How did you guys become a band?
It’s a really crazy story, actually. Tre’Von, Chris, & Terence started following each other on Instagram and liking each other’s photos. And then they got to sending messages and talking about starting a group together, because they grew up loving legendary groups like New Edition and Boys II Men. So they decided that the group should be 5 guys and found Malik on an Instagram fan page and Leon on YouTube from when he was the young Michael Jackson in the Motown Musical. From there after a lot of FaceTimes, HousePartys, Skypes, and texts, we all moved to LA and started making music!
How did you come up the the band name “Next Town Down” & what’s the meaning of the name?
We were joking that we’re not the Boys Next Door- blonde and floppy haired, familiar— we’re from the Next Town Down. We’re proudly black and from that cool town over. And that’s ultimately where we want our music to take our fans: to that really special place, the other side of the pillow.
Can you tell us a little something about each of you?
Leon is 14, from Brooklyn, New York
Malik is 17, from Charles City, Iowa
Chris is 19, from Sarasota, Florida
Tre’Von is 20, from Lancaster, Virginia
Terence is 22, from Hollandale, Mississippi
What is it like being in a band compared to being a solo artist?
It’s honestly so much fun. We’ve really quickly become best friends and brothers. Each of us has done the solo thing at some point, and we found it to be pretty lonely out there on the road and in the studio all alone. Forming this brotherhood has very quickly made us realize how lucky we are to have found each other.
How would you describe your musical style as a band?
We make funky, soulful feel good pop music in the style of an Uptown Funk or Blurred Lines. We love to make people dance and feel an intense emotional connection – to be the soundtrack to their lives.
What artists/bands are you influenced by?
Bruno Mars is an absolute legend, and we love literally everything that he does. But each of our influences is really far-ranging: from pop stars like Justin Bieber, to crooners like Frank Sinatra, to soul stars like Donny Hathaway, to R&B titans like Usher, to all around superstars like Michael Jackson. Each of these artists has within him an almost superhuman ability to connect with his fans, and that’s what we admire so much about each of them.
Whats the difference from your band and all bands that have come before you?
We think the major difference is we can do any genre of music. Like Michael Jackson, Elvis, or Bruno Mars, who really didn’t let themselves stick to one genre. We are five guys who can each really sing. We joke our motto is “No Autotune required,” and we feel like we bring that old school vocal harmony back to 2017. And we are launching one of our YouTube series this week called #YouCantSingThat, where every week we’ll release a cover that a group of 5 black guys isn’t supposed to sing. We’re going to have a lot, a lot of fun with that.
Are you planning on going on tour anytime soon?
Yes- we are absolutely planning to tour this summer after we release some of our original music. Stay tuned for news!
Does your fanbase have a name?
Not yet! Please send us some ideas!!
How do you want your relationship to be with your fans?
We want it to be like a best friend relationship- someone you go to in good times and bad, and someone who is always there for you. We have already been blown away but the fan response we’ve received on Musical.ly and Instagram (@nexttowndownofficial). One girl told us that she has cancer and that our live concerts are helping her heal. As artists that is really the most powerful thing we can hear, and really why we make music. Yes it’s fun to be on stage singing and dancing, but at the end of the day what matters most to us is being there for the most important moments in our fans’ lives.
What social media platform do you use most to stay connected to your fans?
Right now Musical.ly is pretty freakin amazing. We have been doing a live stream every single night on Live.ly at 7PM Pacific/ 10PM Eastern. Fans have been sending us all sorts of comments and support, and it means the world to us.
What was the craziest fan encounter you guys have had?
We were at the supermarket in North Hollywood near where we live in LA and these girls found us and started chasing us down the frozen food aisle. It was really crazy! Terence tripped and fell near the popsicles hahah
Will there be an ep/album out soon?
Yes- you can expect to see us releasing some music by spring of this year. We are so, so incredibly excited to share our music with the world.
You guys do a lot of cover songs as well. Whats the process of choosing a cover song for you to sing?
It’s all about the fans. We are receiving hundreds of requests a day now from fans, and we try to prioritize songs that are really popular with ones that we think will have beautiful harmonies. Please send us new ones! We love learning new songs, and sometimes we even learn them mid-show.
What was your favorite cover song to record?
That’s a really hard question! We can’t say we’ve got a favorite at any given point. Right now we’re loving Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You, Alessia Cara’s Scars to Your Beautiful, and Bruno Mars’s 24K Magic. Each of those artists really speaks to his or her fans with beautiful melodies and powerful lyrics.
Whats your favorite song to perform live?
It’s gotta be one of our original songs. We can’t wait to share them with you.
What’s an average day for “Next Town Down” look like?
Wow- hectic! We’re getting busier and busier every day. We wake up around 9AM, grab some breakfast- Terence loves to cook eggs for all of us. Leon does his high school while the older guys hit the gym with our amazing trainer Alvin who used to be in the Air Force. It ain’t easy! Then we eat a lunch on the go, maybe do an interview or film a video for Musical.ly, Snapchat or Instagram. Then we’re heading to the studio where we’re laying down vocals and writing more songs. Tre’Von might be working on lyrics, Chris might be working on the beat, and Malik might be strumming his guitar for the melody. That goes on til late night and then the next day we do it again!
What goals have you guys set out for the band?
Our long term goal is to go on world tours and stay together forever, but in the short term we plan to release our first album, go on a US tour, and keep connecting with fans
Where do you guys hope the band is in 5 years?
We hope to be on our second world tour, sharing our music with fans on 6 continents (and even Antarctica if there’s a stadium there!) We have big dreams.
Do you guy have any last things you want to tell your supporters?
In two words: thank you. We have been blown away by your support and are truly grateful for the blessings that you have given us. We can’t wait to bring you our music and please keep following along for the next big news!
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