Wonderland.

5WEST

The rising quartet talk TikTok fame, being labelled as a boy band and their goals for the future.

5 west standing in a corridor
5 west standing in a corridor

Taken from the AW20 issue of Rollacoaster. Pre-order your issue now.

There’s a new boy band in town and their name is 5West. This Nashville-based foursome has only been together in their current iteration for a few months following the arrival of their latest member, Caleb. Despite their newness to the scene, they are already enjoying success with their musical releases, including “One Shot” earning over 100,000 streams on Spotify since July.

The band sat down with Rollacoaster to discuss the “boy band” label, the power of TikTok and their post-lockdown plans. What’s clear from talking to 5 West is how ready they are to take the world by storm. Could they be the next One Direction? We’ll have to wait and see.

Check out the interview below…

5west looking down at camera group shot
5west in different colour suits group shot
5west looking down at camera group shot
5west in different colour suits group shot

How has quarantine been for you guys as a group?
We are between Los Angeles and three of us in Nashville. So we have had to get creative in terms of recording because we are trying to stay super productive with our music. It’s definitely put a spin on things.

What is the origin of 5 West – how did you guys get together to form a band?
We auditioned to be part of the group back in like 2018 and the original group was formed at the beginning of 2019. We went on a few tours, but one of the original members left. We had another audition, which is when Caleb joined the group. And we have been together since then.

Has the band dynamic changed at all since going from three members back to four members?
The overall age of the group has gotten a bit older, but not much has changed in terms of the dynamic.

How collaborative is the music making process for the group?
We are very collaborative. We try to figure out what we are into as a group and can make changes together as we go. Our producer Bryan Todd has been really helpful all the way through by making us stronger as a group.

Most of you are based in Nashville, does the music scene of the city influence the group at all?
It hasn’t had a major impact. We are really influenced by popular trends in the industry in general, and we try to put our own spin on them in our music. Nashville is really known for country, which isn’t a genre we’ve really tapped into. But who knows, maybe in the future we will.

5west black and white group shot
5west black and white group shot

How does the group feel about the label ‘boy band’?
We embrace it. Sometimes the idea of a boy band has a connotation of being corny and they don’t get taken as seriously as regular bands. But in our experience, no one has taken us less seriously when we’ve called ourselves a boy band.

Are there boy bands from the past or that are currently active that you guys look to for inspiration as a group just starting out?
We definitely like looking at what other boy bands have done. One Direction are a group that we try to learn from because of how huge they were. Groups like that are big inspirations because they paved the way and found a formula for success – so we want to respect that. But we are also trying to create our own path and our own sound at the same time.

I have to know more about the band’s TikTok, which has gotten loads of views on the app. Who is the organizer of the video-making for the band?
It’s Peet. Peet knew someone who was TikTok famous and asked for all their secrets and advice. Now when we are together, Peet is always trying to put one together for us to post.

As a group starting out, how has quarantine changed your relationship with social media and how you’re using it to connect with your fans?
We have definitely had to be way more on top of all of our social media and putting way more content. It’s important to do so that people stay interested in us because there aren’t opportunities to do that with live performances.We have also been releasing on streaming platforms as a way to stay connected. Quarantine has changed the way we think about it in a big way.

Whenever quarantine ends and things get back to normal, what are your goals as a group for the next couple years?
As of right now things are up in the air, but we are definitely trying to tour again in 2021. Hopefully we can go over to the UK and Europe, maybe opportunities in Asia and here at home. We really want to get back on the road, wherever it takes us.

Photography
Robby Klien
Stylist
Amanda O'Connor
Grooming
Katie Galiher
Words
Henry Petrillo
5WEST