How did you guys become a band?
Our producer, Bryan Todd had open calls in Los Angeles last fall. He has produced and been involved in the formation of Big Time Rush for SONY/Nickelodeon and also a Boy Band called V Factory for Warner Brothers.
Can you tell us a little something about each of you?
Kevin – I am the Youngest member of the band (just turned 15). Originally from Milwaukee, WI, I moved to Nashville, TN 4 years ago. I’m a singer/songwriter. I’m Freshman at Brentwood High School in Brentwood, TN. I’ve been playing guitar since I was 8, and singing for as long as I can remember. I love creating music and am currently learning how to produce music.
Luc -I’m the second youngest in the band (15, turning 16 on April 9th). I’ve also spent most of my life in Europe, living in France and Monaco, but I’m originally from Palo Alto, California. I love performing, whether it’s singing, acting or dancing. I’m a sophomore at Palo Alto High School, and really love playing soccer. My favorite team is AS Monaco.
Peet – I’m the oldest in the group (19, one month older than JP!) and am from Seattle, WA. I’ve always been really into pop music and wanted to share that passion in a group, which ultimately led me down the singing route.
Tanner – I’m the middle brother in this talented group. I’m 18 and a senior in High School. I started out acting when I turned the age of 7. My grandmother, who is no longer with us, told me I had a beautiful voice at a young age. My mom noticed it and put me in singing classes. I then learned to play the guitar and really work on my vocals. I am from Dallas Texas and moved to LA 4 years ago.
JonPaul – I am the second oldest of the group. (Age 19) I’m a singer and songwriter from Nashville also, I’m a sophomore in college. I have been in music since I was also 8, and I started singing when I turned 11. I like to act on the side and play Xbox too!
What is it like being in a band? And Whats the difference from going from being solo artists to becoming a band?
Kevin – Being in a band is super exciting because we all bring something new to the table and all have different ideas. We think of each other as brothers and sharing that same passion for music is special.
Being a solo artist, you sing the melody. But in a band, we get to sing all of the harmonies. It is great to hear all the different harmonies that the guys come up with.
JonPaul – I’ve always dreamed out being in a boy band since I was 10. I was really big into the Backstreet Boys growing up and it is an honor to be able to have this opportunity.
It was kinda weird for me going from solo work, to working with such other talented people. To me it’s a breath of fresh air when you get to sit down and see and hear other talent and those who share the same passion with you. I like it honestly in my opinion!
Luc – Being in a band is really special, because it feels like you’re family. You aren’t all alone, and you have others going through the same challenges and success as you are, which is really fun! As a solo artist, you try to do everything at once. You are the lead, the harmonies, and usually, you have to write the song, which is a lot of work for one person! But, in a band, everybody has a certain role to play. You only have to focus on your part, and make sure it sounds as good as you can make it. But what’s better is you’ll have someone like Peet say, “Hey, I was trying to do this add-lib, but I think it would sound really good with your voice!”.
Tanner – Nothing is better than sharing your passion of music with 4 other guys around your age! I love the brotherhood and the fact I have 4 brothers to have my back and be there when I need them, I’m just super grateful and blessed. It’s way different than being a solo artist because I no longer sing the melody all the time. I also learn twice as much because I learn from my band mates.
Peet – I used to tell my friends at school that I was going to be in a boy band. It was always where I saw my life going. For me, it’s the brotherhood that I admire most about being in a group. As a solo artist, you are by yourself. But in a group, I get to share all my success, energy, weirdness, and downfalls with my brothers, and we have each other’s backs.
How would you describe your musical style as a band?
Kevin – The style of our music is very vocal driven. There are 5 of us so we have versatility within the group. The music has throwback influences but is very pop and modern.
JonPaul – I say we are almost like a reincarnation of the Backstreet Boys but with more hip hop beats.
What artists/bands are you influenced by?
Kevin – The first song that we all sang together was actually an Ed Sheeran cover and he is a personal influence influence for me as a songwriter.
JonPaul – I’m huge into John Mayer and Ed Sheeran. I wanna have the guitar style like Mayer and the writing tactics like Ed! Those are my biggest influences!
Tanner – Kanye West and Justin Bieber!
Luc – I love Shawn Mendes, Hillsong United and The Weekend!
Peet – I’m influenced by the positivity of Andy Grammer’s music (we don’t have much mainstream pop doing this), the harmonies that Imogen Heap has in her songs, and pretty much all groups like One Direction, Backstreet Boys, etc.
Whats the difference from your band and all bands that have come before you?
Kevin – What makes us different than other boy bands is the fact that we all are musicians, not just singers. We are very versatile and are all capable of taking the lead.
You guys recently released your new single with Keelie Walker, “Pieces”. Can you tell us how this song came about and the meaning of the song?
Keelie is an artist working with our producer, Bryan Todd. She asked us to join as a featured artists. We were thrilled and thought it could be an awesome intro of 5WEST. The song is about the risk of love. It’s better to have love and lost than Never Love.
How did the idea for this music video come about? & What was it like debuting the video on Nick?
Bryan Todd, our producer thought it would be a cool idea to have the music video shot as we were recording the song together….so that was all shot in one day at The Village Recording Studio in Los Angeles. It was a blast and a dream come true debuting on Nickelodeon’s Fresh Faces!
How did that opportunity come about for you guys?
Our producer knows the team at Nick Music as he also produced and helped in the formation of Big Time Rush, which was a boy band who had their own TV show on Nickelodeon.
Do you guys have a creative say in your music and videos?
At the moment, we are at the very beginning of shaping our sound with our producer and learning from the process. We look forward to co-writing and giving more creative direction as we develop.
What do you hope to gain out of your music careers?
We hope to do this for a long time- doing what we all love for the rest of our lives, and also meeting awesome people and fans along the way!
Are you guys planning on touring or doing any shows anytime soon?
Kevin – Touring is definitely in our future. Right now we are still in the recording processing and still developing the music.
Whats the feeling you guys get when performing in front of your fans?
Many of us have performing backgrounds and it is always a blast to share your music with the fans. We look forward to having the opportunity to perform for the first time as 5WEST!
Does your fanbase have a name?
Not officially yet, we are open to ideas. Some of our fans have suggested “Westies”, or “Westerners”?
How do you want your relationship to be with your fans?
We all can’t wait to see them and for them to hear our music! We are so grateful for our fans and can’t wait to get to know each one of them.
What social media platform do you use most to stay connected to your fans?
Instagram and Twitter for the most part. More of us are more active on Instagram. But you can find us on all social media- Instagram, Facebook, twitter , and website @5WESTMUSIC and 5westmusic.com
What was the craziest fan encounter you guys have had?
JonPaul – I’d definitely have to say Peet’s Twitter followers. They already learned everything about us in a matter of minutes!
Will there be an ep/album out soon?
We are currently working on our debut album with our producer, Bryan Todd!
What’s an average day for “5WEST” look like?
We all work on our craft every day. Playing guitar, piano, vocal lessons, writing, etc. We are are going into group rehearsals soon.
What goals have you guys set out for the band?
We want to tour the world and experience everything together! Bringing our music to the fans is #1. It would also be awesome one day to win a Grammy!
Where do you guys hope the band is in 5 years?
Kevin – Touring and selling out our shows.
Peet – Having some pretty insanely awesome merch as well.
JonPaul – Hopefully with a Grammy in our hands for each one of us !!
Do you guys have any last things you want to tell your supporters?
GO FOLLOW 5WEST ON ALL SOCAL MEDIA PLATFORMS! FOLLOW @5WESTMUSIC and 5westmusic.com – keep watching for our debut album! We are so stoked to share this journey with all you guys!