Since the summer of '98, they have been presenting showcases for many record companies as well as the press, and the 26th of February they closed a record deal with Columbiarecords/Sony Music. The deal is one of the biggest ever made between a record company and a new band.
The band performed live for the first time at a festival in Birmingham the 27th - 29th of November, 1998, and since then they have been all over the UK and visited other countries like Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland and Germany. The boys have also appeared on television and radio numerous times.
a1 went on tour for the first time in March, as they were the main supporting act for Steps during their UK tour. a1's first video "Be the first to believe" was shot in Mexico the 7th - 11th of April, and started showing the same month on "The Box". The single was released the 21st of June, and debuted as number 6 in the official UK chart. Their second single, "Summertime of our lives" was released the 30th of August, and debuted as number 5 in the Charts. Both singles are included in the first album, "Here we come", which was released the 22nd of November. It debuted at no. 20 in the Official UK Album Chart.