In 2007, Day26 took the music industry by storm and the world fell head over heels for the five 'Making the Band 4' crooners. After Que chucked the deuces, the eventually four-member group released two chart-topping albums and won a BET Award for Best Group in 2009.
Now, Brian Angel is launching his solo career after the group's split. His newest single “Killa” featuring Dorrough Music hit the webs Thursday night (at 7:26 p.m. on 7/26) via his own Ambassador Way Entertainment and management team, HULK Entertainment. Angel chopped it up with VIBE to talk about his boy band past, new sound and creative independence.
VIBE: What can we expect from the track "Killa"? Are you excited?
Brian Angel: I’m definitely excited, but nervous at the same time. I’m nervous to see how people are going to take in what I’m doing because it’s all me now. I know people are used to the whole Day26 sound, but I think “Killa” is definitely a great start in showing the growth in who Brian Angel has grown into. So I’m excited but nervous at the same time. On “Killa,” just expect more of Brian, more of my swag, high energy, and of course more SANGIN.’
How was working with Dorrough on this project?
Dorrough’s the homie. We’ve been friends for years, so it was bound for he and I to get together and actually do a record together. The moment I recorded the record, I couldn’t think of anybody being on it other than Dorrough. I reached out to him, sent him the record, and a day later he sent it back. I mean, he and I also share the same management. Regardless of that, it was bound to happen. But I’m happy that it did happen with this record.
What type of direction are you going with your sound?
I’m not putting myself in a box. I’m doing what makes you feel good. I would say it’s more geared towards the '90s R&B. I feel like in the '90s, R&B was as its greatest. Not to take anything away from what everybody’s doing now, I just feel like we’ve strayed away from that heartfelt R&B, or the music that makes you move, the music that makes you just feel. I think we’ve gotten into this ‘doing what everybody else is doing,’ so records are starting to sound the same. I definitely kept myself away from that. I just did whatever felt good to my heart, to my soul. And of course I would let people listen and everybody’s like, 'Wow Brian, this music is really going to take you and different places than where you’ve been.' Right now, I’m getting off to a good start as far as recording this project.
How has your approach to music changed compared to when you were with Day26?
I matured a lot. I’ve gone through a whole lot. I’ve written about some of the stuff that I’ve gone through on this project. Just actually getting life experience is something different from what I’ve done with Day26. With a group, everybody had their own thoughts and views about how the group should be. But with me working on this project by myself, it’s just more me. It’s almost like telling my story.
Everyone’s aware of the mutual split between Day 26. What led up to that?
I say this all the time: Day26, I don’t believe that it’s over. I would definitely be up for coming back together and eventually doing music together. These guys are some extremely talented guys that are really down to earth, good guys. But I feel like this was a time that Day26 needed to take a break. Everybody is growing so much and although we’re a group, we’re all from four different walks of life and everybody is going through what they’re going through and experiencing what they’re experiencing. This is a good time for all of us to go off and do what we felt like we need to do at this time. I definitely wouldn’t count out more Day26 albums. I’m definitely up for it. But right now, it’s Brian Angel season.
Everyone loved you in the group, but do you feel like you’re ready as a soloist? Is the world ready for you as a soloist?
I’m definitely ready. Everything I’ve gone through in my career from the beginning of my career to this point has prepared me for this. A lot of people don’t know this, but I’ve had two prior record deals before this. I was signed to Priority Records years ago. That situation folded because Priority Records folded and I ended up coming back home. Then I ended up signing to Beyonce’s father’s label, which is Music World Entertainment. I was over there for a while. I got so much experience out of that situation, from actually being able to go on tour with people like Ginuwine, Jagged Edge, Avant, Joe, Brian McKnight and opening up for Destiny’s Child on several different stages across the world. I feel like everything I’ve gone through has prepared me to get to this point. It definitely made me a better artist. I got to see and experience some things that I never would’ve imagined in my lifetime. On top of that, I’ve also gotten business savvy. So, I’m ready.
What about where you are with Ambassador Way Entertainment and HULK Entertainment?
So Ambassador Way is my record company started in back in 2005. It’s a Houston-based record company. I have some really, really, really great artists. I have an artist by the name of G Ron which will be my first release on my label. He’s a really dope hip hop artist. I have artists by the name of Touch, J.U., Cocky, Solo Thee, Durrant the Beast and Casket. Ambassador is just a label of opportunity. I know how hard it is to actually have someone actually listen and pay attention to what you’re doing, so I feel like God’s given me an opportunity for somebody’s dream to come true. And as far as HULK is concerned, it’s my new management company. I’m really excited about the whole situation. Mike Moodswing is not only my manager; he’s also like a mentor to me. I’ve known him for years. He’s seen the things that I’ve gone through. He’s always been there for me as far as giving me advice or the encouragement to keep going. So when the opportunity came for me to talk to him about management, he was definitely up for it.
Fast forward five years, where do you see yourself?
I see myself still doing my thing, still being a recording artist. Actually having a successful career as a solo artist as well as—hopefully Day 26 will be back together, rocking again and doing our thing together. Being a great business man as far as my label is concerned. Having successful artists. Let me back track on that. Not having successful artists, having happy, successful artists. And still putting out great music.
Anything else you’d like to get off your chest?
I just want to thank all my supporters and all my fams. I don’t call the people that support me ‘fans,’ I call them fams. It’s almost like they’re my extended family because without them, I’m nothing. I consider them family. I just want to thank them for all their support and sticking there with me, even when I’ve been the “bad guy” when I really wasn’t. Follow me on twitter at @MrAngel_Day26. And God is everything and everything is God.
Take a listen to his new track "Killa" below.