Tuesday, January 05, 2010

I Love Pop (But You Knew That Already)

My love for the now deceased boy band NLT was spewed often on Melismatic (although not quite enough, I'm afraid), and in fact, the group found themselves the #3 artist I listened to most overall over the course of 2009 (despite not releasing an album or single at all, but rather breaking up...although I'm guessing the breakup was in late 2008, but I could be wrong). Allow me to reminisce one last time (read: probably not) for those of you who are unfamiliar.

It seems that its four former members are doing more now than they were commercially with the group, what with Kevin McHale's surge in popularity thanks to Glee (he plays Artie), Travis Garland's pursuit of solo success via the Interscope label and Papa Joe Simpson, and Justin/JJ Thorne now being 1/4 of "super"-boy band One Call (more on them shortly). However, there is one member of the 'Not Like Them' foursome who's re-emergence was left in question: V Sevani.

 Not Like Them, cerca early 2007. From left to right: Travis Garland, Kevin McHale, V Sevani and Justin/JJ Thorne.

Not unlike the case with Justin/JJ, V was one of the members of NLT who rarely never sang solo, but instead was more beloved by his natural talent in dance and his charisma. He also was the member who founded the group, after he was scouted by manager Chris Stokes (responsible for B2K, among others). However, he is now most associated with the fact that his younger brother, Adam, was a fixture in the dance film 'Step Up 2 the Streets', and started an online dance war/feud with Miley Cyrus (which NLT participated in, around the 1:31-1:43...yeah I'm kinda a stalker -- with a snippet of their routine for "Karma", which Adam choreographed). Obviously, dance runs in the Sevani family. Considering I continue to be an ardent fan of NLT and its respective members (fangirl bias and all), I was interested in hearing where and when Mr. Sevani would pop back into our lives. Fortunately for us, NLT is officially the first of my boy band obsessions in which all of its members continue to pursue music in some form, and I enjoy it all.

Earlier in the year, I had heard word of filming for 'Step Up 3D' (yes, in 3D) would begin production around my neck of NYC, and a (kind of sad) part of me hoped I might see V walking around my neighborhood. This meeting never happened (I met One Call in his stead), and his contribution to the film remains unseen. If anyone knows, please enlighten me. Fast forward to more recently, and V has officially reared his head with a legit YouTube Channel (updated two weeks ago), MySpace, and a Thee Website where you can purchase solo tunage.

If you are like me, and were more distracted interested by Travis Garland's vocals during NLT's actual tenure, the prospect of being V's solo  music is a bit like hearing word that Justin/JJ gets several solos in One Call's music. It's kind of a "What? Really? He Sings?" kind of thing. Rest assured, fandom. V can sing, and sing well. He may be no sanger (::cough::TravisandKevin::cough::), but he is legitimately talented young man, and criminally underappreciated. This (along with Justin's emergence with One Call) makes me a bit frustrated that NLT was trying to pull an *NSYNC (read: only have two lead singers) when they could have been more democratic. Just saying. And unlike the Justin and JC of NLT (you decide which Kev and Trav are), V is taking the road less traveled in the scary solo waters -- rockin' it independant (for now at least).

Anywho, I'm guessing the lead single will be "Cut Me Loose", a vocoded concoction of electro meets pop meets r&pop. It's kind of generic in sound, and at times, his voice gets a bit lost in the mix of sound samples.  His Thee Website also features heavily produced "Twilight" with friend/producer Whitty, which I'm assuming was inspired by the 'Twilight' saga (his former bandmate Travis Garland also penned an ode to the saga -- not that they are bad songs, they are both lovely in very different ways, it's just something I'd rather...not talk about). I am rather intrigued by hype single "Love Pop". It's a vocal mashup of various pop songs, with the first verse and chorus featuring songs released more recently, and the second verse and bridge being "older " pop songs (timeline-wise). It's less autotuned, and shows off more of a vocal range, highlighting V's naturally gruffer, grittier (but still very pop) voice.

Honestly, I'm surprised this mini-mixtape idea was come up with before, and I really like it (and fits in quite nicely with my previous post about DJ Earworm, no?). Something similar was done by Chicago DJ/aspiring singer-songwriter J.Roman, dubbed "Slow Jam Mixtape" (complete with video released last year which feels like eons after the song debuted), but it didn't go into the depth that V does. It also doesn't hurt that I'm a pretty big fan of just about every song he references. Touche, Mr. Sevani (and, his producer Whitty, to boot). You are officially on my 'One to Watch' list for 2010. Continue to make us NLT fangirls proud. Oh, and if this is any indicator of your personal music taste (and I'm hoping it is), we are seriously compatible. Call me. ;)

For posterity, here is a list of the songs V references in "Love Pop". Feel free to correct me if I miss any but I think I got them all:  

Mariah Carey "Obsessed" -- Kings of Leon "Use Somebody" -- Kings of Leon "Sex On Fire" -- Jason DeRulo "Whatcha Say" -- Justin Bieber "One Time" -- David Guetta/Akon "Sexy Bitch" -- Jay Sean "Down" -- Drake "Best I Ever Had" -- Lil Wayne "I Want This Forever" -- Britney Spears "3" -- Beyonce "Sweet Dreams" -- Lady Gaga "Paparazzi" -- Iyaz "Replay" -- The Police "Every Breath You Take" -- Usher "U Make Me Wanna" -- Backstreet Boys "I Want It That Way" -- *NSYNC "I Want You Back" -- Next/Blue "Too Close" -- Red Hot Chilli Peppers "Otherside" -- Bon Jovi "Livin' On A Prayer" -- Rockwell/Michael Jackson "Somebody's Watching Me" -- Bon Jovi "You Give Love A Bad Name" -- Cyndi Lauper "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" -- The Police "Roxanne" -- Journey "Don't Stop Believin'" -- The Beatles "Yesterday" -- Rick Springfield "Jessie's Girl" -- Brian McKnight "Back At One" -- KC & JoJo "All My Life -- KC & JoJo "Crazy" -- Bob Marley "No Woman, No Cry" -- Destiny's Child "Say My Name" -- TLC "Waterfalls"


rcLoy said...

The Love Pop song is effin sick! I don't really dig the fella's vocal but I like the mash of everything :) Haha

J.Mensah said...

I like that mix, that's a lot of songs to compress into 3 mins and it works, love it! Except the usage of Britney was pathetic. C'mon!! only 2 seconds ¬_¬

*calls* lol, our music tastes are so compatible it's "Super," Last.Fm says so!

Mel said...

Loy - Agreed! He never got the chance to shine in NLT really, so I'm looking forward to him continuing to push himself. I think we're just seeing the tip of the iceberg.

J - I know, right? Haha...it would be a bit harder to incorporate more of "3" than what he did...I think it would have been better if he had nixed it and featured "Baby, One More Time" or "Toxic" though. Oh wells. And -- yes, of course we're super! I thought I already made myself clear -- if only you were a little older and lived in America...Haha!

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