Interview: New Boy Band 4TH AVE – Initiation EP Drops Today!

IMG_1642Hello there!

I had the chance to speak with up-and-coming boy band 4TH AVE about their new EP, Initiation, which is out today! We talk ABC’s Boy Band, how the band was formed, their musical influences, and more.

4TH AVE is made up of Camry Jackson, Jaden Gray, Marcus Pendleton and Mikey Jimenez

If you weren’t already aware, I featured 4TH AVE as one of my ‘Artist to Watch’ posts back when they were first introduced. Their sound is so organic and soulful and fun. Not to even mention the level of maturity and talent these young men possess. You can check out that original post HERE. Now, I’m not trying to say, “I told you so,” but . . . (I told you so).

  • Can you introduce yourselves to those who might not be familiar with you from Boy Band?

    We are 4 individuals who came from the show Boy Band on ABC. The judges were Timbaland, Nick Carter, and Emma Bunton. On the show every week we competed against each other in different groups throughout the season. Unfortunately we didn’t make it to the final band, but we were blessed enough to make our own, titled 4th Ave!

  • How did the decision to form 4th Ave come about? Was this something that was discussed prior to the show ending? I also want to high five you all for your maturity throughout the process of Boy Band and the unveiling of the final five.

    Thank you! After the finale, Timbaland came up to all of us on stage and said he felt that we should be a group. He knew that each of us had something special, and together we’d be unstoppable! We are so very humbled that he input his opinion into our hearts. It was the best choice we could’ve ever made!

  • What has the song writing/recording process been like so far?

    Before the show, each of us had some type of familiarity of singing in the studio, song writing, and singing front of big crowds. So when that process began to come our way it was a breeze due to the fact that we had been doing it for some time.

  • Did you get a say on which songs were going to be chosen for your first EP, Initiation? How many songs have you recorded so far?

    Yes, we had a major say as to which songs were able to be on the first EP! Of course with the help of our manager Jared Rosenberg, and Musical Director Adam Blackstone, we were able to make the eight choices as to which should be on it. In addition to that, we have recorded at least 19-21 songs!

  • What do you hope fans take away from the EP?

    From this EP, we hope that fans take away the raw emotion and passion we put into it! We want them to experience the life of the songs, just as we did when we were singing/writing them! This EP is an emotional roller coaster!

  • Since the formation of 4th Ave, you’ve performed back up for Charlie Puth on national television and you took part in a performance at the March for Our Lives event in Washington, D.C. How excited are you to finally be going out on tour with your own music and your own fans that have been patiently waiting for this for the past year?

    What an honor it was to be able to perform behind Charlie Puth on the Voice, and Vic Mensa on March For Our Lives! It’s quite unreal being that we’ve only been a band for 7-8 months, and we are so humbled. Now that we are going on our own tour, with our own music, the only thing that goes through our mind is wow this is really happening this early. We never would’ve thought the ball would get rolling this early!

  • You’ve had incredible fan interactions since your formation. How important is that to you?

    Fan interaction is our main focus. In fact we don’t even call them fans, we call them our supporters! They are so important because they keep us going, and they support us no matter what. If there is a meet and greet, they are there, if an EP comes out, they buy it, and if there is a concert, they are there, etc. So we love them with all of our heart!

  • Who are your musical influences? Who would you like to work with in the future?

    Individually we have many, but as a group they would have to be:Boys To Men, Michael Jackson, Usher, Chris Brown, Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, and Justin Bieber just to name a few.

  • Can you let your fans know of any upcoming projects to look out for?

    As of right now continue to share our new EP! Lookout for our first Tour, and after tour we may have quite a few surprises for you as well!

  • Where can people find you online?

    4th Ave Music on all social platforms!
    Website | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

 

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SAM SMITH: The Thrill of It All Tour 2018 | Miami, FL – 7/14/18

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Hello again, music lovers!

I’ve been to a lot of live shows in the past two months or so, but it’s still not enough! This time, my niece and I got to see Sam Smith’s ‘The Thrill of It All Tour’ at the American Airlines Arena in Downtown Miami on July 14th. Sadly, our seats were in the nosebleeds, but it didn’t even take away from the incredible show that he put on for everyone.

The show started promptly at 8pm with his opening act for the night, Cam. Cam is a country singer who I’d never heard of before, but she has a great voice. She was interacting with the crowd throughout her set and really tried to get people to see a personal side to her. This isn’t an easy task when you know the crowd is there to see someone else. With that being said, I felt like she held her own up there! I would definitely check out her music HERE.

Sam’s set began at about 9pm and lasted almost 2 hours. I’m not sure if it’s because of where we were sitting, but the sound for this show was absolutely fantastic. Sometimes at live shows, you can’t hear what the artist is saying because of the acoustics in the venue and where your seats are. This one, however, sounded great. Here’s what the setlist for our show looked like:

  1. Burning
  2. One Last Song
  3. I’m Not the Only One
  4. Lay Me Down
  5. Omen (Disclosure cover)
  6. Nirvana / I’ve Told You Now
  7. Writing’s on the Wall
  8. Latch (Disclosure cover)
  9. Money on My Mind
  10. Like I Can
  11. Baby, You Make Me Crazy
  12. Say It First
  13. One Day at a Time
  14. Midnight Train
  15. HIM
  16. Too Good at Goodbyes

Encore:

  1. Palace
  2. Stay With Me
  3. Pray

At one point, Sam addressed the sadness in his songs by joking, “I was sitting in my home and realized how fucking depressing my music is.” He wanted to make it a point not to have us leave the room “feeling like shit” afterward and I think he succeeded.

One of my favorite moments of the night was during “I’m Not the Only One” when he put his mic down and had the entire crowd singing his words back to him. It was so loud and beautiful. Those are always my favorite moments during a live show, but this one seemed particularly moving.

There was also a fantastic moment at the end of “HIM” where the lights went out and a light bar on stage lit up in rainbow colors.

One thing that I found particularly funny was right before the encore performances. The amount of people that were walking out was puzzling. I had to ask my niece if they were new to the art that is a live show. You don’t leave until the lights come up, people!

Here are some pics I took from the show (again, I apologize for the distance lol):

To be quite honest, despite the distance of our seats from the stage, this was one of my top 3 shows I’ve ever been to (and I’ve been to A LOT). Everything about it was worth the mission getting to the AAA. If you have a chance to catch the show, I highly recommend it. You can even get the “cheap” seats and still have a great time!

Get out there and support a musician who wears his heart on his sleeve and is unapologetically proud to be who he is — a musician with true talent and a voice we all love.

“Backpack” the FIRST Spanish clip for Open Road Film’s upcoming movie ‘DOPE’ is here!!

Check it out movie fans!

“Backpack” the FIRST Spanish clip for Open Road Film’s upcoming movie DOPE is live!! The film hits theaters June 19, 2015 starring Zoe Kravitz, Tony Revolori, Quincy Brown, among others!

But wait…there’s more. Details on how you can win #DOPEMovie screening passes to my very own screening here in Houston on Tuesday, June 16. Check out iwatchmike.com

Day 13 of My Favorite Things

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Day 13 of my favorite things is dedicated to fan conventions!!

I’ve met some great friends at fan conventions (specifically for The Vampire Diaries).  You may have heard of cons like Comic Con, Walker Stalker, Wizard World, MegaCon, SuperCon, etc., but there are so many others you might not know about!

Being involved with Variety Radio Online, we work closely with EyeCon.  EyeCon puts on many different cons dedicated to certain TV shows, like The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, One Tree Hill and more to come.

Recently, they wrapped up their #ReturntoTreeHill con in Wilmington, NC dedicated to One Tree Hill.  They had tours set up, a party at Tric, concerts, hilarious Q&A panels, meet and greets and an extensive guest list!  The con was given a ton of publicity and, luckily, there will be a second one August 7-9!  Chad Michael Murray (Lucas) and Hilarie Burton (Peyton) have already signed up to attend and more will be announced as August approaches.

There will also be a con for The Vampire Diaries/The Originals on October 9-11 in Atlanta, GA.  Unfortunately this will be the last con for The Vampire Diaries through EyeCon, so make sure to visit their site & get your tickets!  Did I mention that the first guest announced is Joseph Morgan aka Klaus himself??  Well, now you know!!  Joseph Morgan usually doesn’t do cons, aside from Comic Con, so take advantage and meet the mysterious and awesome man!

Either way, whether you’re a fan of these shows, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Power Rangers, Arrow, The Flash, etc. or even just a fan of movies and comic books in general…check out all the different con pages and make your way to one!  You’re guaranteed to have a great time, and you might even be lucky, like me, and meet some amazing friends!

Here are the links to check out EyeCon on social media!  Follow them and let them know which shows you’d like to see a con for:

Website: EyeCon Conventions

Twitter: @EyeCon3000

Facebook: EyeCon Conventions