We met Mikey Jimenez, Jaden Gray, Cam Jackson and Marcus Pendleton, members of the band 4th Ave, when they were in Deer Park at Tanger Outlets in November. We went to their dressing room to interview them before their performance, which was great. They met when they were on the ABC show “Boy Band,” and became good friends and decided to form their own group. Their EP, “Initiation,” is great.
How did you meet?
Marcus: We all started on a TV show called “Boy Band.” We were on that ABC show for a lot of shows. The finale came up, and we were together for 10 weeks. We would all hang out together and play video games. We did a lot of silly stuff and were always pranking each other. We built that chemistry, and one of the architects of the show, one of the judges, Timbaland, came up to us and said to us, “You guys need to be a group.” And we were like, OK, let’s do it!
Jaden: Even though we didn’t win on the show, we did win in a whole other section of our lives.
Mikey: It just shows you have to keep going and you have to believe in yourselves.
For those who have never heard your music, can you explain your sound?
Jaden: I would say that our music is like an emotional roller coaster because there are so many different emotions and passions that we put into our music. It is pop, it is R&B, we have a little country. We even have music that fits into the category of ballads. We have a wide genre of music.
What is your favorite song of yours?
Marcus: We just released the “Initiation” EP, and it is out on iTunes. I would have to say my favorites are “Just A Number” and “XOXO.”
Cam: My favorite is “Gravity.”
Mikey: “For U.”
What is the best advice you have ever gotten, either for music or for your career?
Jaden: It is the same for me for music and life. Just keep going and keep pushing.
Mikey: Believe in yourself and stay happy. If you are not happy, then things are no fun.
Marcus: Keep moving forward. Something like Jaden said, even if something bad happens, you just keep going and work something out.
Cam: Don’t let fear get in your way. Don’t let obstacles scare you. You can get through them, you can get through anything.
What do you do to calm yourself down before a show?
Marcus: I just dance out of control. I am flossing and doing the shoop. I am going all-out, and that calms me down because now I have gotten my workout in.
Cam: I am either laughing or making other people laugh. I like comedy.
Mikey: I would say little quick prayer. Or I just take a deep breath and then I am good.
Jaden: I listen to other music besides ours and I say a prayer.
What is your favorite thing to do when you are not writing, producing or playing?
Marcus: I like to draw a lot. I draw silly characters.
Cam: I like to play video games, especially Fortnite.
Mikey: I have a studio in my room, so if I am not playing basketball or working out, I am making music. I have just gotten into video games, too. I like to go to SkyZone.
Jaden: I like to play the drums. So I will go to a Guitar Center and just play the drums. I try to play all the instruments, but I can’t! I love stylin’ and so I like to get different clothes and put them together. I like to watch funny videos.
Who are you inspired by?
Marcus: I am inspired by you guys. You guys are so young, but you are coming in here with great questions and have great attitudes. You are positive and you inspire me to set a good example. I want spread positivity and love.
Cam: It would be someone like LeBron James. He is my favorite basketball player. He came from a small city like me. He is one of the sought-after athletes and people in the world.
Mikey: I am inspired by my mom. She taught me how to work hard. She taught that nothing comes easy or free in life. Whatever you want, you have to put in the work to get it. I also have a little sister, and she makes me work hard.
Jaden: I have to say my brother. He has stepped in in multiple ways. Whether there was something happening in the household or at school, church, he was always there to help.
What drew you to the music industry?
Marcus: When I was younger, I didn’t know how to sing. Whenever I would sing, it sounded terrible. I fell in love with Michael Jackson and all these great icons, and that is what drew me to the music profession.
Cam: I grew up singing in church. They play a lot of music in church, and I just loved it.
Mikey: I was about 5 or 6, and I would just sing with my dad because my grandpa is a musician. He taught my dad how to sing, and my dad taught me. I would sing everywhere or just play basketball.
Jaden: Half my family sings, the other half plays instruments. I didn’t sing for the first seven years of my life, then I got into it.
Who would you want to open for on tour?
Marcus: Justin Timberlake. Once you see him and hear his great set and has great people around him. It is the complete vibe, and it would be cool to open up for him.
Cam: Kanye [West].
Mikey: I wish I could have opened for Michael Jackson. And someone alive, Justin Timberlake. We went to his concert and saw how amazing he is.
Jaden: It would be two people, Bruno Mars and DJ Khaled.
What is your biggest fear?
Marcus: When it comes to performing, I have a fear of wardrobe malfunction. I am afraid my pants will fall off.
Cam: I am scared of the dark! I don’t like the dark!
Mikey: I am scared of heights.
Jaden: Falling on stage!
Mikey: I think we are all scared of snakes.
What singer inspired you?
Marcus: Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake — I love those guys.
Cam: Michael Jackson.
Mikey: Michael Jackson, Justin Bieber, Chris Brown and Justin Timberlake.
Jaden: Jessie J and Frank Sinatra.
What are two things you cannot live without?
Jaden: I would say my family and Jesus.
Mikey: Food and sleep!
Cam: Basketball and food.
Marcus: Hulu — I watch a lot of movies — and headphones. I have to listen to my music. Forget food! You can keep your food! If I have my headphones and Hulu, I am good for the rest of my life.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Marcus: I will be 28 and I will be in a house and ready to have a kid. I am the oldest of seven siblings, so I know they are going to move into wherever I live.
Cam: I see myself married.
Mikey: In 10 years I will be 29 and I will be very happy and successful. I will be happily married with maybe one kid.
Jaden: I will be 27, and I love what Mikey said. I want to be happy. That is major. And I will be married with a family and two or three kids. I hope to build my own shelter for the homeless.
Gina Cerulli’s fifth-grade class, Idle Hour Elementary School, Oakdale