Day 26: It's All Real
The recent cast members of this hit reality-based show, were forced to prove just that, before signing with Diddy and his notorious Bad Boy Records.
After the long, band selection process was over in the cold winter months of New York City, the audience of MTVs Making The Band watched as the final selected members, Robert, Will, Que, Brian and Mike record their album and deal with stresses, under one mansion rooftop in Miami.
With their label-mates and MTB alumni, Danity Kane, topping the charts with the platinum sales of, both, their debut and sophomore albums - Day 26 are now hoping that their millions of television viewers will also translate into sales of their debut self-titled album, Day 26.
At the Midtown, Manhattan offices of Bad Boy/Atlantic Records, HipHopDX.com sat down with the five latest, talented MTB recruits, to hear about how their lives have changed and what it means to be a Bad Boy.
HipHopDX: Tell me where the group name, Day 26, came from?
Will: Day 26. The band was made on August 26, which was the finale last season. We had a whole list of names and that was just something that just kept coming back up. We wanted something that meant a lot to us, no matter what people want us to be called. People want us to be called something plain like Exclusive. We just wanted to think outside of the box. Something that really meant a lot to us. We didnt really care if it meant wed have to explain. Well explain it a million times. August 26 is the day we made the band and that was the day that changed our lives. Day 26, we love it.
DX: That night, on August 26 when you first made the band. Whats one of the first things you all, as a group, said to each other?
Will: Let's do it. Lets make history.
Robert: We always say he couldnt have picked a better five dudes to do this.
DX: Reality shows notoriously build storylines with editing and sometimes planned conflict. How much of Making The Band is real?
Entire Group: Everythings real!
Will: Everythings real and Im not lying at all. Some people stuff people cant believe, but, Man, everythings real. Everything they show on there really happened.
DX: Diddy doesnt get a little extra when the cameras come on?
Will: I dont know about him. He could be a little extra. However, the stuff that comes from us is real.
Que: It's all real. MTV got the rights to edit it however they want to. But everything they show is what happened.
Robert: If anything we might even tone down when the cameras come around. You know, until you get used to them. When they around you all the time, where you just forget about it.
DX: Are you now able forget about the cameras being around?
Mike and Brian: Yes.
Will: Yeah, especially this season.
Q: I know I forgot about the cameras a lot of times and have been like, Oh, did I just do that?.
Robert: I show exactly how much I forgot about the cameras.
DX: What something that youve learned about Diddy that would surprise us?
Brian: That hes humble.
Que: That hes actually a cool cat. I think thatd surprise a lot of people. Hes Puffy, Sean John and all that, but the person that we know behind the cameras is a cool cat. We been to his house and watched to the Super Bowl with him. Hes cool cat, real down to earth, but I dont think the world will ever see that. But if they ever got to see that, thatd see hes cool.
DX: You have a large female following from the show. What kind of girls do you tend to like?
Que: Doesnt matter, thick or skinny, dark skinned or light skinned.
Robert: Interviewers! [Laughs]
Brian: Especially interviewers!
Will: Writers with long blonde hair and big hoop earrings in a tan leather jacket sitting across from me. [Laughs]
Que: And you smell good too. Whatchu wearing?
DX: [Laughs] Q, weve watched the unfolding of your romance with Dawn of Danity Kane on the show. On the recent finale, you both kissed on camera. Are you guys a couple?
Que: Shes a wonderful woman. I would love to be with her. Shes great.
DX: [Laughs] When fans of the show approach you, whats the something you hear repeatedly?
Que: They just tell me Im sexy. I don't know, I hear that a lot.
Robert: I always get, Why did you let Diddy cut your hair?
Que: I get a lot of good complements, people telling me they love me and they praying for me.
Mike: I get a bunch of different criticism.
DX: Any hate?
Will: Oh, yeah, definitely.
Robert: Of course, somebody ain't hating, you not doing something right.
Will: This is the thing, aside from us being male guys in a group singing, people get the wrong idea. People be like, "Are they gay?" No, come on, we love women.
Mike: Love em!
Will: So, thats pretty much the only hate thing we ever get. But we know where that comes from. We sing and some people think thats soft.
Que: Especially, when you got five men and women are coming at them -- you got some dudes that dont give a fuck, and you got some dudes that are going to hate. Its just hate and we dont get that energy. We dont feed into it and we laughin' at the end of the day and keep it movin'.
DX: Did the five of you have a bond even in audition stages?
Que: You know whats crazy? The first audition, when I first walked in, I was saw Will and I was like, "Damn, I like him, man.
Will: I did too, man. 'Cause he was singing.. I came off the elevator and seen how he was singing and I was like, Man, they gonna get dude."
Brian: Get this, I met Will like five or six years ago on tour..
Will: Yeah, I was on a tour like five or six years ago.. and my group, at the time, was getting off the tour and his group was getting on the tour. They when they came back to Chicago, I met him.
DX: Before and after the first episode of Making The Band premiered -- Were any of you offered record contracts by any other major labels?
Que: Before the band I was in a situation with Sony.
Robert: Ive been signed before this, hes been signed before this, [points to all the members] hes been signed before this, hes been signed before this.
Brian: We not rookies.
Will: We rookies to this level that its going to right now, but weve put the grind in. The grind has been put in. I was almost about to quit. My grind was almost over. I been doin' it for a long time.
Que: I had a scholarship at Five Towns College and I was scared because I dropped it. So, I was like, Damn, Im taking a risk. If I dont make this band... I was nervous if I didnt make the band then I was going to lose all that money. It was just such a tricky situation.
Robert: We all gave up a lot to be here and get a deal. I gave up my crib, my car, you know what Im sayin'? We gave up a lot just to come here and not know if I we were going to make it or not.
Will: The hardest thing for me was working and being away from my son. To go from me being there, every day since birth and then to up and leave. Im getting more used to it now. But like that first day, I almost didnt come out, I almost didnt get on that plane. It was like that hard. But I knew that if I lose my dream, I didnt know how much I could do for him. I knew how much it could change our lives, period. But that one point, leavin' my son, I had to question why I wanted to do it.
Robert: The best thing about this for me is just knowing that I actually fulfilled a dream that Ive had since I was a baby. Just seeing it manifest and the whole thing take place. Thats the best thing. But the worst thing -- You know, I just got one of those families that are really close. We one of those families that do everything together. Theres nothing I can do wrong. We just that type of family and I think being away from them is the hardest thing about this whole situation. Being away from home.
DX: You said you gave up a lot to originally compete. How did that all of that work out with bills? Did the production company give you money towards your rent at home?
Will: Man, no. I mean, they gave us a little money, but not like enough to pay rent and all that.
Robert: They give you a little money and I wasnt about to be paying rent on something that I probably wouldnt see again in 6-7 months.
Brian: They should have paid a little rent, but Im not saying that.
DX: So, now youve already had two seasons on a major network, before releasing your debut album, Day 26. Are you guys seeing any money yet?
Brian: Were seein a lil sumptin' sumptin'...we aight.
Will: We ain't driving the same cars before we made the band..
DX: Any of you starting to notice the pressures of fame? Any family members coming at you now for money and such?
Que: Oh, I got a story you gotta hear. I ain't gonna say who. I ain't gonna say which family member. But I was at an event with my family and one of my family members pulled me to the side and told me that they were going to be getting married. Heres what they asked me for.. [Drum rolls on table].. $30,000. I looked at em like, "What?" Thats crazy.
DX Your self entitled debut album has just been released. Tell your fans where they can get it and what they can expect.
Will: The single got me, Got Me Goin is available on iTunes. Album in stores March 25 and we coming to a city near you this summer on tour [with Diddy]!
Que: Brian calls our music,, Raw & B
Brian: Cause its real. When you hear the raw emotion you can really hear what were saying.
Mike: Day 26!