We had the opportunity to interview an up-and-coming band, In Real Life, when they visited the Disney offices in Manhattan recently. It was an awesome experience and it was so much fun to meet a band that is becoming famous. In Real Life won a competition on the television show “Boy Band.” Michael Conor is 18, and he raps. Brady Tutton, 15, is the youngest. Chance Perez and Drew Ramos are both 20. Sergio Calderon is 17.
When did you first realize you were going to be famous? What was it like?
Drew: For me it was after — I wouldn’t say after the finale, because I already felt like . . . I think it was the first time we had fans. It was like we were in the band and we’ll go through the park, and fans just swarming us. And that was like the first time. Like wow, like all these people really care about what we’re doing. We had to process it.
How does school work with the band?
Chance: Me and Drew have graduated. We’re done with school. So it’s just the three of them.
Brady: Yeah, and then he’s [Sergio] pretty much done. You’re a senior.
Sergio: I’m a senior. I have one more year of high school. We’re going to go to college. So we’ve got to finish because school is very important.
Brady: Absolutely. Education is one of the most important things to us. So we’re making sure to get that set up. I just actually set up my online school.
We heard that you were working an original Christmas song as a group. What’s your favorite Christmas song?
Michael: My personal favorite? “Jingle Bell Rock.”
Chance: A name I’m going to start singing — “I really can’t stay, it’s cold outside.” You guys remember that one?
Brady: Have you guys seen “Elf”? That’s the movie. “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey. Great song. I love that one, too. It’s great.
Who gets the most lyrics?
Chance: We all try to divide it evenly amongst ourselves. I think one of the questions was earlier, how do you decide who gets what on what song? So if we kind of just listen to each other, we’re like, oh, this is best for your voice, I want you to try it out, or switch it around. So it’s about who sounds the best and work hard at it.
Brady: In this group we are all so close, there’s not really any competition. So it’s not like, oh, they got more words than me. So it’s like, he sounds cool on this part, so I’m going to let him have that chorus. We’re all just trying to help each other out.
How did you decide on the name In Real Life?
Drew: We were on a TV show, and people who watch the show, that’s all they saw — people just saw what we were like on TV and short clips of us. And now that we were transitioning from being in a show to a boy band, we wanted people to see what we were like in real life. So the name came up as a suggestion where we all voted for it, because we thought it would be a cool name.
Did you always want to sing as a career?
Brady: Actually, I was not going that way. I was not trying to be a singer. I didn’t see it as a realistic thing, you know, because it’s really, really hard to get into this industry. So I was like, that’s probably not going to happen. And then the “Boy Band” thing came up and I was like, it may happen. So I went and did it. And now we’re here.
Chance: I’ve been singing since I was like 4. I kind of realized I started to like it a lot more when I was 7 or 8. But I didn’t know if that’s what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I did like baseball and soccer and football and stuff like that. But toward my teenage years I started realizing that I wanted to do it as a career.
What advice would you give kids my age if they wanted to sing and perform?
Drew: I would say believing in yourself is super important. If you don’t believe in yourself, you can’t expect other people to.
Brady: Sing every day. If you want to be a singer, sing every day. You will get better.
Michael: I think the most important thing is just persistence. And there’s going to be times when you think it’s not going to work out. And then all of a sudden I got an opportunity to be on TV. So it’s important to keep pushing, and everything will eventually work out if you just stay dedicated. Absolutely. As easy as it sounds, anybody can do that. Like we’re five guys who are doing this. We’re just normal guys who are going to school.
Sergio: We’re just normal guys. So just keep working, like Michael said.
Brady: Literally anybody can do it.
Do you have a costume designer, or do you pick out your own clothes?
Sergio: We have stylists. Yeah, we have stylists. And they help us look good.
Drew: We definitely have a say in what we like to wear. Oh yeah, for sure. Shoes, oh, I like this. I like this. Try that.
Brady: We try to stay color-coordinated.