In the ’90s, there was NSYNC. In the 2000s, there’s PRETTYMUCH. Consisting of 5 talented heartthrobs — Austin Porter (21), Brandon Arreaga (19), Edwin Honoret (20), Nick Mara (21) & Zion Kuwonu (20) — the band formed 3 years ago when Simon Cowell put them together in a house. They’ve been roomies ever since.
The name PRETTYMUCH hails from an inside joke that the boys keep to themselves, but was also a phrase they frequently used. Since then, they’ve unleashed hit after hit accumulating millions streams across all social platforms. Most recently, their single “Phases” was paired with a music video which clocks in at over 2M on Youtube barely one month since its release.
Last year, the group was nominated for Best Boy Band at the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards and even Best PUSH Artist of the Year at the 2018 MTV’s VMA. To celebrate the release of their new EP Phases, PRETTYMUCH held an art gallery/listening party in Los Angeles allowing fans to come browse their actual art pieces. Proceeds were benefiting City of Hope, with audiences all across the world able to bid on the pieces online. They ended up raising over $5,000.
TrendingAllDay caught up with PRETTYMUCH prior to their performance at the intimate listening party on Pico Blvd. in West LA.
Why should people mess w/ you guys?
Zion: We’re the fucking best!
Edwin: We love good music and we like to create it. We just want to share art with the world. Hopefully people gravitate towards that because we’re really working hard.
Brandon: We’re a creative powerhouse. We just like to create. We’re not like any other boy band.
Why aren’t you like any other boy band?
Austin: ‘Cause we write, produce, sing, dance, make physical art. Direct, film, do our own photography, do our own artwork, do our own merch. It’s fucked.
Brandon: And we write songs for other people!
All: We’re professional video gamers.
What does each one of you bring to the table?
All: We’re all different spices in the kitchen.
Brandon: I bring the Tapatio, but also brings the color black.
Zion: I bring compassion.
Austin: I bring the outside the box thinking.
Edwin: I bring the Sriracha, but also brings smiles.
All: You’re cheesy Edwin, you bring the slice of cheese.
Nick: I just hope I fucking bring something honestly. It’s a hard question for me, I’m not gonna answer like that. I’ll let someone answer that for me.
All: [laughs] Nick brings the pipes.
At what point did you realize this music thing was for real?
Brandon: When Simon Cowell was in the room. When I was auditioning and went to Simon Cowell’s house. [laughs] I was like “oh shit, aiiight.”
All: Yea aight. [Blueface voice]
Edwin: It was real when I got a call from some Sony representatives. At first I’m like “this ain’t it, this is fake,” but then he actually sent a picture of his desk in the office. I’m like “oh okay cool, this is real.”
Congrats on Phases! What is it you want fans to get from this one?
Brandon: Basically it’s more of a story. But the underlying message is self-love and what you’re worth spiritually. Knowing your worth. Live life.
What’s it like being roomies and working with each other?
Nick: You go through your ups and downs but that’s life. It’s just learning to appreciate each other’s differences and understand we all come from different place. You equate the differences, move forward and appreciate it each other.
Brandon: At the end of the day, just love what we do.
Edwin: I started realizing now 3.5 years in, it’s time. We got it. The lock of the friendship and family thing, it’s finally set in stone. It’s less having to learn about each other and trying to figure out each other’s buttons, now it’s just music and art.
Talk about the listening party and pairing it with the art.
Brandon: The listening party, we’re playing the new EP first for the fans. It was Austin’s idea to do the art gallery because we make so much art. Austin paints almost every day. He had an idea to find way to use that for the group, display it and let people see it. We’re actually auctioning off all the pieces.
Why was it important to add a philanthropic element to your art show/listening party?
Austin: When we put art and music together, something magical happens. When I make my art myself, I have to listen to music, because there’s something that drives the creativity in my brain. It’s almost like the music is the hamster that turns the wheel. Without music, my gears aren’t turning. It’s what makes the gears turn.
What are some goals yourself as an artist at this point in your career?
Brandon: To meet Beyonce. I’d love to meet Beyonce, just give her a hug.
Austin: My only goal is for Kanye to tell me that I did it. That’s all I wanna hear, is Kanye be like “yo, you did it.” [laughs] Because it’s Kanye.
Zion: It’d be tight to have the co-signs of the big dudes. The Diddy’s, the Jay-Z’s, the Kanye’s to be like “yo, I fuck with you guys.” That’s dope to me.
Nick: Or we can be the first boy band to be the President of the United States. Psych!
All: 5 Presidents at once, that would be tight.
Edwin: Imagine we’re so big we have become president. [laughs[
Talk about naming your tour FOMO.
Nick: Basically there was a Function Tour. There were people who missed out on that, they’re like “damn.” Well, we don’t want people to miss out on this one so we call it the FOMO tour, hence the name “fear of missing out.” People are having serious FOMO if they don’t come to this show.
What can fans get out of your live performances?
Brandon: I always to try to think of it as being a heightened version of reality. You can’t just see it on the phone and get it. If you’re there, then you get it.
Nick: It’s an experience.
How do you guys manage to all share one IG account?
Nick: Sometimes our label will send us like “hey, just reminding you guys we’re going to announce this today.” We’re all logged in. We either do promo stuff or…
Edwin: Just take the dopest pictures and post them up.
Who has the most control of the IG account?
Nick: I mean, we all live together.
Edwin: I make sure it’s always up to date. I keep it running, but everyone has the option to post.
Nick: Edwin does a good job. Especially on Twitter, that’s always a hard one for me. I don’t know why, but Instagram is my shit.
Favorite person, to follow on IG?
Brandon: Diplo. Honestly, he’s unpredictable.
Austin: Kush Papi. He’s this super Italian dude, he’s like “get the fuck outta here!”
Edwin: Chicklet. He’s a Spanish dude from NY. Him and his girl are hilarious.
Nick: Jenna Marbles’ boyfriend is pretty funny.
Be sure to check out their music and stay tuned for much more coming from PRETTYMUCH in the near future.