We interviewed Wesley, Keaton and Drew, the members of the group Emblem3, while they were in Manhattan. The were finalists in on the TV show "X Factor."
How did you come up with the name Emblem3?
Drew: We played one of the worst show of our lives the night before, and we decided we needed to reassess our entire lives, had a spiritual mental revelation.
Figured out we needed to change the band name, change the whole direction of the band in general. We need to be some kind of representation of something. We need to be like an icon, a logo, an emblem.
Wesley did say, "It's got a ring to it." We said we'll keep it, and it stuck, and then we threw the 3 on it.
What got you all into singing?
WESLEY: Our family is very music-oriented. My mom is a harpist, my dad is a composer, and we just love singing. We were always singing film scores and little things around the house . . .
DREW: My mom would either read me Shel Silverstein books, "A Light in the Attic," or . . . she would bust out the guitar and sing me John Denver songs, Jewel songs, Janis Joplin, whatever.
WESLEY: Our aunt would do the exact same thing. She would sing Beatles songs. Then, she would do "Dust in the Wind."
Why did you pick "X Factor" over "American Idol" and "The Voice"?
KEATON: "X Factor" allows you to be a group on the show, and also they contacted us and wanted us to be on there.
When you auditioned for "X Factor," did you ever think you would make it this far?
DREW: We actually decided at one point that if you really want to make something happen in your life, then you have to believe that it's going to happen. Once you believe that it's inevitable for it to happen, then that's the recipe for manifestation to happen.
About the law of attraction, it's really simple; you can give whatever you want, you can get anything that you want, you just have to work hard.
How do you get inspirations to write your songs?
WESLEY: Life. Everything. It could be romance, it could be stressful situations, parents, family, vacation, anything.
How was it like to work with Simon Cowell?
KEATON: Really cool. He's a good guy. On shows on TV like "American Idol," it seems like he's the bad guy, but he's such a sweetheart . . .
What was your favorite or most fun song to sing on "X Factor"?
WESLEY: Besides our original song, which was our first audition, I would say Matisyahu's "One Day."
DREW: I love doing Matisyahu's "One Day," and the reason [is], 15 to 20 million people will watch one episode, and that song has such a good message and such a good concept about global unity. It was an opportunity to project that message to critical mass audiences.
What is one thing you most enjoy about singing?
WESLEY: The fact that so much passion and emotion can come out of it. It's like therapy. If you're stressed, and you are in just a bad mood or anything, you can go off by yourself, play guitar and sing . . . you will come back completely happy and changed.
Do you play any instruments?
WESLEY: Guitar, bass, drums.
DREW: Native American flute.
KEATON: I play harp, piano, guitar, bass, trumpet, drums.
DREW: Guitar is my favorite.
WESLEY: Obviously bass for Keaton.
Who is your biggest role model?
DREW: I think mine recently has been like Bob Marley. I really look up to him because he was in kind of the pop scene, but he had that entire awareness level.
And his album catalog [millions of copies] . . . It's just so cool to me to see someone who only puts out pure-hearted music, have that be [a top seller]. It gives me so much hope and makes me so optimistic.
Do you ever get into fights with each other?
WESLEY: We try to like respect each other. If we have a disagreement, we just agree to disagree.
KEATON: We basically love each other.
What was your inspiration for writing the song "Chloe"?
WESLEY: It was for you guys.
KEATON: It was for our younger fans, basically anyone who's insecure about themselves.
WESLEY: That's how you start by changing anything in the world, but you have to start with yourself. Everybody has to start with themselves, so it was a way to give because the song is about inner beauty.
Do you like being recognized in public?
KEATON: Yeah, I do. It makes you feel good that people know who you are and care enough.
WESLEY: Yeah. It makes you feel special.
DREW: I do when they're not like, "Oh, you're the guy who never has his shirt on. Where are the other two?"