America’s First All Openly Gay Boyband, Echo V Talk With TMI About Their Debut Single “Rainbow”

group photo credit- Bernard Mesa

How did you guys become a band?

Jay – We were put together by a manager who had a slightly different idea of what kind of group he wanted to make.

How did you guys come up with the band name “Echo V” & what’s the meaning of the name?

Jay – It was a collaborative effort and means the echo of five voices working together to create one sound.

Can you tell us a little something about each of you?

Jay – Hi I’m Jay originally from NC. I began singing in my church choir at the age of 4. that’s where I discovered my love for music. As I grew up, I fell in love with RnB and Hip-Hop music. My favorite thing about the process of creating music is writing and pull a narrative together that makes people see and feel what is in my head/heart. We all write and Co-produce our music making what you hear from us truly intimate and a piece of each of us.

Mike – originally from Rhode Island, I come from a strong musical theatre background. I studied actingA and chemistry in college, but music has always been a part of my life ever since I started with chorus in kindergarten and piano lessons in the second grade. When I’m not tearing up the stage with Echo V, I direct and choreograph for many theatre companies in Los Angeles.
Devin – Well I’m a simple FL boy, who grew up in the Theater world. I began performing professionally at a young age, and eventually came out here to expand my career. When I’m not in boy band mode, I find that I like to explore new aspects of the entertainment world like Stilt Walking, Stunt Work & Acrobatics!!! I’m kind of a wild child, but every crew needs a party animal, and I proudly wear that title!!!

Randy – I am a singer/rapper/model/actor straight from the Philippines. Lol I am the color red of the group which represents love or hate aka passion. I always strive to better myself in any sittuations. I am a multi-talented individual and am unstoppable. I can be nice, or I can be spice. Now that’s up to you. 😉

What is it like being in a band?

Jay – I grew up an only child so for me it feels like what I imaged having siblings to be like. Considering we are a gay boy band and shade is thrown at the rate our hearts beat its really like having sisters.

Mike – I like the collaboration. I’m used to it from all the casts I’ve worked with in theatre. That’s not to say there aren’t challenges of course. These boys are like my brothers, and you love and hate siblings just the same haha.

Devin – For me, being in a boy bands has always secretly been a dream of mine. So being apart of Echo V in particular is amazing because I not only get to live out my childhood BSB & NSYNC fantasies, but that we’ve created something that is making a statement & has the potential to be a pivotal mark on our society, all without having to sacrifice who we are as individuals! That to me is the best part about being in this band!!!

Randy – It’s like being in High School again. I personally get to learn more about music. We also get to learn a lot about each other. In the end we all must learn to put our difference aside to grow as one.

What’s the difference from your band and all bands that have come before you?

Jay – We are out, proud and we want to encourage people to unapologetically live their truth whatever that truth may be.

How would you describe your musical style as a band?

Jay – As a band we have varying styles. We are five artist who strive to make sure each person’s energy and creative edge is a part of what we do. Our music ranges from pop anthems like “Rainbow” to dancehall inspired songs like “Wine It” and even the sultry Latin stylings of “Confiesalo”. We have a bit of everything.

What artists/bands are you influenced by?

Jay – Destiny’s Child, Nsync, BSB, Jagged edge, and so many others. We love music and that’s always a hard question because we could spend all day naming the people who have inspired us and keep us pushing our own limits.

You guys recently released your debut single, “Rainbow”. Can you tell us how this song came about and the meaning of the song?

Jay – Our debut single, “Rainbow,” reflects our decision to be out regarding our sexuality. While it is a fun, high energy pop anthem it also has an important message. That message is to be proud whether you are gay, straight, black, white etc… Our hope is that the song inspires people to stand up and claim their truth, be happy with who they are and find comfort in the fact that they are not alone.

Mike – The narrative in ‘Rainbow’ is personal. It came from a place deep within filled with despair and even frustration. The first few lines of the song are about finding yourself while walking the path of life. It then continues with how the struggle to conform to society’s standards can be harmful to some. In the second verse, there is a moment of acceptance and defiance where we come to terms with how this one life is for us and not for them. All throughout this song, we play with Wizard of Oz imagery to achieve this.

Jay – Rainbow is about unapologetically owning your multifaceted-ness and realizing that you must live for yourself. It’s a journey to self-discovery and the strength it takes to live life in the open, day in and out.

Link to song on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/rainbow/1438322423?i=1438322427

Will there be a music video for your new single?

Jay – We have multiple visuals ready for guys and you will just have to keep up with us in 2019 to see what’s to come!

Do you guys have a creative say in your music and videos?

Jay – Yep! Most everything you see and hear goes through final approval by us. We are slowly building a team of amazing individuals who are indispensable in the process and we love them all, but we are proud to call ourselves independent artists.

What do you hope to gain out of your music careers?

Jay – We want it all. We want the world tours, the Grammys, the money, the fans but it all means nothing if we don’t manage to inspire other people to love themselves and demand love from the people who say they love them as well.

Are you guys planning on touring or doing any shows anytime soon?

Jay – We just came off two months of performances (Sacramento Rainbow Festival, Palm Springs Pride, Rage Night club in West Hollywood, and Arizona Rainbow Festival to name a few). Most of us are looking forward to the holiday and spending time with family while working on our tour schedule for 2019.

What’s the feeling you guys get when performing in front of your fans?

Jay – It’s a mix. We are excited, nervous, pumped but most of all we are just so happy to be preforming. We are just so happy that people want to listen to us! Being live has its challenges but living in that moment is something no one can take away from you.

Does your fanbase have a name?

Jay – Not now but “the Echo’s” doesn’t have a bad ring to it. Do you have any suggestions??

How do you want your relationship to be with your fans?

Jay – Open. We would like for our fans to really feel like they know us. Ask us anything. There is no filter.

What social media platform do you use most to stay connected to your fans?

Jay – We are most active in Instagram but, we are also active on Facebook and Twitter.

What was the craziest fan encounter you guys have had?

Mike – We were at dinner after our Ventura Pride performance and this heterosexual couple came up to us with their two young sons. The sons couldn’t have been older than 10 years old. They introduced themselves and just raved about our show and how much their kids loved it and us. It was amazing and endearing and reassuring to receive such support.

Will there be an ep/album out soon?

Jay – Our debut EP intitled “Rainbow” is out and available everywhere you download or stream music.

What’s an average day for you guys look like?

Mike – Hustle, hustle, hustle! We are Los Angeles based, arguably the entertainment capital of the world. Each day is different from the next and plans change on a dime. If we aren’t in the rehearsal room or recording studio, usually there is some event we are attending or some performance we are giving. Of course, we always make time for Netflix…and chill ;-).

What goals have you guys set out for the band?

Mike – In the immediate future, we hope to make our way to the east coast (New York City, Boston, Chicago, Miami…) and perform at their Pride festivals. World Pride is going to be in New York in 2019. That is a goal of ours to perform there! Past that, our goal is to do more collaborations with other artists and produce more video content for our fans. Who knows, we may even try to do a reality TV show!

Where do you guys hope the band is in 5 years?

Mike – Several albums deeps, multiple Grammy nomination/awards, perhaps a Las Vegas residency… all of these things would be amazing. Especially cranking out several albums, because if we can do that then it really means our following likes us and supports us. Ooo maybe a reiteration of that boy band TV show this time with us as the judges!

Do you guys have any last things you want to tell your supporters?

Mike – Thank you. Thank you for supporting us. Thank you for supporting independent music artists. We don’t currently have the backing of a label so everything we do comes out of our own pockets. We can’t thank the fans enough for following us and downloading our music.

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