Make A Band Famous: Get To Know 12 MORE Of The Finalists!

Today is the day! 24 bands are about to compete for a shot at music stardom in VH1’s Make A Band Famous 24-hour live-stream event. You’ve listened to their music and you’ve seen their faces, but you don’t really know these hopefuls. Now they’ve gotten personal, opening up and sharing a bit about themselves, their bandmates, and their passions. Yesterday half the groups had a chance to introduce themselves, and now we have the other 12! Read on to meet the bands who are on the brink of becoming the summer’s breakout hit! Or at least favorites on your own iPod.

Visit MakeABandFamous.VH1.com and vote to keep your top band in the mix! And be sure to tune into the event on our 24-hour live stream starting TODAY at 8/7 C at MakeABandFamous.VH1.com.

Aquile & Bryan Keith

What city or town do you call home?

San Diego and The Bronx

Are there any fun facts about your band?

We formed our group on Season 3 of The Voice. Bryan and I were roommates. I have a lot of Soul R&B Influence and Bryan has a Classic Rock Soul influence. All of that together creates our unique sound.

What inspired the name of your band? Are there any other names you considered that didn’t make the cut?

We chose to go with the names our parents gave us! We have potential group name’s for the future.

What’s the first song you remember playing onstage? Feel free to elaborate if there is a story around it.

I sang an N’Sync song called “I Want You Back,” 3rd grade talent show. -Bryan

Blue Moon at a talent show with my buddy in 5th grade. -Aquile

You absolutely cannot perform without…

Sharing a little bit of who we are with people and where we come from. People respond positively to real people.

Do you have any pre-show rituals before you take the stage?

Always have to take a selfie backstage! Maybe a shot. Say a lil prayer…and remind ourselves that this is what we love to do.

What artists made you want to play music?

Ray Charles, Lauren Hill, Queen, Billy Joel,Stevie Wonder, Bryan Adams.

If you could open for any band on tour this summer, who would it be and why?

Coldplay because they play the stadiums and perform for the crowds we want. We believe our sound would fit in perfect before a Coldplay Concert. They are true artist and real musicians and we respect what they do so much.

What is you band’s biggest band ambition?

We want to make it to the top of the charts and won’t stop writing and performing until we do so. Even then, it is our obligation, mission and ambition to continue to bring the best music to the people of this world as possible. To inspire and be inspired.

You just found out your record got to Number One. What’s the first thing you do?

We send out mass texts, tweets, Facebook posts and thank our fans and supporters for without out them our record would never be Number 1! – Aquile ??I’d call my family and everyone who helped make it happen and scream with excitement. Then figure out whats next. -Bryan

Lastly, is there anything else you want to share with us?

We’ve both been watching VH1 for a long time. So to finally be affiliated with the network feels a lot like fate to us, and we know people will feel it through their computer screens and televisions.

Dirty Du & The Boyz

What city or town do you call home?

“Moco” which is short for Montgomery County

Are there any fun facts about your band?

A fun fact would be how I entered the band. I was singing at a school talent show, which happened to be the first time anyone heard me sing at that school, and while we were back stage they all assumed I was going to go on stage and rap and didn’t pay me no mind. After I sang the immediately kicked there lead singer out of the band & asked me to sing for them.

What inspired the name of your band? Are there any other names you considered that didn’t make the cut?

Well the original band name before I entered was called “LoudPak” which was strictly a Go-Go band, then after singing with them for a while the band transitioned into a new name called “Beyond Expectation” which was mixture of R&B and Go-Go, but during my time at The University Of Maryland Eastern-Shore I began to focus more on my solo artistry as “Dirty Du”. After performing on stage by myself as a solo artist I felt empty without live instruments  to back me up so I made a sub-band with the members of “Beyond Expectation” and started performing my original songs with my band to give a more intimate and interactive feel.

What’s the first song you remember playing onstage? Feel free to elaborate if there is a story around it.

The first song I perform as Dirty Du & The Boyz was a remix of “So Anxious” by Ginuwine. It was the first time I actually had crowd control and interacted with my audience, I actually jumped off stage and sang to a girl in the first row.

You absolutely cannot perform without…

I cannot perform without a mic stand! It adds so much to my presence on stage since I’m not the dancing type.

Do you have any pre-show rituals before you take the stage?

To be honest, I always take a shot or two before I perform to relax my voice and to get me ready to help me vibe/get into the performance.

What artists made you want to play music?

Growing up, artist like Donell Jones, Music Soulchild, Tyrese, and even Michael Jackson influenced me to sing

If you could open for any band on tour this summer, who would it be and why?

I would love to open up for The Roots, or Miguel and his band.

What is you band’s biggest band ambition?

Our biggest band ambition is to tour and actually make a living performing. My individual ambition would be to become an icon through my music and with my fashion as well as help other artist/fashion lines in the DMV get some global exposure.

You just found out your record got to Number One. What’s the first thing you do?

The first thing I would do is thank god, my family, and the fans that supported me, and lastly Vh1 for giving me a chance.

Lastly, is there anything else you want to share with us?

I just can’t thank you all enough for this opportunity, after I graduated this past May the band would’ve been over, but you guys choosing us gave us a new life and more support from the DMV then I could ever even dream of.

Spectators

What city or town do you call home?

Chicago

Are there any fun facts about your band?

We enjoy participating in band workout sessions (…once). We all play in the worship team at the same church. We are proud honorary members of Evergreen Elementary School’s ’Reading Rocks’ club!

What inspired the name of your band? Are there any other names you considered that didn’t make the cut?

We got our name from the song ’The Spectator’ by The Bravery. Names that didn’t make the cut include ’Cartoons & Cardigans'; ’Retro Viland'; ’Panoramic Disintegration’ and ’Sirensong.’

What’s the first song you remember playing onstage? Feel free to elaborate if there is a story around it.

’Someday’ by The Strokes

You absolutely cannot perform without…

Oxygen

Do you have any pre-show rituals before you take the stage?

We gather together to pray, then disperse to take a pre-show pee.

What artists made you want to play music?

Elvis Presley, James Brown, Dave Seville, Toby Mac

If you could open for any band on tour this summer, who would it be and why?

U2. They are one of the biggest touring bands of all time and are a huge influence on our sound!

What is you band’s biggest band ambition?

To be in a place professionally and culturally that allows us to be a positive influence and make a difference in people’s lives on a larger scale.

You just found out your record got to Number One. What’s the first thing you do?

Right on, dude. High fives all ’round! Then we praise the Lord! Then we buy a (private) island, full of (fresh) custard.

Lastly, is there anything else you want to share with us?

Our love.

Two Worlds

What city or town do you call home?

Aurora, Colorado

Are there any fun facts about your band?

We both were in theater and show choir in high school together, and in theater we always played contrasting roles. Junior year we did RENT and Les Mis. In RENT, Nick was Roger and Adiel was Benny. In Les Mis, Nick was Marius and Adiel was Enjolras. Then, senior year, we did Hairspray and Jesus Christ Superstar. In Hairspray, Nick was Link Larkin and Adiel was Seaweed. Then, in JCS, Nick was Jesus and Adiel was Judas. We’ve always been performing together in many different ways!

What inspired the name of your band? Are there any other names you considered that didn’t make the cut?

We both come from very different backgrounds, and although similar, our styles and our musicality contrast in such a magical way. Two Worlds was the band name we had from the beginning, and as hard as we tried to come up with something different, it eventually stuck! Our other ideas were “Caramel” but spelled “Carm’ll” and other dumb things like “Breakin’ all da rulez”… Embarrassing, I know… Haha!

What’s the first song you remember playing onstage? Feel free to elaborate if there is a story around it.

When we were sophomores in high school, we were in mens choir together, and we did a boy band performance. Our teacher picked 5 singers as the “band members” for our performance. Nick was in our choirs N*SYNC song and Adiel was in the Backstreet Boys song. We sang and danced like fools, and then at the end, both groups came together and sang a song. It was silly fun, and moments like that are what inspire us to always have a ton of fun on stage and not take things too seriously!

You absolutely cannot perform without…

Good vibes! Aside from our instruments, we find the experience more important than anything. If the performance doesn’t start from a place of fun and excitement, then the audience wont feel invested enough to truly latch on. We always make sure we have our heads in the right place before performing! And of course, our gear is pretty important too… HA!

Do you have any pre-show rituals before you take the stage?

We do this silly thing were we both put our hands on each others shoulders and say “1 2 3 LETS GO” in a deep, stupid voice. It always makes us smile and feel a little silly before going on stage!

What artists made you want to play music?

Like most, the greats like Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder etc.. Some of our other influences include John Legend, Bruno Mars, Chris Brown, John Mayer, Jason Mraz, All Time Low, and Drake.

If you could open for any band on tour this summer, who would it be and why?

We would LOVE to open for One Direction! Not only are we huge fans, but we know our music would fit right in! Not to mention the multitudes of amazing fans they have that we would be able to sing in front of!

What is you band’s biggest band ambition?

We are very ambitious about our whole journey in general. When we decided to drop school and chase music, we both knew that Two Worlds has a very big message, and a very innovative style and image that we need to share with the world. We love our music so much and we want to share it with as many people as possible, and everything along the way are just steps we know we need to take to get to that place!

You just found out your record got to Number One. What’s the first thing you do?

Tweet and thank everyone! Then instantly freak out and probably find ourselves walking around the mall or Walmart just talking and soaking in the surreality. Then we would start preparing ourselves to maintain that success, and learn to repeat it.

Lastly, is there anything else you want to share with us?

Nick, a singer who loves to dance, and Adiel, a dancer who loves to sing. We both feel very inspired to share our music and dreams with EVERYONE, and we hope you guys will catch our vision and enjoy us

Frances Cone

What city or town do you call home?

Brooklyn, NY

Are there any fun facts about your band?

We’re best friends. We love tequila and hot sauce and feel so lucky to have found each other.

What inspired the name of your band? Are there any other names you considered that didn’t make the cut?

Francis is my dad and great grandfather’s name and they were both born on 9/11. I switched out the i for an e, made it feminine, made it our band name!

What’s the first song you remember playing onstage? Feel free to elaborate if there is a story around it.

The first song I remember singing onstage was with my dad at the age of 3 and it had a little something to do with Jesus. ??The first song this band played together was Come Back and I just remember thinking “ok, this is it. I found the right boys. Go time!”

You absolutely cannot perform without…

Having fun! We’re not solving the world’s gigantic problems here so I just like to make sure we’re not taking ourselves too seriously.

Do you have any pre-show rituals before you take the stage?

I eat a banana and drink whiskey. The whiskey is optional, the banana is not.

What artists made you want to play music?

Patty Griffin and Rufus Wainwright!?? The boys would throw a lot of jam band references out right now but we just toured the west coast and listened to a loooot of Grateful Dead.

If you could open for any band on tour this summer, who would it be and why?

We love Lucius – they’re our good friends and would be such a blast to tour with!

What is you band’s biggest band ambition?

To tour the world and make a living playing this music!

You just found out your record got to Number One. What’s the first thing you do?

Go to Tulum, Mexico and lay around the beach with friends and tequila.

Lastly, is there anything else you want to share with us?

Thanks for having us!!

David Paige

What city or town do you call home?

Chicago, IL

Are there any fun facts about your band?

My grandparents were professional singers. They were David and Dorothy Paige- I have mp3s ripped from their 78″ and a great photo that I’ll bring with me to NYC!??Although I went to high school with Dave (drums) and Joe (bass), we had never played music with each other until after graduating from college and forming this project.

What inspired the name of your band? Are there any other names you considered that didn’t make the cut?

I’ve been in so many bands over the years, and the hardest part was getting a group of guys who would stick together long enough to make the band name last. After leaving the last band I was in, I decided to brand my next project with my own name because I knew that I’d always be me regardless of who is playing next to me.  ??For a while, we went by “David Paige and the Skyline” but, for some reason, that ended up being confusing for venues when I was booking tours.

What’s the first song you remember playing onstage? Feel free to elaborate if there is a story around it.

I was in high school, and my band had gotten a gig at the bowling alley nearby.  We got on stage and started playing “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”  Our lead guitarist was nervous, and his hands were slipping around and hitting wrong chords, our drummer missed the iconic drum fill, and my guitar wasn’t making any sound! On top of all of that, I couldn’t sing the high notes in the chorus when we got to it.  We stopped, counted off the next song, and just moved on.  It was a train wreck.

You absolutely cannot perform without…

I’d like to think that I can put on a performance under any circumstances. I’ve had to work with plenty of unfavorable conditions, but if I had to pick one thing, I’d say my own microphone. It always feels strange singing through an old, dirty 58.

Do you have any pre-show rituals before you take the stage?

We always do a quick band huddle to get pumped up during our walk-on music.  I’ll say something cool about where we are playing, or why we do what we do, and that tends to get us in the zone. We can leave everything we don’t need behind – like stress, anxiety, or fear…and a pre-show shot of Jameson doesn’t hurt either!

What artists made you want to play music?

Growing up, my dad used to play the oldies stations, and I fell in love with the harmonies used by the Beatles, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, the Beach Boys, etc.??When I was a little bit older, my sister gave me a cassette of Nevermind by Nirvana.  I was blown away by the raw power and the emotion in the music. That was one of the first defining moments for me.??Then as I started to develop my own tastes in music, I gravitated towards the sounds of bands like Third Eye Blind, Matchbox Twenty, the Goo Goo Dolls, and the Foo Fighters.

If you could open for any band on tour this summer, who would it be and why?

Matchbox Twenty or Third Eye Blind would both be amazing bands to open for.  Not only would I LOVE hearing their music every night, but I also feel that our music would go over really well with their fans.

What is you band’s biggest band ambition?

I want to tour on all 7 continents, sharing my music with as many people as possible.

You just found out your record got to Number One. What’s the first thing you do?

While I think you’d probably prefer to hear that I’d go out and celebrate, I would probably call my family, then immediately get back to booking! I would want to create a tour of huge shows for everyone who helped us get the record to #1!

Lastly, is there anything else you want to share with us?

Some Chinese food or a pizza, your choice!

RAHBI

What city or town do you call home?

ATLANTA
Are there any fun facts about your band?

WE’RE ALL SUPER SEXY & EVOKE FULL BODY SMILES 😉

What inspired the name of your band? Are there any other names you considered that didn’t make the cut?
IT’S MY BIRTH NAME. RAH MEANS MOST HIGH, MASTER TEACHER, OR GOD . “RAW” IS THE NAME OF MY BAND. MAINLY BECAUSE OUR ART IS UNFILTERED & PURE.

What’s the first song you remember playing onstage? Feel free to elaborate if there is a story around it.
One of the first songs me and my band Raw performed onstage  together was “Release Date” which was produced by Janelle Monae’s drummer Mike P (1 half of DrummerBoyzClub) We later opened up for Janelle Monae’ at The Tabernacle in Atlanta Georgia with the same song!! Nice to see it come full circle

You absolutely cannot perform without…

An audience… I’m nothing without the support of my BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE!!! That’s what I call my supporters. TheBeautifulPeople, those who embrace their light and fully live their purpose.

Do you have any pre-show rituals before you take the stage?

I always pray with my band Raw and thank GOD for allowing us to use our gifts to inspire others to do the same! I also pee about 3 times.. lol Not sure why, but it’s a must!

What artists made you want to play music?

MICHAEL JACKSON, PRINCE, QUEEN, RICK JAMES, GRACE JONES, // I gravitate to these artists naturally because I feel we all represent an energy that continues to revolve & evolve in the music industry. An outrageous, bold, fearless, confident and unapologetic energy that urges people to be themselves.

If you could open for any band on tour this summer, who would it be and why?

JANELLE MONAE, She’s my sister and we’ve supported each other from day one. We totally understand one another and it’s always like a big fun and fashionable family gathered when we perform together. ??2nd choice would be LADY GAGA. I’ve always viewed her as a distant cousin. Every time I see her perform I’m like ohhhhh you think that way too!! I actually auditioned to be her bkground singer in NY a few years ago and I made it to the final round of guy cuts but she ended up using all girls. It’s all good though, we’ll flirt with one another soon enough

What is you band’s biggest band ambition?

To sell out arenas and change the world for the better through jammin music and kick ass shows!!!

You just found out your record got to Number One. What’s the first thing you do?

Thank God, call my parents, run outside naked, then call Rihanna & Pharell to see if they’d like to do a remix for the record!!

Lastly, is there anything else you want to share with us?

All of the music is available on iTunes and all videos can be seen at www.youtube.com/RAHBITV??#TogetherWeInspireMasses

Good Night Alive

What city or town do you call home?

Macon, GA

Are there any fun facts about your band?

Nick, our bass player, is our barber.

What inspired the name of your band? Are there any other names you considered that didn’t make the cut?

Good Night Alive! is an expression that Bobby’s grandpa used to say. It just kinda of sounded cool. At least, better than the other options… Good Night Miss Agnes or Teely Toes…

What’s the first song you remember playing onstage? Feel free to elaborate if there is a story around it.

The first song we ever played on stage was our original, “Animals”. We played at Grant’s Lounge. It was where a lot of big artists played back in the day and where the Allman Brothers would hang out before they became famous. It was fun to kind of think that maybe we could be on the Wall of Fame one day.

You absolutely cannot perform without…

Jesse would say Redbull.

Do you have any pre-show rituals before you take the stage?

Our friend JC usually gets us in a huddle for a pep talk and makes us feel like crap. Somehow we always feel like we have to prove something to him afterwards. It’s a horrible ritual.

What artists made you want to play music?

Blink 182 and System Of A Down. And anyone off of the Atticus compilations.

If you could open for any band on tour this summer, who would it be and why?

Ellie Goulding because, duh. She’s brilliant and she has an amazing crowd. If not her, then Grouplove or The Naked And Famous because our sound would really compliment theirs.

What is you band’s biggest band ambition?

Go big and go hard. We’d all like to make a living off of our music and travel the world.

You just found out your record got to Number One. What’s the first thing you do?

Partaaaay

Lastly, is there anything else you want to share with us?

Yeah, our music. Let’s goooo!

Chris Ayer

What city or town do you call home?

Los Angeles recently, after being a New Yorker for 8 years! From Virginia originally. I think my musical and personal influence is definitely a combination of the three.

Are there any fun facts about your band?

I am a left-handed guitar player, and stubbornly learned to play on a lefty guitar, so I everything looks backwards!? ?I have played over 1,000 shows, in 42 of the 50 states, and across Europe and the UK, and released 57 songs over the span of 3 EPs, 3 albums, and numerous singles.

What inspired the name of your band? Are there any other names you considered that didn’t make the cut?

I played shows and wrote solo for a long time, so it has always felt natural to call the project my name.  But pretty much everything about my music has become a collaboration in the last year or so, with a bunch of amazing musicians I am lucky to call friends…  So if we get a regular touring band on the road, they will need a name! And a spirit animal. Maybe a coat of arms. Normal band stuff.

What’s the first song you remember playing onstage? Feel free to elaborate if there is a story around it.

In school we were allowed to pick a month long project at the end of the year, so I decided to learn guitar.  After 2 days of practicing I decided to sign up to perform 3 songs for the entire school in 4 weeks.  Except that’s WAY too short a time to be able to play much of anything… so I racticed day and night, and would glue my fingers back together when they bled, and just tried my best to learn to play chords at all.  By the time of the concert, I was so exhausted from not sleeping and stressing about the thing, that I got out of my own way, and it went pretty decently! I played Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel, and Acoustic #3 by the Goo Goo Dolls.  Also an original I wrote, about a girl in my grade that I’d never spoken to… creepy!  Not surprisingly, it did not impress her.

You absolutely cannot perform without…

I cannot perform without my setlist written on my right forearm with a marker.  I’ve been doing this for years now.. I think I lost enough set lists on paper before shows, and got fed up one night, so I wrote my set down with permanent marker on my arm.  The habit stuck, and it’s really a ritual before each show.  Instead of asking for my setlist, people sometimes come up after shows and take pictures of my arm, haha it’s kind of a weird thing, but I love that folks have come to expect it.

Do you have any pre-show rituals before you take the stage?

Besides writing the set list on my arm, I warm up for a little while, and then listen to whatever music is inspiring me lately.  If I’m playing the show with the band, we’ll get together right before we get on stage and just take a moment to come together and recognize this crazy thing we are about to do.  If I’m playing alone, I usually call a friend, and talk a little, just to get out of my own head!

What artists made you want to play music?

Paul Simon was the main one.  My mom used to have a Simon & Garfunkel tape in the car on the way to school when I was 7 years old, and we wore that tape out playing it so many times, driving around McLean Virginia.  My parents had a little old stereo with a radio in it, and when I was like 10, I’d tape the speakers to the headboard of my bed, on either side of my head right next to my ears, so I could listen to my music, or the top 10 countdown on the radio, at SUPER low volume, after I was supposed to be asleep.  At that point it was a lot of alternative radio, and some pop and classic rock too.  I remember being blown away by the amount of feelings these songs were giving me, and pictured this world of expression and emotion, somewhere where these songs were being made.  I just wanted to go to that place, and be a part of that.  I think that’s the test for me when I finish a song, is wondering how I’d feel about it, listening secretly on that crappy little stereo.

If you could open for any band on tour this summer, who would it be and why?

Opening for Passenger would be the dream tour for me this summer.  He’s doing something I aspire to do in my own career, where he’s writing songs that are both personal and catchy in a way that people connect to.  I love shows like that, where the audience knows all the words, and feels a personal connection to the material, and also feels like a part of something.  It’s a cool time to be a musician, because there are lots of bands like that these days – making pop music that’s personal and innovative.

What is you band’s biggest band ambition?

My ambition is to make music that I love, have people connect to it, and get to play it every day, to as many people as possible.  Feeling the thing you make resonate with an audience is the best thing in the world for me – makes me feel a part of something, and useful somehow. Megafame isn’t the goal exactly, but getting to do what I love, and see lots of people connect with it.. that would be really great.  Specifically, if I could be playing theaters and arenas for the rest of my life, and getting the budgets to make the records I wanted to make, I’d be extremely happy.  Also, a Grammy would be lovely.

You just found out your record got to Number One. What’s the first thing you do?

If my record was at number one, I’d take out all my friends to celebrate.  Maybe would take a walk and just try to process it all, but then go out and enjoy myself with some friends!  No big houses or expensive trips for 20 friends on me, I’ve watched enough Behind The Music to know how that turns out.

Lastly, is there anything else you want to share with us?

Humans can recognize faces in almost anything, even when they aren’t there (potato chips, the moon), because of our natural need to connect with other people.  I just think that’s cool!

Tyke T

What city or town do you call home?

Memphis
Are there any fun facts about your band?

Fun fact: The reason that we came together was to do a show for the “Hard Rock Cafe” rising star contest. The week off the show, they cancelled because lack of entrants, and we were disqualified because we had prior engagements the next week. God works in mysterious ways, cuz look at us now going to NYC baby!!!!

What inspired the name of your band? Are there any other names you considered that didn’t make the cut?

The reason why I am named Tyke T, is because  Tyke is a nickname that seemed to stick with me all through my childhood years, up to even college. Some people didn’t even know my name was really Tyrone. My grandma used to call me ’T Tyke Em”, so I went ahead and reversed it to Tyke T. It’s also in a way paying homage to some of the veterans in Hip Hop who have the single letters in their name. Like “Heavy D” “Ice T”, “LL Cool J” “Master P.”

What’s the first song you remember playing onstage? Feel free to elaborate if there is a story around it.

It depends on what you mean by first song? The first, first song that I ever performed on stage was in highschool musical “Oklahoma”. I was the sheriff & I performed “the Farmer & The cowman”. Of course I killed it. The first song that I ever performed on stage as Tyke T, was in murfreesboro, TN at a “whole in the wall” type club with a former group of mine called “The Click”. We put on a hell of show in front of those 40 people lol. The first show I ever did with my band (4 SOul) was on Memphis’s Fox 13 Morning show! we destroyed the stage!

You absolutely cannot perform without…

A towel nearby. I have to be the sweatiest rapper in the history of Rap!

Do you have any pre-show rituals before you take the stage?

We always find a way to get a prayer in before we go on stage. I know that sounds cliché. But without GOD’s grace I would not even be this far, so we have to pray beforehand!

What artists made you want to play music?

So many. From my youth it was BBD, Jodeci, Bobby Brown. When I grew older it was Jay-z, Cash Money Millionaires, Master P, Eight Ball & MJG, Yo Gotti, Young Jeezy, Drake Kanye West, Kendrick Laamar, Are just to name a few. But believe me there is so much more. I pull from every genre. Remember I grew up in the TRL era, so many of those pop groups, I still draw influence from as well.

If you could open for any band on tour this summer, who would it be and why?

Drake, Jay Z, Beyonce, Kanye West. The Reason being is I want to tap into those fan bases! I wanted to be exposed to those people, and present my brand to them.

What is you band’s biggest band ambition?

To build a solid fan base, that will help my brand grow. Fans are the key to the music industry. I want to build my fan base to be an engaging fan base that has no problem with sharing and word of mouth to the next individual that will potentially become a fan as well.

You just found out your record got to Number One. What’s the first thing you do?

Call my Momma! I want her to be the first to know!

Lastly, is there anything else you want to share with us?

We are humbled for the opportunity, but on a mission to come back to Memphis with the Grand Prize.

An Old Friend

What city or town do you call home?

Long Island, New York

Are there any fun facts about your band?

Yeah of course, our bassist sometimes gets mistaken for Kurt Cobain, also we sometimes find ourself listening to the complete opposite genres as us, and we have no idea why.

What inspired the name of your band? Are there any other names you considered that didn’t make the cut?

The name An Old Friend can be portrayed in many different ways, I suppose for us it holds value to the fact that no matter what happens, there’s always that one person, of maybe a few through growing up and moving on that become distant, maybe you once shared a strong connection yet are now just complete ghosts to one another, leaving them to become An Old Friend.?? Haha we actually had a laundry list of meaningless names, one being irasella, sounded cool at the time, yet held no value to us.

What’s the first song you remember playing onstage? Feel free to elaborate if there is a story around it.

The first song we played live is our song “Window” (which is off of our demo ep) it was pretty interesting as we weren’t sure how people would react to us especially playing our first gig with a PA system that made it sound like we had marbles in our mouth.  Good times.

You absolutely cannot perform without…
Hmm… Depends really, I would say TONS of water, I mean, we can pull off a show without it, it’s just a tad easier to perform hydrated.. haha.

Do you have any pre-show rituals before you take the stage?
We actually like to play a few rounds of hacky sack in the parking lots believe it or not, especially with the other bands, we feel it loosens everyone up.

What artists made you want to play music?
Far too many to list, but we all come from such different musical backgrounds but collectively, bands like Taking Back Sunday, Circa Survive, Mayday Parade, & Tool are just a few who have influenced us growing up into the scene.

If you could open for any band on tour this summer, who would it be and why?
Recently, we would all love to open for Circa Survive or even Balance & Composure.  Mainly because of the respect we have for them as artists but also the ambience they have at their shows, it’s always a good vibe & we would love to be a part of it.

What is you band’s biggest band ambition?
Of course every band wants to be signed, wants to be successful, etc. those are some ambitions, yet, we would love to give people music they can relate/escape with, as we know music has played a huge part in getting us through our days, we would love to give that back to others.

You just found out your record got to Number One. What’s the first thing you do?
In all honesty, host a free show in our home town to celebrate, I feel like the atmosphere of that would be nothing short of amazing.

Lastly, is there anything else you want to share with us?

I believe you covered most of it, but we are ecstatic to get this competition rolling!

Manny X

What city or town do you call home?

Providence, RI

Are there any fun facts about your band?

Fun facts….Wellllll, for starters, I’m a self taught producer/singer/songwriter. In the summer of 2012, I was chosen by T-Pain himself as the winner of Guitar Center’s “Your Next Record” competition. We released an EP titled “Genesis” in the Summer of 2013 and it went on to seek 40K. Not too bad for an unsigned/independent artist. Alsooooo, it just so happens that I’m a Mathematician, more specifically, a mathematics teacher at a high school in Rhode Island and i have lots of my students (who eventually discovered what i do outside of school) cheering me on from little Rhody!!!

I looooooooove nature. In fact, I’ve learned a lot of life lessons and have gained some wisdom just from observing nature – that’s probably more of a strange fact then a fun fact……Annnnnd, I enjoy observing people as they go about their business. I always have, actually. Its sort of like the fuel to my songwriting and personal development. 90% of the time, I write from my own experiences, other times I like to challenge myself and step out of my box to explore other perspective.

What inspired the name of your band? Are there any other names you considered that didn’t make the cut?

The name is kind of deep, really. I grew up without a father. My mother raised all 5 of my siblings and myself on her own. I just had a difficult time as a teenager identifying with the part of my family that carried my last name. So the ’X’ represent a disclaimer of that heritage and legacy so that I can recreate a new definition that my descendants would be proud to carry. I use music as the vehicle to arrive at that self-realization.

What’s the first song you remember playing onstage? Feel free to elaborate if there is a story around it.

Well, I grew up in a spanish pentecostal church in Central Falls, Rhode Island. As a child I grew up around music and was always draw to it. Throughout the years, I learned to appreciate it more and eventually took on piano. That ultimately turned into a passion that would changed my life. The first ORIGINAL song I ever sang publicly had to be “Scared To Let You Go”. Its a song that i never released because i was only 16 when I recorded it. As always, theres a woman involved and this time it was my first girlfriend who was moving to a completely different state. The song spoke about the fear of letting go because of the uncertainty of finding a love like that ever again. Needless to say, a lot of the ladies in my high school loved it…..so that pushed me towards making more and moooorreeee music!

You absolutely cannot perform without…

I can’t perform without a smile on my face and some sweat on my brow. I love delving into the performance and never worry about what I look like. If there was one physical object that I couldn’t perform without, It would have top be a keyboard/piano. I love being behind those lovely keys when I perform. It’s a beautiful instrument and it’s so liberating to me.

Do you have any pre-show rituals before you take the stage?

Yeaaahhh!!! I do these really strange ’mating calls’! And i tend to stretch my mouth really wide and I like to sit down and visualize the performance. From the moment I grab the microphone, to every part of the song that can be enhance or emphasized. The performance first occurs in my head before I bring it to the stage. Once i hit the stage, I just enter this…..realm, if you may, where I lose myself in the music and just have a goooooood time!

What artists made you want to play music?

Michael Jackson made me want to be an music artist!!! Boyz 2 Men and the early Mariah Carey stuff made me fall in love with R&B, Usher made me want to write about love/life and relationships, Stevie Wonder made me want to play keys and sing instead of dancing around and singing and he also influenced my songwriting a lot with learning to be introspective and push to be soulllllful.

If you could open for any band on tour this summer, who would it be and why?

Bruno Mars!!! I just picture that tour being so much fun and sooooooo musical and it would go so great with the style of music that i’m trying to bring to the table. If not Bruno, I would love to go on Tour and open for Usher, Robin Thicke or Pharrel.

What is you band’s biggest band ambition?

Well, I look forward to getting a record deal and use that record deal to create music that is timeless, musical and fun….But, that it transcends the superficial and helps me find hope, be inspired to chase their dreams and believe in themselves….I write a lot of songs that have heavy topics because it is important to me to connect to the listener. I want my fans to know that, through music, we are alllll connected in one way or another. I’m thinking Grammys!!! I would love to win song of the year – as a songwriter, that would be the absolute best award I could achieve. Record of the year and album of the year aren’t that bad either. But I’d love to win a Grammy in my life…..or several! On a deeper note, I would love to turn my opportunity – once i am an established artist – into a way to help discover and develop fresh new talent for the coming generations. I aspire to inspire whoever listens to my music so they may understand that ANYTHING is possible with hard work, dedication, patience, perseverance, faith and some good old PASSION!

You just found out your record got to Number One. What’s the first thing you do?

Fall to my knees, thank GOD numerous times……cry a little…Call my mother, call my siblings, call my lady, call my best friends….and thennnnn……..have some alone time to internalize this moment where one of my dreams have been realized….before sharing the good news with the world.

Lastly, is there anything else you want to share with us?

I feel utterly grateful to be here…….coming from the smallest state in the nation, this is HUGE for me and for anyone that is in my state that has dreams. I hope to be an ambassador of hope for the youth (and dreamers in general) in my state i hope i can help cultivate a culture of people that believe in themselves enough to chase their dreams with ferocity! Anything is possible – That’s message I want to communicate to the masses. #BELIEVE!!!! Thanks for opportunity – LET’S ROCK!

I believe you covered most of it, but we are ecstatic to get this competition rolling!