JLS star JB Gill’s ‘stressful’ time in band led him to farming

JB Gill discusses his career change from JLS star to farmer

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JLS member JB Gill once struggled with long working hours as a musical star, including 40-day stints without any time off. The “stressful” experience led him back to his farming roots – and, as he witnessed his friends’ mental health struggles over the pandemic, he couldn’t be happier that he chose the peaceful existence that he now has on his Kent farm.

Talking of his time in JLS, JB confided: “I remember at one point we had about 30 or 40 days nonstop without a day off – so no weekends, no holidays, nothing.

“So for me, when I was making the decision about where I’d make our home, I definitely wanted to be a bit further out of town.

“I was in London or a main city pretty much every day for work, so actually when I did get that time off, I wanted to spend it in the countryside.”

When the pandemic sparked long and lonely lockdowns, JB appreciated his decision to have his own farm all the more – especially when he saw others experience mental distress and realised it could have been him.

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“I do know personal friends who struggled with the negativity that surrounded being enclosed and not being able to get out and about,” he lamented.

“I definitely do think accessing outdoor space and the countryside and being able to be immersed in nature does have its benefits.

“Certainly mentally – I’ve seen that firsthand over the last two years.”

Kind-hearted JB was sure to invite his family members over during the pandemic, using safe measures.

“We invited our parents and of course we were very cautious because they were potentially at high risk so we didn’t actually see them,” he explained.

“[However] they had the benefit of being able to come here, park up the car and go for a walk and then go home – and that was invaluable.

“It was nice to be able to have [the farm] and share it with our extended family and friends.”

Meanwhile, his two children with dancer wife Chloe also benefited from all the extra open space – even if home-schooling during a pandemic was tough.

JB is keen for eight-year-old son Ace to become a footballer, having seen his aptitude for the sport.

It follows his own experience in regional rugby leagues as a child – and if it hadn’t been for a traumatic injury, he believes he could have made the Premiership.

“Do I want my children to go into sport? For sure [but] it’s a very much an individual thing in the sense that you have to really want it,” he said.

“There’ll be lots of kids, especially in football, who’ll go on and want to play professional football, but it’s not just a case of ‘Oh, this is what I want to do’. You have to put the time in and start from quite young.”

JB added that the recent women’s football final victory was a “great achievement” which would “solidify their place in the world’s sporting calendar”.

Although the singing star hasn’t left showbiz, he has taken a step back in order to share life with the most important people in his world in calm and tranquil surroundings.

Life on the farm can be challenging, with JB occasionally mucking in with helping to mend fences, but fortunately the family also gets professional help.

“Of course we’ve got our own livestock as well – our turkeys, our pigs, our chickens and so on,” he explained.

The star, who lived in similar surroundings during his childhood in the Caribbean, added: “It’s something that I’m incredibly passionate about and that I started at a very early age.”

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