Boy bands ruled the childhoods of many, especially through out the late ’90s, early ’00s. Within R&B realm there was the inception of B2K, the reconfiguration of Immature into IMX and the short-lived, but impactful success of groups such as 3rd Storee and B5. But, now that we’re gradually progressing towards an age where questions such as “Who’s B2K?” are prone to arise, where are the R&B boy groups of today? Thanks to the creativity and intelligence of Lady Gaga’s manager, Vincent Herbert, and A&R, Walter Millsap, the boy band has been resurrected in the form of Mindless Behavior.
The quartet, who recently careened their ‘#1 Girl Tour’ into New York City’s Beacon Theater on July 14, has achieved an abundance of success in a short amount of time. Their studio debut, “#1 Girl,” peaked at No. 2 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and No. 7 on the Billboard 200 late last year. The constant demand and dedication of their fans known as Team Mindless has sent them on nationwide tours, resulting in their Coca-Cola’s Viewers Choice Award win at the 2012 BET Awards.
But, with all of their achievements, these teenage boys are far from big-headed. “We have a great camp around us,” the 15 year-old Ray Ray tells Billboard’s The Juice. “Conjunction Entertainment. They make sure we stay grounded. They keep us very level-headed. We keep each other very level-headed, too. We don’t want to become big headed at all. You have to be nice to everyone.”
“Self-therapy helps too,” added 15-year-old Princeton. “Self-therapy, meaning you’re talking to yourself and making sure you’re stable mentally.
The quartet also draws inspiration from their fans around the world. During the interview, 16-year-old Prodigy donned a necklace with a music note charm that he received as a gift from a fan. “Our fans are really committed. They will fly to Africa if we have a show,” he said.
While they’ve been showered with plenty of adoration from fans, according to Mindless Behavior their critics still look at them as just another pubescent boy band. “Every critic tries to give us the kid pass,” Princeton said. “Like, ‘Aw, this is the new kid group.’”
According to Prodigy, it’s all about to change. The boys plan on progressing towards a new era with their untitled sophomore project.”We’re not how we grew up saying, *falsetto voice* ‘Hey my girl, my girl…’ No. Our voices ain’t going to sound like that anymore; like Alvin and the Chipmunks.”
“The second album is going show everyone that we’re not kids anymore,” Princeton chimed in. “We’re teenagers. We’re a boy band, but we’re not kids.”
Co-concept creator and A&R, Walter Millsap, has also been on the search for new material for their sophomore project as well.
“We’re actually in the studio right now,” 14-year-old Roc Royal revealed. “Our manager, Walter, actually went back to L.A. to produce some more records for us. So, we’re about to come back out and record some more.”
As their label, Interscope, readies the album’s first single, the group point out something their fans will soon notice: vocal maturity. “It was so easy before,” Princeton added. “Llike on stage it was, ‘What’s up ladies!’ (in falsetto voice). Now it’s, ‘What’s up ladies!’ (in normal voice). it’s a little scary.”
In the future, the boys hope to do a little G.O.O.D Music with Kanye West, 2 Chainz, Big Sean, as well as YMCMB’s Drake. When asked if they’re concerned with the maturity level they hope to reach in their next project, each member shared the same answer: “No.”
“We have the best fans and the best part of our fans is, our fans are growing up with us too,” said Princeton. “What they’re doing, we’re doing and the music they’re listening to, we’re listening to. So we just hope our fans stay with us until we’re 50.”
In the meantime, Mindless Behavior plans to keep touring and living by the motto they beam acros the stage each night: “Keep Calm and Stay Mindless.”
From MB-Daily, MindlessNavy, & #TeamMindless
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Mindless Behavior is helping give new artists a chance to make it big in the music industry. The group is teaming up with their friends at Upload Demo, a new technology platform.
Upload Demo allows artists to submit their music from anywhere in the world via the Internet and guarantees their song will be heard by industry artists and/or hit-making producers. Visit www.uploaddemo.com . The service, which has its official debut later this month, will be offered for a fee of $100.
However, as a part of their effort to give back to the community, especially to those seeking entry into the music industry, the Mindless Behavior foursome – Prodigy, Roc Royal, Ray Ray and Princeton – has arranged for aspiring artists to use the service totally free of charge today, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Pacific Time.
“I am so proud of Mindless Behavior. They’re young, they’re talented, and they’re the hottest thing in music today. They are in the middle of their world tour, yet, they know the importance of reaching back to help pull someone else up,” said Upload Demo co-founder and CEO Dino Awadisian.
“By offering free uploads through our new service Upload Demo, they can help make it happen for someone else,” he said.
“We just want to help give someone else a chance. Someone gave us a chance. It’s our way of giving back,” said Princeton of Mindless Behavior.
According to Awadisian, Upload Demo takes the record company A&R (artist and repertoire) process of finding new talent, and puts it online making it more transparent. Those who submit demos can track their progress throughout the entire process.
Artists who move through the system to the point of a record contract will be signed to a record single deal by a new label being developed by R&B artist and producer Akon and Awadisian.
“It’s an aspiring artist’s dream and at Upload Demo we will make it happen,” Awadisian said.
Following NAACP Image Award and BET Award wins for their debut album “#1 Girl,” teen group Mindless Behavior hope to diversify the follow up.
“After [touring in] London and touring with Justin (Bieber), we’ve gained pop fans,” says Princeton on Mindless Behavior. “We have a pop record coming out. The fact that our ‘Mindless‘ movement can be diverse makes us confident for the future.”
While they hope to make the sophomore album more diverse, the group is also looking forward to proving their skills on stage.
“We don’t just sing and dance,” Princeton told the Baltimore Sun. “I’m going to prove that I’m a performer.”
They will do just that on their ongoing “#1 Girl Tour.” Kicked off last week, the 25-city trek will take them through much of North America (see dates).
Jacob Latimore, Lil Twist, and ‘Kayla and Brianna’ are touring with the group as special guests.
During this year’s BET awards, Mindless Behavior stirred up some controversy by making a joke referencing Lauryn Hill.
While presenting Beyonce with the award for Best Female R&B Artist, the group announced “You sing bad…like Lauryn Hill’s tax accountant bad.”
Beyonce, who was not amused by this joke, reportedly told a backstage handler that the joke was “disrespectful” and “not cool.”
On Monday, the group called in to 106 and Park to offer their apologies. “I want to apologize about the Lauryn Hill joke,” said Ray Ray who was the one to make the joke. “I didn’t mean no harm by it. I hope everyone can forgive me. It was like a big thing on Twitter and everything, so I truly apologize. I respect Lauryn Hill and all of them like that.”
In addition, the tweens announced their remorse via Twitter. “We meant no disrespect to our girl Lauryn Hill last night, it was a bad joke. We’re big fans and hope you’re not mad!” they wrote.
Mindless Behavior have reacted to winning the Viewer’s Choice Award at the 2012 BET Awards this weekend at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
The group beat out Beyonce, the Throne (Kanye West and Jay-Z), Drake, and Wale, for the fan-voted category.
“We are so shocked and honored to have won our first BET Award! We have the best, most loyal fans and this award really belongs to them!” says Roc Royal.