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Quarantine hiatus leads to more personal music for boy band

WHEN American boy band Why Don’t We announced that it was going on a writing hiatus in January, it was meant to be a short hiatus so the members could focus on creating their new album. Then the pandemic hit and the short hiatus turned into nine months, but the good thing about this hiatus, according to a band member, was that they were able to really grow into their art.

“We went into it knowing that we wanted to take a break but we didn’t really think it was going to be that long but it ended up being [a good thing],” Zach Herron, a member of the band, told BusinessWorld in an interview on Nov. 10 via Zoom.

“It gave us a lot more time to perfect the album. A lot of the songs we wrote during quarantine and this craziness — we wouldn’t have any of these songs if quarantine didn’t happen,” he added.

Why Don’t We is a five-member pop boy band that started in 2016. To date they have two albums, including the newest one titled The Good Times and the Bad Ones set to be released in January 2021, and six extended plays. They are known for their songs “8 Letters” and “Trust Fund Baby.”

The members are Mr. Herron, Jack Avery, Corbyn Besson, Jonah Marais, and Daniel Seavey.

To date, the band has had over 3 billion global career streams, and 703 million YouTube views, among other achievements.

The first single off of their new album, titled “Fallin’ (Adrenaline),” was written in July, and Mr. Marais said that their favorite songs off of the 10-track album were written during quarantine.

“Fallin’ (Adrenaline)” enters with heavy drums sampling Kanye West’s “Black Skinhead” from his 2013 album Yeezus, and it just builds up the atmosphere from then on, telling a story of how falling in love feels both dangerous and exciting.

The song’s music video has more than 16 million views on YouTube and over 46 million global streams. It debuted at No. 37 on the Billboard Hot 100, the band’s first Billboard entry. “Fallin’” also proved to be a TikTok sensation, with more than 109 million profiles using the song.

The single has been performed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

“This album was fully written and produced by us… it’s the first time we’ve really been like, taking our universe into our own hands. It really gave us a lot of confidence. I think it really gave us a lot of respect for each other as well,” Mr. Marais said.

This nine month-long hiatus also led them to grow into their own as “real artists”, according to Mr. Herron. And because they have had a lot of time writing the songs on the album, they made sure that there is a song for everybody.

“There’s a song for everyone here — if you’re going through a breakup, there’s a song for you, and if you’re having fun and [are] in love right now, there’s a song for you, and if you’re having some anxiety right now, there’s a song for you,” Mr. Marais said.

Why Don’t We is taking their music into their own hands and now that they’ve experienced crafting their own sound and songs, Mr. Herron said that they would like to do their succeeding albums the same way, with songs born out of personal experiences. — Zsarlene B. Chua

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