Interview by Carl Marsh
My first question goes to Lee, how come a young lad from Stoke-on-Trent (which is where I am originally from!) end up in Los Angeles in a band?
Last year, an opportunity presented itself for me to join Phase Five. Prior to joining the band, I was in my last year at LIPA (Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts) which is run by Paul McCartney. I had three more months until my graduation. However, when I was approached by Jeremiah to join, the decision was very easy to make.
With the rest of you, how did you all end up in Phase Five?
Jeremiah held auditions in 2013 to create a boyband. Prior to the the band, he had been auditioning for various competition television shows and other opportunities in Los Angeles. After teaming up with a few industry experts, including the father of Brandy (Willie Norwood), the auditions were affective. JayC and Nelson were added initially. During a second round of auditions in 2014, Odon flew from Belgium to Los Angeles to audition and join the band. Although this process was set-up, the chemistry amongst us is very organic and we pride ourselves on being very international.
Why singing then, no doubt it was something you always wanted to do but why, was it school, friends or family that motivated you to do this?
We all have been influenced by music one way or another. Lee and Nelson are really into musical theater. Odon was on The Voice in Belgium! JayC and Jeremiah both competed in show-choirs in high school. Once joining the band, it all made sense on why we were drawn to music as teens, and furthermore, why fate brought us together for this journey. We are very heavily supported by our family!
And how has the journey been for you all since you got in the band?
It has definitely been a roller-coaster! We have accomplished so much in the past year that we had no idea we were capable of doing! It's amazing to notice our growth! We have fans from all around the world. It's refreshing to wake up and see tweets from countries such as Japan, Brazil, USA and the UK.
The music industry is a tough industry, as you will know by now, so why should people fan you guys, and buy your music, what makes you different?
We are a band that is different. Although different sounds cliche, it is very apparent through our urban-pop music, our different cultural backgrounds, and the ground-zero structure we've rooted from. We are five regular guys with the dream to entertain. When people hear our music and see us perform, that's our blood, sweat, and tears!
And you guys must be on the go 24 hours a day to make this all work, how do you keep going?
We have such a strong vision of what we want this band to be. There are very few artists that have become legendary, and furthermore, very few bands at that. We want to be remembered for our music, our performance, and our artistry. So that all begins with the work that we put in now!
What gets you all out of bed each day, what gives you the drive and motivation?
It's the fact that we have supporters all around the world who are alive because of us! We receive messages everyday saying we are idols, we help end depression, and our music has transformed lives. All we are doing is being ourselves, so if this is the reward for being real men, we will continue to be motivated and have the strongest drive ever.
You will know that I promote the reading of anything really, so, has reading helped you through your life?
Reading has impacted all of us at some point. We applaud your promotion of reading!
Do you have a message to your fans about why they should read more books?
Reading is so fundamental for your soul! There is a new-age stigma that reading is a forced chore and that it's less cool than social media apps. However, literature is one of the key ways to channel thoughts. It's very similar to writing music, which is why we support books!
What sort of genre of books, and of this genre, what authors and/or books would you say were your choice of escapism either now or when growing up?
We all were into Sci-fi types of books. As clichéd as it sounds, books like The Lord of The Rings, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, etc. let your imagination run-free. You can create your own world and your own vision. These books also exemplified a sense of unity, which is something we represent greatly.
The next few months, what are your plans, touring, recording, etc?
Now that we are back from London, we plan on touring the U.S. with The Social Jam tour! We have more music (covers, releases) in the works, as well as celebrating the holiday season!
What makes a great band, someone who has the voice, or the talent to write their own music, or both, yet not many can do both it seems these days?
A great band consists of talented and diverse voices. Beyond this, chemistry is the key important factor. Everyone has to sacrifice personal gains for the greater good of the bands success. When that is triggered, that's when bands take over. As far as writing, it is important to reflect your ideas into your music one way or another.
Can you tell me what is more important, respect or confidence?
Respect is a quality all of us hold. Confidence definitely catches our eye!
The question I like to ask last is this; if you were an animal, what would it be, and why?
Jeremiah - I would probably be a huskie. They're so captivating!
Odon - A lion, because they are majestic and the king of the jungle!
Nelson - A Coquí frog! It's the native animal of Puerto Rico.
JayC - I just got a tattoo of an owl. I hope to use my wisdom as strength.
Lee - A wolf...strong when alone, but much stronger when in a group!