Besson segued into the close of the set in telling the crowd, We are proof that dreams do come true,” and encouraging them to follow their passions. Their first sold-out North American headline tour followed in 2018, before their debut album ‘8 Letters’.
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Why Don’t We’s current single 8 Letters” continues to climb at Top 40 radio, ascending into the Top 25 and boasting over 130 million global audio and video streams to date. Unlike boy bands, solo pop singers are a far more mixed bag – some really good and some, well, not. Don’t Change” was released April 19, 2019, as part of the UglyDolls soundtrack, marking the first time the band has released a song for a movie soundtrack.
Hailing from Portland, Oregon, 17-year-old Daniel Seavey made it to the top 10 of American Idol’s 14th season. After venturing into music by writing songs on his sister’s toy piano, he moved on to playing cello, violin, saxophone, and guitar along with several other instruments, in addition to singing. “For a long time I’d only sing alone in my room, but in middle school I decided to sing for a talent show at school,” says Daniel. “I was so nervous, but it ended up going really well – afterward all these girls were following me home.” That response inspired him to begin busking in downtown Portland, which quickly drew major crowds. Following his turn on American Idol, Daniel focused his attention on creating his own original music.
Wednesday night, the boy band made it inside the arena — along with 2,000 screaming fans, nearly all of them female and most of those high school age and younger. Jonah Marais also had a following on YouNow and had released his own album called When the Daylight’s Gone.
The idea was to try to make the leap into mainstream pop stardom. It made plenty of sense, too, as they emerged just as One Direction announced a hiatus most believe is permanent. And no boy bands have stepped up to take 1D’s place, leaving a big hole in the market.
I never thought I would be in a boy band to be honest,” Herron admits. They opened Wednesday’s 80-minute set with one of their charting songs — ”Trust Fund Baby” — and cruised through another 20, plus a four-song mashup of their popular favorites midway through the set.
Next, they met David Loeffler and Randy Phillips, two industry vets and old friends of Lucero who became their managers (Lucero remains on the team as tour manager). Two months after forming, they released their debut EP Only the Beginning. It kicked off a unique strategy: While it’s not unusual for a new artist to test the waters with one or two EPs ahead of an album, the five total (including a recent Christmas EP) they have released in their first year of existence is a new kind of prolific. But it’s worked: in June, they were signed by Atlantic Records, which will release their debut album.
Gawk at the saccharine nature of the band’s pop sensibilities if you must, but nobody can pull off such a stage presence without being professional and self-disciplined. They have also reconfigured the styles of NSYNC and Backstreet Boys to fit the trends of pop music. On the song Choose” for example, Jonah Marais takes on a style and vocal delivery that brings to mind Drake.
Aside from spending time together in the studio and on the road, Avery, Besson, Herron, Marais and Seavey also share a home in L.A. Fans can catch glimpses of life in the house thanks to videos the group posts on their YouTube channel , which boasts over 1.3 million subscribers.
They dropped the hit single, These Girls”, on August 30th, 2017. Their fourth EP followed, titled Invitation, on September 27th, 2017, marking the band’s one-year anniversary. They also released a special holiday EP titled A Why Don’t We Christmas that same year. Their stand-alone single, Trust Fund Baby,” written by British singer and songwriter Ed Sheeran, was released on the 1st of February 2018, and the song’s highest achievement was reaching #2 on the American iTunes Chart.
Drawing on their respective talents and formidable followings, the group emerged as a phenomenon. Beyond generating over 300 million YouTube views and 200 million Spotify streams during that period, the quintet released five EPs-only The Beginning, Something Different, Why Don’t We Just, Invitation, and A Why Don’t We Christmas. Along with singles such as the 2018 Ed Sheeran-penned single “Trust Fund Baby,” this avalanche of music represented an unconventional approach as their audience constantly received new music at a record pace. Why Don’t We carved out a place among pop’s elite on the entire iHeart Jingle Ball tour, including a momentous stop at Madison Square Garden sharing the stage with the likes of Taylor Swift, Sheeran, and more. They sold out their first-ever headline tour throughout North America and followed that up by selling out an even bigger headliner in 2018, including multiple nights in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Toronto.
Known for their prolific, creative output, Why Don’t We unveiled Cold in LA,” their second brand new song and companion music video of 2019. The track follows last month’s arrival of Big Plans,” which instantly shot to #1 on the iTunes all genres chart, with the accompanying music video seeing nearly 5 million views on YouTube.
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After the band had taken a month’s break between their last (Hawaii) and second last show (Seattle) of the North American dates on their 8 Letters Tour, the fifth single of the project was released, titled Unbelievable” Four days prior to this, band member Jack Avery announced the birth of his (secret) daughter Lavender, born on April 22nd.
But Why Don’t We adds a musical diversity not seen until now among boy bands. It’s set offered the usual pop and sentimental slow songs you would expect, but also nudged into hip-hop, Latin and other styles and genres.
Corbyn: It was pretty easy. We were all friends before being in the band, and I toured with Jack and Zach for about a year so we were close. There was already this bond there, so it wasn’t like we were thrown into this and had to force the friendship or make it all business. It just clicked, and it’s been pretty good ever since.
Corbyn: I think something that’s really cool, especially with all the media nowadays, is that our generation has a big voice. People our age are speaking out about things that people never really got the chance to speak out about before. Their opinions are heard. And it’s kind of cool to be a positive light or positive influence in that sort of world — to be somebody who can make a difference in that way at such a young age.
Jonah: Up until now, we’ve just released five-song EPs, which all had quick-turnaround times. We just go into the studio and knock some stuff out. That worked really, really well. But now we’ve had time to go into the studio and handcraft this beautiful album and really make sure it’s perfect.
Besson segued into the close of the set in telling the crowd, We are proof that dreams do come true,” and encouraging them to follow their passions. The band parted on that note and closed the hourlong set with their 2019 single Cold in LA” and exited the stage to an enthusiastic ovation from frenzied fans.
The band is currently in the midst of a massive globetrotting, world tour, which has recently taken their exhilarating live show overseas throughout Asia – including stops in Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, and the Philippines – and Australia before returning stateside. October will see Why Don’t We crossing the Atlantic for their biggest European tour thus far, with shows scheduled in Spain, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom, culminating in an October 25th finale at London’s famed Eventim Apollo Hammersmith.
Pop quintet Why Don’t We brings its harmonies and hits to a debut performance at Chevy Court during the 2019 Great New York State Fair’s Chevrolet Music Festival at 2 p.m. Thursday, August 29. Concerts at Chevy Court are sponsored by Chevrolet and are free with admission to the Fair.
An acoustic-guitar-laced, beat-driven blend of R&B and pop, “Taking You” spotlights each Why Don’t We member’s stunning vocals and showcases the band’s heart-melting harmonies. Now at work on their debut album, Why Don’t We are also set to deliver an unstoppable live show that’s destined to expand their audience all across the globe.
Like Corbyn, 17-year-old Pennsylvania native Jack Avery mastered piano at an incredibly young age and later took up guitar. “My dad is an amazing pianist and always played for me, so that was a big part of my life right from when I was born,” he says. “When I was around 12, I quit piano lessons because I just wanted to play guitar. My sister had this pink guitar that she never played, so after a while I was like, ‘All right, I’m taking it.’ I went on YouTube and learned how to play, and practiced every single day after school.” Also a singer since the age of 8, Jack shared his soulful covers of Jason Mraz and Justin Bieber songs on YouTube. With those covers earning him an extensive following, Jack has performed at legendary venues around the country, including the famed Bluebird Café in Nashville.
The boys began as solo artists on YouTube and decided to form a band after meeting up in Los Angeles. Jasmine Gomez Editorial Fellow Jasmine Gomez is the Editorial Fellow at Seventeen and covers celebrities, pop culture, music and what’s interesting on the internet.
Most bands see their members find fame together. They start out as unrecognized people making music together in hopes that the audiences at their shows get bigger and bigger. But for Why Don’t We the case was different. All five members of Why Don’t We already had careers before they decided to form a band together. They all had followings from their previous ventures, but then decided to come together to form a band. Now the boys are determined to take over the music charts together. They are currently on their 8 Letters Tour, where in total they will be performing over 90 shows. Before the band gets even bigger than they already are, here are some facts you should know about Why Don’t We.
Why Don’t We is a boyband consisting of Daniel Seavey, Zach Herron, Corbyn Besson, Jonah Marais and Jack Avery. Seavey was a contestant on season 14 of American Idol while the other four members had generated a fanbase over social media by posting covers and live streams for their fans. The band posted their first video on Instagram a day before they officially became a band on September 27, 2016. They also posted a YouTube video titled Our First Day As A Band” as an official documentation of the first day they spent together as a band.