Kidsday reporters met up with Roc Royal, Princeton, Prodigy and Ray Ray, the members of the hip-hop group Mindless Behavior, at their record offices in Manhattan recently.
Can you tell us about your album?
Ray: Our new album is called "All Around the World," and we are genuinely excited about this album because it's more mature than the first album because we're getting older.
How did you come together to form your group?
Roc: We all came together; it was all through [an] audition. Prodigy: I was discovered on YouTube. I was posting clips of me dancing and singing, and our choreographer, Dave Scott, saw my videos on YouTube and then showed it to our management, so then our management was like, "Oh, I want that kid," and then they wanted me to fly out to LA. So I flew out to L.A., and met Princeton and Roc and Ray.
Ray: I was the last to make it. I auditioned at midnight at the studio, and the next day, I was with the group.
Do you play any instruments?
Princeton: I play drums, and . . . I was a band geek in seventh grade. I did a year of that, and now I play keyboard. I tried to do guitar, but keyboard was easier. So I'm trying to expand my talent.
Prodigy: Yeah, I like to play the drums a lot.
Ray: I don't play any instruments. I would like to learn how to play guitar, though.
Roc: Me neither, I don't play instruments.
Do you guys ever fight or argue?
Roc: We have our disagreements sometimes, but other than that, there's no fighting. We do argue a lot, though.
Princeton: But who doesn't? Like everybody that's fond of each other, we argue; but at the end of the day, it's not to the point where we're not talking to each other for five months. We're just four boys; at the end of the day, we're on to the next [thing].
If you couldn't be a singer, what would you be?
Roc: If I couldn't be a singer, I would definitely still be in school trying to be a veterinarian or something.
Princeton: Music is my passion. I would definitely probably be a dancer, backup dancer probably, or actor or fashion designer. I'd be everything.
Prodigy: Me, I'd probably like to be a producer and make music for other artists.
Ray: For me, I like to draw. I would be an artist. And eventually, I would venture into my own clothing line.
Besides singing and dancing, what are some other hobbies that you have?
Roc: Besides singing and dancing, I play football -- well, I use to -- and boxing.
Princeton: I run track, I play the keyboard, I cook, I paint and sleep.
Prodigy: Make music, I take martial arts; I like doing flips.
Ray: Draw, dress and sleep. And shop. I love to shop a lot.
Prodigy: Same here. Shop.
Ray: I have a lot of clothes I haven't even worn yet.
If you could work with any singer or group from the past, who would it be?
Princeton: Could it be like dead or alive?
Ray Ray, Princeton and Prodigy: Michael Jackson.
How long did it take you to make your movie ("Mindless Behavior: All Around the World")?
Roc: Eight months?
Princeton: No, it took us a year and half.
Roc: We put in a lot of scenes from the past.
Princeton: You can kind of say this whole time we've been together as a group, we pretty much prepared for this movie; there were clips of us when we first met, getting ready to do stuff.
What were your biggest challenges when filming this movie?
Princeton: Always having a camera in your face. That got to me sometimes. Sometimes you want your privacy, you're not feeling good you don't want to show other people that you're not feeling good. But I got used to it.
Prodigy: I've got to say the biggest challenges for me, the biggest challenge was when they was filming us when we were on the road, overseas, so always away from family. So I'm starting to miss family right now, so I think that was like a big challenge for me.
How did you come up with the name Mindless Behavior?
Princeton: We actually didn't come up with the group name, but we kind of made the name what it was. Mindless Behavior is a movement, it's about being yourself and confident. And everyday living mindless and we were all mindless before we joined the group, but we just didn't know it yet.
What difficulties did you have when the group first started?
Roc: When I first joined the group, there was dancing, my behavior, it was a lot for me. I have a list.
Princeton: Probably, for me, changing my life. The household that we grew up in as a group, I pretty much reinvented myself. I went in one person . . . I came out Princeton the artist. That was kind of challenging, but for the best.
Prodigy: You said what difficulties, well since I was the only one from the East Coast and living on the West Coast, once again, my family was like the thing that I was missing.
Ray: One thing that our managers, Walter and Keisha, wanted me to change when I first came. I always hung around an older crowd. I was basically immature. I didn't act my age. I always acted older. So I had to bring it down a notch.
What is the strangest thing that has happened to you when you became famous?
Princeton: People noticing us like on our off time. You could never get use to that. You're having dinner, in sweats and your hair is up for something and someone comes up to you and they actually know your name and stuff. That's different.
Ray: Being on stage sometimes and you did good and have items thrown at you.
Prodigy: Yeah, like I had one standing on my presence and then all of a sudden I felt something hit me in my chest. It's like a big ole heavy chain. It just caught me off guard because I'd be in the zone and had something hit me in the chest.
Princeton: Please don't. It's going to get to a point where I'm going to pull your hair and it's going to become like a fire or something. But please don't pull my hair. That happens often.
How do you decide who gets to sing the lead song?
Princeton: We actually don't get to decide who sings and what. The producers who we are working with us at the time, but they know what's best for the group and the fans love it so.
Who is the prankster of the group and do you have any pranks you would like to share?
Ray: Yeah, that's me. I love doing pranks. I love keeping the energy up. Also on TV they recorded us and they also did a documentary. If you go on YouTube you can see this prank. Roc uses the restroom. Every time we're on tour and use the restroom we would take a platter. So like canapé platter, food platter, and this platter had like different meats, cheese, but we got the food platter and put it on the canapé platter. I stood on the spot and dumped on him.
Do you still keep in touch with your friends at home?
Roc: Yeah, we have some friends. Some are becoming fans.
Princeton: Which is all right, you can still be fans. But when you start using us, we can feel a certain energy around us and we also made new friends as well.
Ray: Our managers tell us like a lot of your friends are not going to feel comfy so as soon as I notice I just let them go. The only real friend I have and I've known her since six years, her name is Brittney. I love her to death.
Prodigy: Well so far my friends have just been cool. At first when they first found I was in Mindless Behavior they started seeing our videos. They was like, how is this? Is everything cool? And then after awhile it was like, 'Hey, it's just him. I don't want to treat my friend like he's a prodigy and stuff. I just want to treat him how I know him before he joined a group.' All my friends are still cool.
How would you describe your fashion style?
Ray: As a group I would say more urban.
Princeton: We're very fashion
Ray: I would say R&B base.
Princeton: We could say we're very cultured when it comes to fashion. Urban, it's fashionable. We got lots of stuff.
Ray: Personally, I like my style to be energy. I don't dress like the typical guy would dress. I like that about me. I don't care what they think about me. I just wear what I want to wear.
Prodigy: Me I just throw on whatever I feel like wearing. Like when I wake up, oh this looks cool.
Princeton: My style I love ever since I was a kid I like dressing like a rock star. I love punk rock shirts, I love lot of accessories and very different. I love to stand out of a crowd.
Roc: My style. I don't have like a specific style. I just switch and make the best of it.