Dustin, 17, Kelly, 16, Patrick, 15, Carnell, 14, and Bryan 11, known collectively as B5, merge the old school flair and finesse of the Jackson Five with the modern day pop appeal of N'Sync and the raw energy of New Edition to create a musical phenomenon that carves a unique niche in the music industry.
Stationed in the crunk capitol of the world, Atlanta, GA, B5 dares to be different but anyone who witnesses their electrifying, high-energy stage show - complete with street dancing, old school stepping and eye-popping acrobatics - will agree that these kids really know how to get crunk. But B5 does it their way, with clean lyrics, age-appropriate content and good old-fashioned charm. Add to that, the boys' good looks, and you clearly have the recipe for the next big boy band sensation.
Originally known as "TNT Boyz," B5 started performing professionally about seven years ago, at the urging of the boys' mom and aunt. The boys did the usual run of talent competitions, winning most of them, including shows put together by Radio Disney. Manager Jim McMahan of JAMM Entertainment Group, said he immediately saw the group's potential when they were presented to him by one of his associates over 5 years ago.
Later the group's name changed to "B5" when younger brother Bryan joined the lineup. "As we were looking for a name everybody kept saying 'Man these kids are like the new generation Jackson Five' and, of course, the Jackson Five were J5 and the boys' last name is Breeding, so we made it B5."
B5 continued to do shows and make the rounds throughout the music industry, performing with the likes of Mario Winans, Kanye West, Ginuwine, Usher, Fantasia, Bow Wow, Joe and others. The dazzling quintet even hit Monte Carlo and performed for Prince Albert of Monaco. On a vacation trip through Atlanta in 2001, B5 was introduced to executive producer Kevin Wales of "World Wide Entertainment"(ABC, 112, Monica, Lil' Zane, and Jagged Edge) who signed the group and knew the perfect distribution for the boys. That's when "B5" landed on the doorstep of Bad Boy Entertainment.
Describing them as the group that fills a void in the music industry, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs and his team pulled out all the stops when it came to B5, hooking them up with some of the top producers in the business, among them Rodney Jerkins (Michael Jackson, Brandy, Whitney), Ryan Leslie (Britney Spears, Carl Thomas), Sean Garrett (Usher, Ciara), Corna Boyz (Jagged Edge), Veit Renn (Backstreet Boys), and, of course, P. Diddy.
The lead single, "All I Do," originally recorded by the Jackson Five and covered by Troop in 1990, finds the boys pouring their hearts out to that special girl. They said Jerkins suggested the song to them and they recorded it without hearing either of the other two versions although Patrick acknowledges that their version is more reminiscent of the Troop cover than of the J5 original.
In true teenage boy fashion, B5 spends the better part of their debut CD talking to and about girls and having fun. The mostly up-tempo album is definitely one to ride to.
B5 lays back a bit on the mid tempo love song "Nobody," while Patrick slows the pace even more on the sweet ballad, "Teacher's Pet." "It's about a boy liking a girl but then he finds out she's his substitute teacher," he explains. Elsewhere the boys heat things up a bit with the catchy "Dance 4 U," which doubles as a party anthem and an invitation to romance.
While B5 certainly delivers the goods in the recording studio, the full brunt of their powerful punch can only be felt in person. Onstage, B5 is alternately a classic group of male crooners, a posse of supercharged free styling B-Boys, and a team of acrobatic daredevils literally flipping from one end of the stage to the next. Offstage, the boys are regular teenagers who, as Patrick, the comedian of the group, notes, like "girls, shoes and clothes." Each of the boys brings their own flavor to the table both as artists and as individuals. Dustin, the eldest brother, sums it up: "Kelly is a little bit of a rebel. He breaks down the raps and writes most of his own stuff. The rest of us all sing lead. Patrick does a lot of the choreography; Carnell is more laidback and hits those really high notes. He also works on choreography. Everybody loves little bro Bryan! He puts a lot of emotion into his singing and the girls love that," Dustin teases. "Dustin is kinda the all around guy," adds Carnell. "He not only helps with putting the shows together but he also tries to keep us in line."
As a group, B5 is tight, totally synchronized and unified on stage. As brothers, they're even tighter. Says Patrick, "All brothers and sisters have arguments. We don't fight but we do have disagreements." Kelly adds, "We just argue about stupid stuff sometimes but that's just brotherly love." Bryan agrees: "Yeah. We're a real close family."
B5 is excited about what the future holds for them. "We're looking forward to the album coming out, doing a lot of shows and meeting our fans!" Dustin echoes, "We just can't wait for the album to drop because we've been doing this for awhile." "We don't want to be one of those one hit wonders," says Patrick. "We want to be around for a long time." With the passion and drive that B5 brings, there's a good chance that they will be around for a very long time! This is one family that you'll want to be a part of!