Over years ago, minus hip-hop collectives, music groups had lost their place on the charts to the point of inorganic inception. Just ask Day26. The R&B group had its start on a reality show, grabbed Billboard's coveted #1 spot and is now reemerging to show that bands are not extinct. With the buzz track "Let It Go" sending the 'net into a bit of a shock yesterday, singing quartet Will, Brian, Rob and Mike chopped it up with VIBE about their time away from recording, their feelings about taking this journey without Que and potentially snagging Nicki Minaj. -Niki McGloster (@missjournalism)
VIBE: Where the hell have you guys been? The fans miss you!
Brian: [Laughs] From day one that the band was made, we basically hit the ground running. You know, to recording the first album, to touring, to doing various shows and we had no down time. So we pretty much took this time off to lay back, enjoy our families and really get the direction we’re supposed to go in with this album and things like that. Other than that, we’ve just been working.
That’s good, and I think all artists need that time away to have the life experiences to write about, you know. And something very major that happened while you guys were off the scene was Q leaving Day26. How does it feel to release a track and to reemerge without him?
Brian: It feels good! [jokingly]
Will: You know, of course it’s different because we did come into this altogether, but at the end of the day, it was just creative differences. However, we’re about to keep it moving and just continue to support each other as we all have success in the future.
I know that there were creative differences, but, personally, does it feel like there’s a missing link?
Robert: Real talk, we all had a chemistry as brothers when we first clicked and got picked as a group, but there are still four of us here and we still got that brotherly bond, so it still feels good. We still moving, and we ain’t gon’ stop. We got everything that we need right here. Not saying that we don’t need him, but we got everything we need right here, so we’re real confident about the move that we’re making right now.
Cool, so let’s get into this music. What was the inspiration for “Let It Go?” Obviously, the strip club [laughs], but what was the motivation behind it?
Will: You know, one of Day26’s biggest problems, and I think we all feel this, is when we go to clubs, the DJ would have the hardest time trying to find a record to put on while we’re there. As singers, it’s cool and people respect us for singing, but we wanted to take it to the club. It’s real DJ-friendly; we walk into the club and he just spin it because we in the place.
Dope. You want to make sure that when you step out to King Of Diamonds or Sin City or wherever, people can rock with y’all. Now, many, if not all of you, are taken men. How often are you hitting the strip club?
Brian: All the time. We live in the strip club! [laughs]
Robert: I just left the strip club.
Robert: This is no lie; I just left happy hour!
Will: I’m always in the strip club.
So what is your response to the fans who are craving the Day26 who gave them “Co-Star” and “So Good?” I know you, Will, were responding to a lot of the people on Twitter.
Will: Yeah. It just sometimes takes people a little time to catch onto it. But you gotta understand this: As singers, we’ll never lose that element. We were in love with our first and second album just as much as everybody else, if not more. However, what they have to understand is that we’re never going to fall far from that. This is our third album, and we’re growing. We’re evolving and going to different areas of our lives, so we want to try a couple different things.
Brian: Yes, and I will say this. Honestly, this is not our first single. This is just a buzz single to get the people ready for what Day26 has to offer. Showing growth, showing something different. You’re not going to get your typical first album, Day26 album. You’re definitely going to get some sangin’ because we some singing ass niggas, but at the end of the day, we want to show people like, hey, we’re not the teeny-bop group that people think we are. We’re not all squeaky clean and shiny; this is who we really are.