Take a group of fun, creative and passionate young guys and add in a little musical experimentation and plenty of homages to the greats of before and today and you’ll get an idea of what L.A.-based boy band, After Romeo, are setting out to do.
You’d think that the world isn’t exactly short on boy bands but After Romeo brings an artistry to their music that is fresh, new and, above all, exciting. Just check out their creative music videos! With their first debut album under their belt, The Story Continues.., the boys — Jayk Purdy, Drew Ryan Scott, Blake English, and T. C. Carter — have brought their sound to YouTube with covers of some of our fave tunes, as well as their original music.
ANDPOP got the chance to talk to the guys about their music, their causes, their influences and what the world can expect from the band Billboard magazine dubbed “the next One Direction.”
ANDPOP: So, why don’t we start by having you introduce yourselves to our readers and explain what you bring to the band.
Blake: Hi, this is Blake English. Let’s see … what do I bring to the band? Sanity. [laughs] I’ve done a lot of the choreography for the band, I also write and I’m kinda also the voice of reason among the crazies.
Drew: [in British accent] I sing and write a lot of the songs.
Blake: He’s not British.
Drew: I have a lot of fun and I like to have a good time.
TC: Hi, I’m TC Carter. I do a lot of the video editing and … we make small videos like for YouTube, I do the editing on that. I like to keep chill. I’m pretty laid back. I’m kinda one of the quiet ones.
Jayk: I’m Rupert. I’m one of the carpool drivers. [band laughs] This is Jayk. I do a lot of the booking stuff. I’ve got us on like different shows and Vevo and stuff like that. I do other stuff … I’m pretty much like the booking agent. And that’s it.
Our fans are called the Juliets, we want to be dedicated to them as much as Romeo is to Juliet.
Have you always wanted to be involved in music?
Drew: [still in British accent] I love music … behind the scenes, performing it, all of the above. It’s all brilliant to me. Like I have a lot of fun just performing. I love making music that I’ve written and it’s a whole ‘nother experience to be on stage because of our fans and their interaction.
Blake: I think I’ve aways known that I’ve wanted to be involved in music ever since I was little. I’ve always loved music. My grandma used to play piano and would sing all these songs with me and that’s how I got started.
How did you guys become After Romeo?
Jayk: Drew and I moved to L.A. from Vegas. We grew up together. TC and Blake grew up together in Athens, Georgia and they moved out to LA. and we met TC at our house because we’d always have pickup basketball games at our house and he showed up one day. We found out he did music, he introduced us to his friend Blake and we decided to just collaborate on stuff and it just like really really picked up. We shot a music video, recorded some music and released a music video. Actually, the video came about because I had cold called Vevo and asked them if they would put our video on their home page and they did it! They ended up doing it! We kind of had just decided on the name After Romeo… and the name comes from Romeo + Juliet, the greatest love story of all time—they died for each other, they loved each other so much and pretty much we wanna show … our fans are called the Juliets, we want to be dedicated to them as much as Romeo is to Juliet. We just thought it was a cool name.
Cool! All right, now, describe your music style in a few words.
TC: Our music style is kinda up-tempo fun, so you can dance to it. There’s some serious songs too so that … you know, sometimes you get emotional and will just be down, so there’s songs like that to listen to. And we have a little urban hip hop influence in there. And I grew up on rap, so we all kinda take a piece of what each of our pie is and we put it into our sound. So, Blake likes more like the rock and the old ‘70s/‘80s stuff, so we try to put that in there. Jayk likes the pop, I like the pop and we put that together to make our sound.
Drew: We do stuff thats fun. We like to have all the music and experiment and be creative, so we try to do something that’s just totally out of left field to get that new sound, get unique stuff. With some of our new music coming out, we’re gonna use our mouths for a lot of it. Like in our YouTube videos, we’ve been doing a cappella covers and all the sounds in these covers are from our mouths. There’s no instruments used. So, were gonna try to incorporate that into our album.
What are some bands or artists that you look to for inspiration?
Drew: Elvis Presley!!
Blake: Elvis Presley, David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, The Beatles obviously, the Beach Boys.
Drew: Marylin Manson!
Blake: That’s actually not a joke, I love Marylin Manson.
And is there a reason why these particular artists?
Blake: I think, we all come from different backgrounds, we all like different things. All of these artists have something and they bring something to the table that we like to bring to the band.
Drew: My dad’s an Elvis impersonator, so that’s why I like Elvis. He’s an Elvis impersonator in Vegas, it’s true.
Which band or artist would you love to collaborate with someday?
Blake: I would definitely say Taylor Swift. That would be really cool. Bieber would be awesome. Actually someone who would probably be really, really good with us is Ariana Grande. I just think all of these different artists you know they bring something … oh! Panic! At The Disco for sure. For sure Panic! At The Disco. They’re definitely bringing it hard right now with their video content.
And why these artists?
Blake: Well, because we like their songs.
Jayk: Well Panic! is from Vegas, so we kinda have ties with them because Vegas being our hometown. These artists, you know they’re not just artists. They’re kinda like icons. Like these are kinda like … they hold the standard of what an artist should be right now.
You guys are really active in social causes like anti-bullying, so tell us why that’s something you action for.
Blake: It was something that we all dealt with growing up. These performers you know. … kids growing up and performing now and being picked on for wanting to perform. We know what its like to get bullied and we wanted to inspire other kids that are bullied. That right now is not the only time in your life. If you’re having a hard time, it does get better and you can move past all of that. There’s so many people I’m sure from our classes that used to pick on us that’re not doing as well as we are, you know? We wanted to inspire kids with that message. So, that’s how the whole anti-bullying thing came up.
So, that ties into my next question which is what advise do you have for kids who are suffering from bullying right now?
Drew: … [You] can’t be afraid to tell people. Speak up. Tell a teacher. Tell an officer. Tell someone you’re getting bullied. Tell your parents. If no one believes you, then tell more people until someone believes you. Like, someone will believe you. You can go online and you can search. There are websites with hotline numbers you can call that will actually help you. So, just don’t be dumb. Take action. And don’t focus on it. You don’t need that. People are gonna make fun of you your whole life. I mean, people make fun of us right now. That’s just what people do because they’re bored and it’s entertaining for them. So, you just have to ignore it, not take anything to heart, not take it personally, not take it seriously. And you’ll be fine. You’ll get through it.
What can fans expect from you in the near future?
TC: Oh, lots of music!
Blake: Lots of music. You can definitely expect a new single at the top of the year. And we are releasing a ton of internet content on our YouTube, so you can find that on youtube.com/afterromero. We just released three cover songs in the same week.
Blake: And that’s the Adele song,“Hello,” Shawn Mendes’ “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” and “I’ll Show You” by Justin Bieber. So, you know we’re just blasting out content.
Drew: And we’re actually going to release Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself” and, like I said, on all these covers, everything is all vocal. There aren’t instruments in any of these songs. It’s all only our voices. It’s something different from all the other covers you see online. We make all the instrument sounds with our mouths, it’s awesome. It sounds just like real instruments but it’s not.
Jayk: We be makin’ it with our stomach and our lips. [band laughs]
Thanks so much guys for taking time out of your day to talk to me.
Blake: Thank you! We really appreciate it!
*This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and length*