INTERVIEW: Day26 Talks Comeback, Brotherhood & New Music

day26

R&B quartet Day26 made their debut in 2007 after Sean “Diddy” Combs handpicked them for MTV’s  “Making the Band 4.” The group went on to releasing two albums — “Day26” in 2008 and “Forever in a Day” in 2009. In December 2009, Que, the group’s youngest member, parted ways.

The group was left with four members. In winter 2011, they released their single “Made Love Lately.” Although everything seemed promising — a new single, an album in the works — Day26 announced their hiatus in the summer of 2012.

Two years later, all five original members of Day26 are back and ready to reclaim their spotlight in the R&B world. In June, the group released their new EP appropriately titled “The Return.”

Stream Day 26’s “The Return” EP

The eight-track set boasts strong ballads and bedroom bangers such as “Russian Roulette,” “Impossible” and “Make it to the Bed.” It even includes their rendition of Silk’s classic song “Lose Control.”

In addition to their new EP, Day26 has also embarked on their reunion tour.

After killing the stage at Baltimore Soundstage, the group — Robert, Willie, Brian, Mike and Que — sat down with Rated RnB for a candid interview. During the interview, they speak on their reunion, their new EP, their plans for an album, their bond as brothers and more.

Here are excerpts from the interview:

On why they decided to get back together:

WILLIE: ‘Cause the Lord said yes! [laughs]

On what their first rehearsal of their reunion tour was like:

BRIAN: Honestly, the very first rehearsal was like “What the hell are we doing?” and “What the hell did we get ourselves into?” [Laughs]. It was chaos, total chaos.

ROBERT: It was just too many jokes. When we get together, the jokes don’t stop. It was just one of those situations where we were supposed to be rehearsing but had to get the jokes out the way…

On plans for an album:

WILLIE: Most definitely. We are working on an album — we haven’t actually started but we are in talks of it.

On bonding and brotherhood…

BRIAN: I don’t understand why some people think we have beef with each other…we support each other in everything that we do — whether it’s acting, solo projects…these are my brothers  so of course I want my brothers to win in any shape, form or fashion.

Watch the full interview below.

Keithan is the founder/editor-in-chief of Rated R&B

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Exclusive: BJ The Chicago Kid Details ‘The Opening Ceremony’ and Teases New Album

It’s hard to believe BJ The Chicago Kid released his major label debut album, In My Mind, just two years ago. Looking back, the Motown Records artist had an impressive debut era. He went on a headlining world tour, earned three Grammy nominations — including “Best R&B Performance,” “Best Traditional R&B Performance,” and “Best R&B Album” — and racked up over 75 million streams on Spotify alone.

In January, he released a vulnerable track called “I’m Sorry” as a treat to his fans. “It’s a song that’s pathetically R&B,” BJ explains to Rated R&B. “I feel like it’s R&B at its most essential feeling,” he continues. “R&B is made to say the things that you can’t or don’t have the balls to say. It’s like you can’t figure out the words to say but somehow this writer and this artist makes this song say exactly how you feel. That’s a part of my job as an R&B singer.”

BJ most certainly doesn’t have an issue with tapping into his feelings. Earlier this month, he dropped three new songs collectively titled as The Opening Ceremony. The lyrically-rich project consists of “Going Once, Going Twice,” “Nothing into Something” and “Rather Be With You.” The songs are just a taste of what fans can expect on his next album that is slated to release later this year.

While fans get acclimated with his three new tracks, the R&B champion teamed with his colleague Ro James for their co-headlining The R&B Tour. Rated R&B caught up with BJ at his tour stop in Washington, D.C. In our interview, he dishes on The Opening Ceremony, his upcoming album, his fight for R&B and more.

If you could add one more artist to The R&B Tour, who would it be?

It would definitely be Luke James. That’s our brother. He’s going to pop up at one of these shows, I’m not going to say which one, but he’s going to pop out and have some fun with us.

What inspired the songs on The Opening Ceremony?

On “Going Once, Going Twice,” I was really eliminating some things in my life that I didn’t really need. I wasn’t necessarily auctioning things off but I thought it was a cool way of having a song in that type of phrasing…describing how auctioneers get rid of things.

“Nothing Into Something” is a song that says you were here with me at the start and right now having what we have is a beautiful thing. It’s about seeing the growth and evolution of our love.

“Rather Be With You” simply describes the feeling with her is like no other. It’s the one place you’d rather be versus anywhere.

Are these three songs tied to your upcoming album in any way?

Absolutely. This is not an EP. To let the secret out the bag, a lot of people put EPs out to see what songs stick with the people. These three songs are on my album.

What can you tell us about the album?

The album is incredible. I’ve grown. I’ve evolved. Life has evolved for me. I’ve grown and seen the world with my label Motown Records. It’s been an incredible asset to add to the music. I just can’t wait to put it out the right way.

Is there a title?

I can’t say yet.

Who are some producers you worked with?

Cool and Dre, Danja, Jarius Mozee, Tubb Young and Karriem Riggins.

Photo credit: Jack Beaudoin

The title of Opening Ceremony and its artwork seem to be inspired by the Olympics. Does the album play on that theme?

Everything I do is huge and worldwide. My first tour was a world tour. So, everything I do begins with the world — not just my community, not just my neighborhood, not just to the people I’ve met but it’s to the world.

You recently said you’re “fighting for R&B, not trying to change it, just push it.” What elements of R&B are you trying to preserve for the masses?

I’m trying to preserve very essence. Our forefathers and our foremothers have laid down such an awesome pedigree of what we should follow. I think it’s up to us to take the responsibility to evolve it, be ourselves and really take it to another level — be creative. Keep the people involved…slow song, fast song, it doesn’t matter. It’s how life has evolved away from me and has given us other opportunities and lanes to help it grow and express ourselves so we should use that.

Speaking of evolving, how would you say you’ve evolved since In My Mind?

Life evolving, my family evolving, my music evolving, my producers evolving…working with producers I’ve never worked with before that I’ve always idolized.

Stream The Opening Ceremony below.

DeCarlo Shares ‘Mind Up’ Video

Emerging singer DeCarlo has dropped a visual for his new single “Mind Up.”

The Josh Sikkema-directed visual opens with DeCarlo swallowing a white pill before he finds himself in deep thought and torn between multiple women he’s interested in. “I gotta make a move / I gotta make my mind up,” he sings.

“Mind Up” is the first offering from DeCarlo’s forthcoming EP, which is expected to drop later this year.

DeCarlo has been pursuing music since 2014. He has collaborated with rapper Romer Miller, rapper Ace B and model/rapper Don Benjamin.

Watch DeCarlo’s “Mind Up” video below.

Jessie J Celebrates Women in ‘Queen’ Video

Jessie J brings her empowering single “Queen” to life in her latest video. Directed by Marc Klasfeld, the simplistic video celebrates diversity, self-love and the natural beauty of women.

“This video is to celebrate ALL WOMEN,” Jessie J tweeted. “Women of all race, shape and size. I love being a woman. I love uplifting women. I love the power and beauty all women have. In a time where the world creates trends within beauty and tells us the ever changing definition of ‘perfect.'”

She continued, “THANK YOU to all the QUEENS in this video that helped me create a timeless piece of art that young girls can watch growing up and all women can watch all over the world and feel loved.”

“Queen” is lifted from Jessie J’s forthcoming album, R.O.S.E., which will be released in four parts. “The songs on R.O.S.E. are simply me singing my diary in a melody,” Jessie said. “I am so grateful and happy that anyone who has been waiting for this record in full will finally have it.”

R.O.S.E. stands for Realisations, Obsessions, Sex and Empowerment. The first installment will release on May 22, with the other three installments dropping on May 23-25.

Watch Jessie J’s “Queen” video below.

R.O.S.E. (Realisations)
1. Oh Lord (Interlude)
2. Think About That
3. Dopamine
4. Easy on Me

R.O.S.E. (Obsessions)
1. Real Deal
2. Petty
3. Not My Ex
4. Four Letter Word

R.O.S.E (Sex)
1. Queen
2. One Night Lover
3. Dangerous
4. Play

R.O.S.E (Empowerment)
1. Glory
2. Rose Challenge (Interlude)
3. Someone’s Lady
4. I Believe in Love

https://twitter.com/JessieJ/status/997533658570375168

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