydump.com/2012/03/2444/rugby-choir-sing-with-jls-for-sport-relief-2012.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  22. ^ "On your marks! Melanie C, JLS and Kimberley Walsh shed some sweat for charity as they join a host of celebrities to run the Sport Relief mile". 

External links[edit]