Since the disappearance of Dru Hill and Blackstreet a few years ago the male R&B group looked liked it was going into extinction. Sean â€œDiddyâ€ Combs who already projected the rough-hewn soul of Jodeci and the staunch R &B of 112 into the world decided to do it again with a new set of guys on reality TV. MTVâ€™s Making The Band 4 set out to find the next hot group in a competition that became famous for the walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to get Diddy cheesecake. After all the tests and trials five men earned their place in the new band in a reversal of the way The Monkees were created for television in the mid â€˜60s. Robert Curry, Willie Taylor, Qwanell Mosley, Brian Andrews and Michael McCluney were lone singers fighting for their big break and realized it as Day26. Their ability to croon from the books of Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder has been minimally sidestepped for a more commercial sound.
Some people have described them as a chocolate-dipped NSYNC but their style is suggestive of an updated urban Motown if Berry Gordy were still at the helm. Those euro-synthesizers in their first single â€œGot Me Goingâ€ reek of pop appeal but their true vocal abilities and stage presence is all soul. On October 26 they gave a show for the Public Relations Student Society of Americaâ€™s opening night reception at Detroitâ€™s GM Renaissance Center. Before the show they harmonized, told jokes and explained why being a member of Day26 is a dream come true.
What was the hardest part of doing reality TV?
Willie: Just the world being open to see everything that goes on some things you want to be private. People treat us like â€˜Will I know youâ€™ they grab on us and pull us and we be like â€˜Look here.â€™
What has the transition been like going from Making The Band 4 to becoming a group?
Mike: To sum a lot of it up just crazy. Doing one thing totally opposite of this it was in this lane not exactly how we are now. A lot of ups and downs good and bad.
Willie: Itâ€™s kind of weird cause at first we were in competition with one another we had to learn and realize in the process of recording that we were not in competition that weâ€™re a group now. Itâ€™s like second nature to us now we all know our roles like we are playing championship basketball. So itâ€™s like a big difference from the competition to the brotherhood.
What was the most important thing you learned from the experience what did you learn from Puffy?
Brian: Thereâ€™s always someone in life trying to take your spot. (in unison)
Mike: Thereâ€™s always someone in life trying to take your spot.
Willie: Thereâ€™s always someone in life trying to take your spot.
Qwanell: Thereâ€™s always someone in life trying to take your spot.
Robert: Thereâ€™s always someone in life trying to take your spot.
What are you bringing to you R&B?
Willie: We bring the R and the B the rhythm and the blues.
Qwanell: I think we bring really good singing weâ€™re all from the church so we bring really good singing.
Willie: Not saying nobody else is from church we know people go to church.
Qwanell: You get a lot of people sometimes who canâ€™t sing and then you have singers
Brandy, Whitney Houston, Mary J.Blige, Beyonce, Usher. I think people in that category not to be cocky but I think God blessed this group to bring five great singers together.
Willie: I feel like not to take anything away from any of the other artists whoâ€™ve been doing their thing . I feel like R&B kind of disappeared for a minute and I feel like weâ€™re kind of like one of the first of many to bring back R&B to bring back real R&B. What I mean like real R&B I feel like R&B died in the â€˜90s. It wasnâ€™t that it really died but people tried to tamper with it.
Brian: It went into that pop faze.
Willie: They added attractions to it and made it something else. I think we are bringing that back thatâ€™s why we wasnâ€™t mad at Puff for the direction he took us for this album. Thatâ€™s the music we love the music we grew up on glad to be a part of it.
Who are the groups and singers that inspire you?
Willie: Jodeci, 112, Jagged Edge Temptations, The Oâ€™Jays a whole bunch of groups and individually weâ€™re into gospel J. Moss, Kym Burrell, Smokie Norful, Brandy is crazy, Beyonce, itâ€™s crazy we listen to everybody.
Qwanell: We are also inspired by actors like Will Smith weâ€™re inspired by all these great people.
What do you like most about what you do?
Willie: Man this is the best job you know growing up you always have this thing â€˜What Am I Gonna Do?â€™ I think for all of us this was the number one thing. To me this is the best job in the world.
What is your greatest achievement so far?
Willie: You know what? Moving out of the hood.
Brian: I would say collectively as a group a lot of people donâ€™t know this but Day 26 we kind of broke a record. We had the biggest debut from a new artist in 17 years on Billboard so that to me was a huge huge huge like landmark in our career I think we canâ€™t go anywhere from that.
Mike: I think mine is hanging on my wall.
Brian: You mean the gold plaque?
Willie: Yeah that black is good the gold on is alright and itâ€™s nice too itâ€™s big it got Billboard No. 1 on it.
Robert: I think one of our greatest achievements is like even before we became a band people wanted to see us make the band and we packed out Times Square and we was the first people to do that since NYSYNC. Also weâ€™re on season 4 of our own Making The Band nobodyâ€™s ever done that.
Willie: Weâ€™ve been told time and time again this is our last season we did so many farewells to the crowd a couple weeks later they be like â€˜The ratings are through the roofâ€™ tape another season. Iâ€™m blessed that we had an opportunity to do that and weâ€™re going to make it interesting regardless. To me these are the funniest guys in the world so we be on the road sometime and I just be like â€˜Man we need our own television show.â€™
Qwanell: For me it was going to Europe and seeing things I never saw everything on the opposite side it was weird something I thought I would never be able to see. I was very thankful to be able to go to Europe.
I see where you have already worked with a lot of cool people like Bryan Michael Cox is there anyone else you want to work with?
Brian: Rodney Jerkins
Willie: Polow Da Don, R. Kelly, T.Pain.
Will there be another single and video?
Willie: We hope so cause we need something running while we record this new album. Weâ€™re all doing our individual writing. Weâ€™re ready collectively to get into the studio together and really bang out what we need to bang out. Itâ€™s really hard to outdo that first album. The first album is amazing but weâ€™re going to stick to the same formula and just add more Day26 to it and see what we come up with. And we have dedicated fans.
What are the touring plans?
Willie: Right now just pick-up dates we donâ€™t have nothing in the works. But who knows I know by Christmas the Scream Tour will be coming back up again hopefully we can jump on that and just ride that into next year. Get ready for the new Day 26 album. Making The Band weâ€™re back into that on November 10th.