The thing about discovering artists early in their career is when they finally break Hollywood and become famous, you can say, “Hey! I’ve known them since they were fetuses!” I’ve stated before that I have an nack for discovering new artists on YouTube before their big breaks, and it’s happened again people!
Round2Crew is a boy band of sorts, consisting of members Chase Martin, Justin Brown, and Kevin Flynn. I say “boy band of sorts”, because they can’t really be classified as a boy band. They’re rappers. Yes, a rapping boy band. And not only are they a rapping boy band, they’re a GOOD rapping boy band.
Gone were the days of bubblegum pop and cheesy love songs with no meaning. These boys are charismatic enough that the individual personas of “the rapping boy band” just might take them to the top. I recently sat down with Chase, Justin, and Kevin via Skype for their first interview with WeKnowTheDj, and they were impressive. Really impressive. Check it out:
Who exactly is Round2Crew and how did you boys get put together?
Justin: Well basically, we just started out in 9th grade in high school. Me and Chase were doing our own thing, and Kevin was doing his thing. Just making YouTube videos and rapping separately. And then we called up Kevin, and we kind of just came together and fell in love with music together. Our first remix was to Eminem’s “Not Afraid”, and we did that and it just started escalating from there.
Chase: We were never really serious either. We started off just messing around, and then we made a half-way decent song, and people liked it so we were just like “oh”. And then everything just took off.
Where did the name Round2Crew come from exactly?
Justin: *laughs* So basically, it was a day we were at an amusement park, and bad stuff just kept happening to us and we just kept saying “Round 2″. So then we just took that and realized y’know that there’s always a second chance in life.
Chase: And then everyone just kept calling us Round 2.
Kevin: And we’re a three person band so we just added the Crew to make Round2Crew.
You guys post covers on YouTube, and what I find really cool about it is that you don’t cover the actual song, you come up with new lyrics to go along with it. What’s the creative process for writing a cover on YouTube?
Justin: We like to switch it up. Like you said, we don’t like to use the exact same lyrics. Like a lot of people just post a straight cover with the same lyrics. We like to put our own thought, our own feelings into a song and write our own lyrics to it.
Chase: And even on the chorus we’ll try to switch it up, and make it completely our own. Everything besides the catchy beat that we use, we want to be ours.
What I think is really cool about our generation is that we have social media to play a huge role in discovering new artists and elevating artists to “the big leagues”. For example, 5 Second of Summer is an Australian boy band who had an audience of 12 people for their first show, and this time last year Louis Tomlinson from One Direction found them on YouTube and eventually asked them to open for 1D’s Take Me Home Tour. So 5SOS went from 12 people to 12,000 people in a matter of months. What would that kind of opportunity mean to you guys?
Chase: Oh that would be crazy. Kind of like a dream come true, really. I can’t explain how it would feel.
Kevin: Everything’s through social media now, so that’s just like the ultimate goal is for someone to see you on your social media things. That’s what you push for every day. And we push for our videos on there. We do stuff on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.
Justin: And it would be fool for someone like Louis to think that we were good and actually see our music.
Kevin: And we work hard. We put the same amount of hours that somebody with a day job would. Like, we’re in the studio every single day writing, producing all of our own music, being creative -
Chase: And we do everything on our own like without management or anything.
Justin: And when we’re not performing with each other, we’re always doing something. There’s always something to be done.
Do you have any idea what your next YouTube cover would be?
Chase: I don’t know, really. Like we don’t do much covers, we write originals but we do have a couple of covers up.
Kevin: We have a “Whistle” cover by Flo Rida and a “We Can’t Stop” cover by Miley Cyrus, but our main focus right now since we’ve stopped doing covers is our EP that we have coming out on January 29th. So that’s kind of like our next big step. Like it’s all original songs.
Chase: 8 originals.
Kevin: Yeah, 8 original songs, so we’re hoping people like that.
Like I was saying earlier, our generation actually brought back boy bands and girl bands which is like really, really cool. And what a lot of people don’t know or have found out is that not all boy bands or girl bands succeed and become successful. It’s not as easy as it looks. What sets you apart from all the other boy bands and girl bands that are out right now?
Chase: I think when people first see us perform or even listen to our music they can tell that we’re not a boy band.
Kevin: Cos we’re like hip-hop/pop. And we like to bring a lot of energy to our shows.
Justin: And you know a lot of boy bands just go out and stand in a line and sing, but we like to get the crowd hype.
You have One Direction, you have Emblem 3, and all these other boy bands, but you don’t really have boy bands that rap. Do you boys think that your rap makes you original compared to all the other boy bands out there? Because not even *NSYNC or the Backstreet Boys rapped, and I don’t think anybody’s rapped before. So do you think your rapping one-up’s everybody?
Chase: Yeah! I mean, I would think so. Because we’re able to use that poppy chorus and then put rap in there to make it cool. Like I’ve never heard of anything like that.
Justin: And that’s what we’re trying to do; we’re trying to be different from everyone else.
Whether you like them or not, One Direction is THE face of boy bands, girl bands, or groups in general for music today. Do you look up to them in any way?
Justin: I do a lot actually.
Chase: I mean, they’re young and they’re big. We show them lots of respect.
Kevin: We actually went out and saw their movie, too.
Are you guys signed at the moment?
Justin: We’re not signed at the moment, no.
Chase: We don’t have a management or anything.
Justin: We’re all completely independent, and we do everything ourselves now.
Chase: We write and produce and we do everything by ourselves.
Kevin: I mean, we still perform. Like, we just got back from England and just got back from Los Angeles. So we’re still doing a bunch of shows, and we’re just trying to expand ourselves, but we’re not being managed yet.
The reason I asked was because I was wondering if you had any interest on auditioning for The X Factor?
Chase: It depends on what the contract would be. Cause I think we have a lot of pride in our original stuff, because we put so much hard work, and we wouldn’t want to stop that.
Kevin: If the opportunity’s right then the opportunity’s right.
You have a new EP coming out! “On Our Way” is coming out in January. Can you tell us about it?
Justin: We’re trying to put a lot of different styles on it, because we like doing a lot of different styles and we know a lot of other people like different styles. Nobody’s like JUST rap or all pop, so we’re giving them a little taste of everything on this one.
Chase: Yeah we want to be very versatile, because we’re still looking for our sound. Like, we just entered this game in the world of music, so we’re just trying to find our sound where we can put out stuff that sounds a little bit the same to each other.
Kevin: We weren’t even serious for like 9 months, so that was like the start. All the stuff before was just joking, and now it’s gotten really serious.
And I know your new single “Get Away” comes out in a few weeks. What type of sound does “Get Away” have?
Chase: It definitely has that One Direction chorus on it, but it’s got that rap feel in it, too.
Kevin: I like to say that it has that “Whistle” by Flo Rida feel to it. Like, it’s got that rap at the beginning and then it goes into that really catchy chorus where everyone would know it.
Chase: It’s got a “Story of My Life” kind of feel to it.
Kevin: And it’s got a “Chloe” feel like Emblem 3.
You recently posted a video on YouTube about trying to perform at the Grammy’s, and that would really jump start your 2014 year. What else do you have planned for 2014 as of now?
Chase: I’d say just get a lot of more shows done and growing our fan base and get our own show. That’s our dream to have our own show.
Kevin: Yeah we’re doing a lot of shows with other artists right now, but our dream in the end is to just have our own show and have people open up for us and for us to bring in most of the people to that show.
Last question, what would be your one message to people that hear your music, whether that be fans, haters, or anybody?
Justin: Keep going.
Chase: Yeah, just keep going and be yourself, and don’t let the haters get to you.
Justin: Like honestly, in the end, the haters are what motivates us. The haters are what motivates us to get up every morning and work harder every day and prove them wrong, and show everyone that this is what we want to do. We want to make music, get up every morning and go to the studio, release albums, and have our own tour. So keep going, because there’s always a Round 2.
So there we have it, people! Despite Round2Crew being up and coming artists, I really have no doubt that, in the next year or so, that they will be touring across the world and headlining events like a proper boy band should (even if they aren’t a proper boy band). Like you just read, Round2Crew has a bunch of new music coming your way in the next few weeks! Their new single “Get Away” will be released on January 14th and their new EP “On Our Way” will be released January 29th.
If you haven’t already, go check out the boys on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/round2crew and be sure to follow them on Twitter and Facebook at @Round2Crew, as well. And if you’re really feeling generous, follow the boys’ individual Twitter’s as well:
Round2Crew has a big year ahead in 2014, and WeKnowTheDj will be here updating you on R2C’s future success. Check em out!
-Blake M (@bmoore1294)