How did you guys become a band?
Our label was really interested in making a guy group, so they set up casting calls in LA and Nashville. We were excited auditioning because we knew some of the names attached to the project — Bryan Todd (Big Time Rush, Miley Cyrus, Kelly Clarkson), DQ (Backstreet Boys), Kim Sandusky (Beyoncé), Jon Rabon (Justin Bieber), and more. When the four of us were chosen as the final lineup, we started working in Nashville for the first time February 2019. The first day we had all met up together was in the studio making our first single! It was intense, because we had a few representatives from the UK come to meet us and we needed to work past the nerves to show them our talents. I guess we did a pretty okay job, since they jumped on board! Since then, we’ve really grown together, and have come to love one another like brothers.
How would you describe the differences in being a solo artist from being part of a group?
You learn how to be a team. When you’re a solo artist, you don’t have to worry about any other voices, except your own. Being a group puts you in the position of having to blend with other people, harmonizing, and being patient with learning things at everyone’s speed. It actually makes you a better singer, because you focus of a wider variety of skills. It’s a magical thing to grow with people who have the same goals and ideas as you. Also, Peet loves embarrassing the rest of us, so he’d be so bored as a solo artist haha.
Can you tell us a little something about each of you?
Owen: From when I was 4 until I was 8 I lived in New Zealand, which was amazing, and that’s where I first discovered my love of music. I also love sports and have played tons of sports my whole life, rugby, swimming, basketball, football, track and field, to name a few. I also love working out, and set quarterly goals for myself on how much I want to be able to lift.
Jonpaul: I’m 20 years old, I grew up in a house in south Florida under the roof of a a Grammy award winning artist since I was 6! Music has been in my blood. I’m a simple person though. I like to help others in need and do as much as I can to give back to my friends and loved ones. Also I’m quite the superhero nerd.
Luc: I love dressing well, I love speaking different languages, I love traveling, I love soccer, I’m terrible at video games, and I’m always told how mature I am for my age. Is that a flex? Definitely.
Peet: I’m a little bit of an adrenaline junkie. I like pushing boundaries and blurring the lines, all in good fun of course ?
What’s your friends and parents thoughts on your career in singing?
Well when any of us say, “Hey, I’m in a boyband and we tour around the world” to our friends, they definitely think we’re trolling them haha. Until they look on Instagram and realize it’s actually real. But they love it. All of our families are actually super supportive of this journey. But, our moms are our biggest fans ever, just like all moms are!
How would you describe your musical style as a band?
We do catchy pop songs with big harmonies. Our sound is current, but definitely has an edge to it. So you will probably catch our songs playing on the radio or even at the club. Either way, you’ll be singing them in the shower.
What artists/bands are you influenced by?
We’re very influenced by artists like Shawn Mendes, Lauv, Jon Mayer, and Ed Sheeran, because of their songwriting and how they interact with their fans in performances. Band wise we’re influenced a lot by One Direction and the Backstreet Boys, because of how high energy the Backstreet Boys are when they perform, and how humble One Direction is when interacting with their fans.
What’s the difference from your band and all bands that have come before you?
What’s so different about 5WEST is that we really show off our different personalities to people, rather than trying to all dress/look/be the same. We want to be the male version of The Spice Girls. They each were just completely themselves and it allowed different people to relate to each of them. We try make that obvious in the way we dress and interact, because individuality is important. Luc is more of the Posh Spice of the group, Peet’s a spaz, Owen’s like a Bohemian weightlifter, and JonPaul is Elvis.
Are their any projects in the works you guys can tell us about?
Well, details are tricky, but it’s all super exciting, and we’ll be sure to share with you as soon as we can.
Will there be an ep/album out soon?
We’ll focus on releasing singles first before releasing an album. But once we’ve started sharing our music, an EP/Album will surely follow.
Any shows coming up?
It’s looking like the rest of 2019 will have us pretty busy. We’ll be all over Europe. Keep up with our socials!
What’s the best thing thats come out of this career so far?
There are multiple great things that have come from being together. A great one is that we’ve become close friends with everyone we work with, from our producer to our photographer. Because of the band, we all get to experience different aspects of the world, and meet incredible people who love what we do and want to join the adventure. On top of that, we get to build lifelong friendships with each other as band mates that won’t ever stop growing. But the best thing above all is the love from the fans and seeing how we can bring smiles and happiness to them.
What’s your biggest struggle in this career so far?
The biggest issue hands down has been learning how to manage our time. After we do a show, we want to stay up talking about it, or maybe watch a movie, or do something crazy. But we also have to remember to sign thousands of cards, to rest our voices, and to sleep enough so that we can put on an incredible performance for people every single time.
Jonpaul: My biggest struggle is that I get homesick easily, I’m a huge mommas boy.
How do you spend most of your free time?
Owen’s ALWAYS at the gym. Sometimes he drags Peet there against his will so he’ll just troll everyone at the gym. You’ll find JP lifting weight as well. Luc loves Soccer so we’ll all play pick up games from time to time. But the reality is that wherever we go, we can’t stop singing. If we’re all together on a free day, it’ll end up 100% of the time with us singing at the park, during a movie, or while we’re sightseeing. It’s actually really cool, although our vocal coach would probably advise us to rest our voices on down days… oops.
What are some of your hobbies?
Owen: I love playing sports, I really like doing logic puzzles, and I love working out/lifting
Jonpaul: I’m a huge marvel fan, so watching the movies, reading the comic books, or collecting the little figures is a hobby of mine.
Luc: I love playing soccer soooo much. I mean, the intensity of the sport is so fun, and there’s nothing quite like scoring a goal. I also like to act, scuba dive, and travel.
Peet: I like to create new experiences and adventures. Whether that’s going ghost hunting, building a fort in my house, or playing Just Dance on Nintendo with random consumers at the mall… I’m for it. Lol.
Does your fanbase have a name?
Haha, yes. They’ve dubbed themselves the “Westies,” actually. We love it!!
How do you want your relationship to be with your fans?
We want it to be like we are one huge family, no one is left out. We want them to feel connected to us, and to have them feel like they have the opportunity to really get to know us. We also want them to feel really appreciated, because they mean so much to us!
What social media platform do you use most to stay connected to your fans?
We’re on all social media platforms, but we usually answer a lot of messages on Instagram and Twitter. Sometimes we even do random DM sprees!
What was the craziest fan encounter you guys have had?
Jonpaul– We once had a fan drive 2 1/2 hours to surprise us at an airport! It was so touching to see the length someone would go just to say hi, and we won’t ever forget it!
What impact do you want to leave on the world?
We want to be leaders for people around the world, using our music and friendship to bring them joy, and show them that with a lot of hard-work, perseverance, and love, anything is possible. Alongside that, our music to leave a better print on this world.
What goals have you guys set out for the band?
We want to make amazing music and inspire people to do what they love, with love, by just being themselves and using their gifts.
Do you guys have any advice for aspiring music artists?
It’s a really tough industry. You have to really love it and be willing to work harder than you ever have. If that’s you, know you’re gonna get a lot of “no’s” before you get that one “yes”. But don’t let that discourage you, just keep putting yourself out there and never let a fear of rejection hold you back. Know your time will come. We all got rejected 1,000 times but this made our dreams worth the wait.
Do you have any last things you went to tell your fans?
We love you guys so much and thank you for being part of this crazy adventure with us. We could never do it without you! Be on the lookout for more interactive things coming your way soon!