- Wed, 2006-11-01 12:01
365 are Brad, Kye, Brett, Andrè and Danny, five London-based lads with a passion for music. Having each paid their dues for some years (songwriting and performing in bands) it was clear when they met that their shared love of music, talent and ambition made for a winning combination.
They’ve just released their fantastic funky debut single 'One Touch' (released November 13th) through Innocent Records and are set to take the music world by storm with their debut album out early in 2007.
As Brad from the band says: We're five 'real' guys who are championing a new phase of sheer, unapologetic pop. One Touch is the perfect way to begin.
I Like Music caught up with three out of five of 365, Andre, Kye and Danny, to talk about performing at Wembley, singing with Usher and how to achieve dreams.
“I like music because… it’s one of the only things I’m good at.” Andre, 365
ILM: Your debut single, One Touch is out Nov 13th. Can you give us your own personal description of it and its whole vibe?
Andre: The track is just a real selection of our influences, it’s kind of Michael Jackson-ish and there are some horns in there that we’ve been listening to, [the guys are laughing at me, sorry… ‘yeah, whatever’] … yeah we’ve got a nice horn section in there and it’s just a fun song about meeting a girl and kinda having some fun.
ILM: I read that you’re on a mission to put the ‘cool’ and ‘funk’ back into pop?
Andre: Yeah, that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to bring back pop in general actually, because there’s not been a lot out of the moment, so we’re trying to bring back pop and the funkiness is from our influences, like Michael Jackson and stuff.
ILM: Written by Danny with Axxx Love and Sub System, this album you’ve co-written with some of pop’s most established writers. What have you learned about songwriting in the process?
Andre: The people I learned most from is Richard Stannard and Matt Rowe, they did a lot of the Spice Girls stuff. You’ve done your research by the way!. So working with them was really cool and they just taught us that, you’ve got to make sure you’re writing from personal experiences because that’s the best way that your songs can come out. And, not to take yourself too seriously as well. You can tell when artists go downhill when they do that. So that’s what I learned from them, and to keep the melody strong as well.
ILM: Your debut album is due for release early in 2007. Which track did you have the most fun laying down in the studio?
Andre: When we did One Touch, because we recorded it behind a blanket. It wasn’t a high tech studio, it was none of that, it was behind a blanket in some guys house. It was a fun day.
ILM: Kind of raw then?
Andre: Yeah... Real!
ILM: You’ve been performing at roadshows and clubs around the UK and a national schools tour – highlights?
Andre: The highlight has been performing at Wembley; that was amazing. When we went on stage at Wembley, I was in awe of how many people there were there. And the Girl Guides were so cool, there were 10,000 girls there just screaming.
ILM: So you’ve had your screaming girls experience then?
Andre: Yeah, we’ve had that one. [Laughs] That’s not to say we don’t want more though!
ILM: What’s your current favourite 365 track to perform live?
Andre: I think One Touch at the moment, because we know it’s coming out and have done the video. And seeing people standing in the audience, and they kinda know who you are, then they hear the song and they realise they’ve seen it on TV or something, so you get that connection.
ILM: You’ve no doubt learned a lot about the industry, so far. What’s your advice for budding songwriters and music makers?
Andre: The first thing is to keep practicing what you’re doing. Especially with songwriting, you get a lot better when you carry on writing, and also to immerse yourself in as much music as you can as well, different types of music. When I went to music college I had that experience of listening to different music and that kinds of opens your eyes. And a lot of it has to do with luck, you’ve got to be in the right place at the right time as well.
ILM: Kye you won the 2002 Pepsi Urban Talent Search in 2002 and in 2004 you entered the BBC’s Usher Masterclass competition and won yourself the opportunity to duet with Usher. Wow, how was that?
Kye: Yeah, it was amazing, it was a big urban talent search and not really something I’d usually go in for, but it was the Usher thing and a couple of mates had told me about it, and at first I thought I’m not going to do it, because I never go for the X Factor things, but this seemed really cool. I I had to do loads of auditions for it and I eventually got to be one of the five winners, so it was really cool.
It was really nerve-wracking because the day before there were 10 of us and they had to whittle it down to five and all the record companies came down and they had to pick who they wanted to spend a day with Usher, and Trevor Nelson came down from Radio One to pick as well and it was a really good experience.
Because I was a white guy and it was a proper urban thing, they probably thought I was going to do a Westlife track or something, so when I sang Stevie Wonder they were quite shocked. Usher was lovely. He was knackered because the night before he’d been at the MTV Europe Awards and he came straight from there. He was really nice, really complementary, and we all got to sing with him at the end and that was just an amazing experience.
ILM: You must have learned quite a lot too?
Kye: Yeah, he gave quite a lot of little tips, so many simple things that are so effective. He showed me some mic tricks that I use when I do gigs now with the boys, so it was really cool.
ILM: Andre - you attended the BRIT School in 2003 and studied Music Technology and Production. Would you recommend that? And what was the main thing you learned?
Andre: Yeah definitely. The thing that taught me rather than just the practical side of things was the importance of being professional, the way to keep your head down and make sure you’re working and being on time and stuff. That is what the Brit School taught me more than anything.
ILM: Danny, you’ve spent time living in the States, how does their approach to music at school and beyond differ?
Danny: Over there, their equipment is a lot better, their music rooms. Their keyboards are from this century! Their books are better and their just a lot more equipped than our music rooms. My music room in England was terrible really it just had a couple of recorders and a book of Mozart. There are so many different genres over there, and so vast. You can just indulge yourself into every sort of music type, because they’re big on rock and roll, they’ve got a big hip hop scene, a big soul scene. It’s a lot better at the moment than English school music.
I’m thinking of doing Jamie’s Dinners but Danny’s Music Room or something and sorting them out.
ILM: You also won a national newspaper music talent competition at 17 years old and singed to Boss Models. How did you make the transition from modeling to music?
Danny: Well, check you out… you know your stuff! Well, that talent competition I won, in fact Louie Walsh was judging it and Gary Barlow had something to do with it. So when I won that I was like, right… great. But The News of the World lost an editor and started going through a transition, so I don’t know what happened there, but it just messed up, so I got in the studio and started writing my own material and just doing some solo stuff, and I got spotted by a modeling industry and that’s when I signed with Boss Models, and started traveling the world with that and that just took over to pay the bills and I did want to travel and it’s a good little job. But, it was through modeling and music both tying in together, I got into Cosmo Girl, I was modeling for them and it had a piece on me saying I was a musician. And my manager (now) saw that while she was working at EMI and got in touch with me, through he magazine and through the modeling agency, and that’s how I first got to meet Emma. So it all tied in very well.
It’s luck sometimes, right place right time, and the modeling and music tied together and brought me to where I am now, so I’m very happy.
ILM: But you had committed yourself to what you wanted to do, so had the right mindset?
Danny: Yeah totally. You’ve just got to keep trying and it’ll come to ya, if you try and try and if you’ve got that bit of talent, it’ll work. It is hard, because you’ve got to keep yourself mentally on point to say, keep doing it, you can do it. And it takes a lot of work.
ILM: How would you advise young people to follow their dreams and make the right choices?
Andre: The main thing is you’ve got to keep trying, but you’ve got to make sure you have a back up plan, especially with music, and make sure you’ve got your education so you can fall back on something, but you’ve just got to carry on trying.
When I was at school, my mum and dad made it clear that unless I did well in my GCSEs, I wouldn’t be able to go on to study music after that, they made sure I had an education first, that’s a good sign. And it can keep you on the straight and narrow to, because you’re occupying your time with something you enjoy. You have goals as well, that helps.
Danny: If you love something so much, modeling, music or working in a bank, if that’s what you want to do, or architecture, whatever…you’ve just got to try and find those little roots that take you that little bit nearer each time to doing what you love. And just keep at it, even if you’ve got to work at a part time job before you get to that other point, just keep doing it, pay the bills, just do what you’ve got to do. Learn a bit more about your craft and just keep learning and trying and opening those doors, however much they close for you. Just keep opening them and fingers crossed, it should work out. Everyone needs that little bit of luck, but, I’m sure you’ll get it. Just be so pushy, just live for it, just push hard and you’ll get it back.
Kye: The best thing you can do is to find a skill. If you find a skill, no matter what it is, plumbing, whatever… My brother left school without any qualifications, but he found a building skill and now he’s doing really well for himself, he’s got a really nice house and really nice car, and he just worked really hard. If you find something you enjoy and just really work at it – you’re always going to do better at something you enjoy rather than something you don’t enjoy. So find something that you really love and then work hard at it.
ILM: Andre, how did you get from leaving the Brit School to where you were are now?
Andre: At the Brit School, every Tuesday they hold auditions so people would come in to try to find talent. I did an audition for producers who’ve worked with Lee Ryan, Blue and Atomic Kitten, who happen to be signed to Innocent as well. I met Danny through them and we started working in the studio and started writing with Danny. And then we met Kye and the guys through a singing teacher, so we kind of got together like that.
ILM: And you get on well?
Andre: Yeah, although they take the mickey out of me, as you can tell. We all live together as well.
ILM: What was your favourite subject at school and why?
Andre: Mine was maths; I was good at maths. I can keep my eye on the accounts I guess.
Danny: It had to be either games or art. Maths and English were not my thing. My English teacher tried to put me in the army, and said to my mum that I needed discipline because I was playing football when I was supposed to be in the class room. Anyway… He sent army letters and leaflets to my mum to my address! Can you believe it? I like playing football and I do love art too.
ILM: What do you do in your free time?
Andre: If I’m not singing or performing, I’m usually at home listening to music and I buy loads of music, legally, I have to point that out. We’ll go and do gigs, and we’ll say make sure you buy the album, and they say I’ll leech it online and we’re like, no, buy it or download it legally… Or buying trainers. I’ve got a huge trainers collection.
Danny: I like football and support Man United. I’m a big snowboarder and skier, but I haven’t been for the last two years since I’ve been in the band, but I do love to do that. I’m going to take the boys skiing hopefully to the French Alps to do some boarding and stuff. Brett, Kye and I have just got these new DS’s and we’re playing Mario Cart on that, so that helps with the time. If I’m not in the studio writing, which is a big passion of mine, that’s what I like to do.
ILM: When touring, how do you look after your health?
Andre: We go to the gym and stuff, but doing rehearsals and choreography keeps you in shape as well. We perform so much, we’ve got four or five shows a week at the moment so doing that kind of stuff really keeps you going, although we stop at McDonalds on the way there.
Danny: I’m really bad. I go to the gym every now and then, but I love my bed so much. When we get a day off, I’m in that bad boy for a while. And chocolate milk is my favourite drink. So I’m not the healthiest guy, but with all the dancing and performing, I stay pretty trim, thank God. I’m pretty lucky. Thank my mum for giving me good genes.
ILM: What’s planned for the next 365 days?
Andre: We’ve got an album coming out February/March time and a couple of singles off the album a well. And all of us would really love to do a tour of some sort, either supporting someone or our own Arena tour.