With the new wave of pop boy bands taking over the airwaves, Mindless Behavior are bringing back R&B boyband and in a big way. Since releasing their first album Number 1 Girl in 2011, the guys have grown up in the past 2 years and it shows in their latest effort. On their sophomore album All Around the World, the guys bring their usual R&B sound while sharing a more personal side.
ANDPOP caught up with Mindless Behavior’s Ray Ray for a quick chat and talked collaborations, their upcoming summer tour, opening for The Backstreet Boys and getting pranked by Justin Beiber.
Was there anyone you grew up listening to who’s sound played as inspiration when recording the album?
Growing up, I was inspired by a lot of people, but this album was a little bit different from the first album because it was inspired by our own experiences. From touring, we matured and experienced a lot so we wanted to share that with the fans. It was more about real life concepts.
So the writing for this album is a lot more personal in comparison to the first?
Yeah, that’s why a lot of people believe our music has matured [which is] absolutely true because a lot of the things we talk about actually really happened in the past couple of years.
And one of the things that’s happened was opening for The Backstreet Boys on their This is Us tour. How was it working with them?
That was amazing, that was our first real big tour. They’re really humble guys.
Was there anything you picked up and learned from watching their performances to bring to your own performances?
Yeah, absolutely. Their traditions were pretty cool. When we first started out as a group, a lot was choreographed, [but we learned] it’s not all about the choreography and acting a certain way—it’s all about having fun and watching [the Backstreet Boys] really helped me a lot. Like if I miss a step, you can tell I messed up but after watching them, they play it off or go into a whole different thing. So they really helped us a lot with our show and I really appreciate it.
They also started out as a group at pretty young ages, so did they offer any advice on handling everything that comes with the business?
They told us overall as a group to remain humble and remember that you’re never bigger than the person to your right (the person that’s in the group with you). You’re one group, you’re one unit and you can’t break that.
The Backstreet Boys aren’t the only big name you opened for, you also opened for Justin Bieber. He’s known to be a pretty big prankster on tour. So did he manage to pull any on you guys?
Yeah, I forgot what city we were in but he came in riding on a segway in our room with these glasses that had eyes popping out and a loud blow horn and when you push the button it doesn’t pop back up so it keeps going… But overall Bieber’s a great guy, he’s a real good friend.
You’re going to have to get him back for that one, eh?
Oh yeah, I’m absolutely going to get back at him.
You guys have a few collaborations on a couple of songs on “All Around the World” with Soulja Boy, Lil’ Twist and Jacob Latimore. How did those come about?
I was with Prodigy in Las Vegas for my little sister’s birthday and I remember him saying he wanted a person with a lot of energy for “Lean (Lose It)” and Soulja Boy was great overall for that record and I’m glad he hopped on it. And then “Pretty Girl” with Jacob Latimore and Lil Twist; Jacob Latimore’s our bro and gone on multiple tours with us. He’s a great vocalist so we thought he would be great for a collaboration on the album. And Lil Twist, he’s also our bro as well. I’m always with Lil Twist and he was always like, “Bro, I gotta get on something with you guys. You gotta make that happen.” So that was just a great track for him to get on.
Are there any other artists you hope to collaborate with in the future?
For me, I’d have to say Kanye West, Drake, A$AP Rocky, Wiz Kalifah, Miguel… There’s multiple people I’d love to collaborate with.
I’m sure fans want to know, will there will be a tour and will you be visiting Canada?
Yeah absolutely. This summer we’re going on the All Around the World tour, starting in June. We start out in the States and I believe, [our] management’s trying to work it out for us to hit a lot of different markets in The UK, Canada and other places like that.
Now being such a young group of guys, how are you dealing with everything that’s happened the last couple years? What do you do to just relax and wind down from the hysteria?
You know a lot of people think it’s really hard to wind down but it’s really easy. At the end of the day, it’s all about treating people the way you want to be treated that’s how you remain humble and at the end of the day you gotta be yourself. On my free time I like to draw portraits all the time, shop, and just hang out with my friends.
So you’ve found a pretty even balance between your personal and professional life
Yeah absolutely, when I think about the business I always separate my personal life. Last year we came out with the “Keep Her On The Low” record and it’s about when you get that girl, you want to separate her from the business and away from all of that.
Is there a favourite song off the new album that you’re looking forward to performing on the tour?
I love “Band-Aid” and “Your Favorite Song,” those for me are personal. I really love those records.
Any final words about the album that you want to share with your fans?
I’d love the fans to know we put in a lot of hard work, coming up with the concept of the record wasn’t really easy but we made it happen. Overall, it’s a great album. Go pick up All Around the World!
All Around the World is available now!
WATCH THE VIDEO FOR THE TITLE TRACK “ALL AROUND THE WORLD” BELOW: