Aston Merrygold's new music and his haircut are inspired by Prince and Michael Jackson.

The former JLS star is getting ready to release his debut solo album and the two pop legends have been a big influence on the tracks as well as his spiky new style.

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.''

Aston also opened up on what it's been like to record music on his own without his three ex-bandmates - Marvin Humes, Oritse Williams and J.B. Gill.

The 27-year-old pop star has found it ''liberating'' to solely be in control in the studio but insists he and the boys - who split in 2013 - are always in touch with one another.

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

Discussing whether he feels lonely without the JLS guys with him in the studio, he added: ''Not so much because I've got a fantastic team. 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.''