"Snoop Dogg told us to stay youthful and fun as the music business can be stressful."
Manchester boyband NXTGEN reached the semi-finals of the 'The Voice UK' earlier this year, and since then they've continued to be mentored and work alongside their coach will.i.am.
Here the trio - comprised of Cian Gleeson, Joel Healey and Sonny Hardman - tell Lizzie's Lowdown about will.i.am being like the fourth member of the band, the advice Snoop Dogg gave them and whether they will be collaborating with Machine Gun Kelly...
What has life been like since The Voice finished?
Life after 'The Voice' has been CRAZY! Within a week of leaving the show we were in Metropolis Studios with will writing and recording music.
He told us we’d only be there for a few days but we ended up staying in London for two weeks!
We’d sleep all day and then work through the night in the studio.
And a few weeks after that we flew out to LA to begin shooting our music videos.
Your single 'Rewind' came out recently, which you co-wrote with will.i.am and Team Salut. What was the process like?
Will played us a demo of 'Rewind' at Metropolis.
We loved the vibe instantly and wanted to record it right there and then.
Will thought it’d be cool to change some of the lyrics so we could incorporate our names into the verses.
So we spent the next few hours making some changes.
Then as soon as that was done it was straight into the vocal booth.
What’s the best piece of advice will has given you? What’s he like to hang out with?
Will told us to work hard and never give up on your dream.
Even when things get tough, he told us to always support each other and be persistent through the good and bad times.
He’s a really humble guy and really fun to hang around with.
We spent a lot of time with him in the studio and on set of our videos in LA.
He’s almost like the fourth member of NXTGEN!
Was it surreal filming the video in LA?
Being in LA was amazing.
We all come from single-parent, working-class families so we never thought we’d be able to afford to travel to the US ... never mind Los Angeles!
It was like being in a movie.
We loved every second and miss it every day. We can’t wait to go back.
What else did you get up to during your time in LA, you were there for six weeks is that right?
We got up to all sorts. We went to Universal Studios two days in a row.
We were only supposed to go for one day, but as soon as we got there Cian started to chicken out of all of the rides! So we had to go back the day after and make him get on them!
He was scared at first but by the end of the day he was loving it!
You got to meet Snoop Dogg on the set of The Black Eyed Peas' video for 'Be Nice', what was he like? It would be great to have him feature on one of your tracks?
He’s so cool! Very funny and he was joking around with us all on set.
He’s like a very, very tall kid!
That’s what his advice was to us, always stay youthful and fun as the music business can be stressful.
We’d love to have him on a track one day. It’d be a dream come true for all of us but especially Sonny as he is a HUGE Snoop fan.
Machine Gun Kelly also came down to your video shoot. Did you discuss a collab?
That was crazy too! We are used to seeing people like Machine Gun Kelly on our TV back home.
And then we turned around and saw him on OUR music video set?!
He told us that the last time he came to our hometown of Manchester he was hit by a bus.
It's the same bus that Sonny uses to get to and from his house.
We’d talked about getting together again in the future to hang out - so you never know what could happen.
What else have you got coming up for the rest of the year?
We plan to carry on releasing more music over the coming months.
We want to build up our fanbase and have a steady stream of content online.
We are also aiming to tour in early 2019 - so watch this space!
Are you working on an album?
We have over 20 songs recorded so the hard part is to choose which one to release next. We’re going to focus on releasing singles right now with an album to follow.
Where would you like to be in five years?
We’d love to be living our dream, which is to record music and perform it all over the world on the biggest stages.
We’d also love to be able to look after our families as they have been really supportive throughout the years so we want to give something back to them.
And also, maybe a big house in the Hollywood Hills with a few Lamborghini’s would be nice, too, haha!
NXTGEN have just released brand new song 'I Don't Know How To Dance', also produced by will, and an accompanying music video.
On the idea behind the tongue-in-cheek promo, the band said:
When we were on 'The Voice' the choreographers made a routine for our semi-final performance.
Well, we cannot dance to save our lives and we proved that in rehearsals every time.
So, when we were in the studio with will, we thought a funny idea would be to write a song about not being able to dance - but have it over a dance type production! Oh, the irony!”
Watch the video for 'I Don't Know How To Dance':
Check out NXTGEN's music video for 'Rewind':