AHHA: After seeing members of previous seasons of Making The Band struggle with success following the show, are any of you concerned with your group and the way it will develop after the show is done?
Dawn: No, we watched the previous shows of Making The Band and we love them, we still see them around – Babs and Ness – but we find our situation a little bit different just because we’re trying to take over a new realm [of] urban pop. We’re five girls, it’s very different, and to each their own. We look forward to their solo projects and things like that, but we look at our situation as our situation, and we’re looking toward our future and every situation is a new beginning.
Aubrey: We’re really confident with our talent, abilities, and work ethic. All five of us are confident in that, you can achieve anything when you believe you can.
AHHA: Who from the rejected girls do you wish were still with you?
D. Woods: Well actually we stay in contact with quite a few of the girls, I know Aubrey and Aundrea are still in contact with some of the girls from the very first season.
Aubrey: I talk to Malika all the time.
AHHA: Oh good. How is she?
Aubrey: She’s good. She’s hustling, she’s the same old Malika that everyone fell in love with. You can’t not love her, bottom line she’s great.
D. Woods: We have talked about this all the time, you know the people that we miss [like] ‘Oh we need to call such and such, I wanna call her up, what’s she doing? But you know what? If she was in this group it would be a whole ‘nother story. It’s like the chemistry that we have and [that] we’ve developed is very unique, and I don’t think we would be at this point and as smoothly as it can go; ’cause it’s been a very rocky road just with all the elements thrown at us.
AHHA: What do you guys think about [Diddys previous girl group] Dream, or what did you think about Dream when they were out. Why do you feel that they didn’t make it?
Shannon: Every group that’s come before us has fought battles and now we don’t have to fight because they fought for us. They’ve paved the way and been an inspiration. Why they didn’t succeed or continue to succeed, everyone has a different story. I think one major misconception, or even one major problem that falls with girl groups, is ego – where youve got the one lead singer, which of course we don’t have. We have five lead singers and that’s something that Diddy’s proud of and that he was aiming for to make it different; and we are so individual from appearance to personalities to style of singing. We’re not feuding with each other, so I think that we just have a different make up that is gonna send us a different direction.
Aubrey: As an individual in a group, what I’ve seen in most other group situations is there’s some certain individuals that never get to get their message across, they never get to feel like they’ve been heard. You can do that for a little while and the money and popularity may keep you in it for a little while, but that fades real quick when you’re feeling trapped. The money and the fame that you’ve gained may not be worth it, because it may not be all that you thought it was, or maybe you have enough to get away and feel like you can do something else. As a group, we’re able to communicate what our individual messages are, but then also come together as a group with our group message. I feel like to anybody who criticizes girl groups or compares us to girl groups [and thinks] that we’re gonna fail, that’s your answer. Solid, simple as that. We all get a say and we all get a piece of us that’s being viewed by the world and none of us feel like, Can you let me talk for five seconds, girl? Can you let me have a note? We’re all getting that chance.
AHHA: What is the best advice that Diddy has given you on ways to preserve your sexy?
Aundrea: [laughs] Keep your toes painted, your toes and your nails have to be done.
Aubrey: Less is more, that’s his biggest one.
Dawn: He feels like you don’t have to try to be it – if you’re it, you’re it.
Aubrey: It’s a lot about swagger
AHHA: This year there are quite a few people coming out with albums. Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Omarion – various people that are kind of in that same urban pop crossover type of music. What sets you apart from those artists, and what are you doing to market yourselves to stand out?
Dawn: We’re a group, that’s number one. We’re interracial and we’re trying to be international, so that’s another great thing to look forward to. It’s very fresh and new, because even though Destiny’s Child was out and the Pussycat Dolls and all of those girls were out, it hasn’t been this diverse look of different color and different sound. Then of course, the fact that we have the five girls that sing lead. It’s automatic.
D. Woods: I think also, we don’t think so much, Ooh, how are we gonna be set apart? I think we think more along the lines of , What are they bringing and how can we add to the scene? – we just love music so much and we respect all [of their music].We’ve come across different ones you’ve named a little bit and just had conversations with them. We’re kinda just really excited about a movement, a music industry rebirth, because it’s gettin’ a little monotonous right now. So we’re just kinda thinking, Hey he’s bringing a little bit of this and that’s okay because we’re on this little page right here, and it’s just gonna make listeners, fans and viewers really excited to be inspired by our music, come to our shows and make their own music hopefully.
Dawn: Yeah ’cause there’s room in the industry for everybody. It’s not like, They’re coming out, we cant come out. There’s room for everybody.
AHHA: Even though artists don’t necessarily like to be held to being role models, I’m sure you do recognize that young girls all over the world are watching you, they look up to you and they’re going to stand in front of you and cry just because they’ve seen you on TV. How conscious are you of how you present yourselves and your music to your fans?
Aundrea: Extremely. I know that is something that we all understand so much. I looked so much up to Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson. They were such huge influences. I know that we wanna be those types of people that the girls are in their rooms trying to sing the songs that we’re singing. We understand that the way we look and how we carry ourselves, other girls are going to do that. That’s so important to us to put out a very positive image and one that their parents can be okay with, stuff like that is so important to all of us.
Aubrey: We represent every type of woman too, there’s no kid out there that’s gonna feel like, Oh they’re really not my style. We’ve got every extreme in this group, from ultra conservative to ultra crazy. Not that that’s the only aspect of our personality, but we represent all aspects of womanhood and some represent certain qualities more than others. Either way we don’t hate on that, because all that does is bring more people in to hear a message that maybe they wouldn’t normally have flocked to – based on somebody who maybe they did flock to. And maybe they can get a broader message because we all have such different messages.
AHHA: What are people getting on your album?
Aundrea: It’s a fun album
Dawn: That’s the great thing, it’s fresh. It’s fresh new music, to me it’s not even about the beats and the sound it’s all about the energy that we bring to the record. It’s so different because our tones, just coming from so many different backgrounds to that make that work and to make the sound that we’ve brought together – its a new sound. There’s a little bit of everything, it’s not all urban, pop or R&B. We can touch every person out there and that was our goal – to be able to grab everybody.
Aubrey: You’ve never heard anything like it, when have you ever heard five people lead in a multiracial group, all with different sounds? That’s like putting a Christina [Aguilera] with an Alicia [Keys], with a Beyonce. They’ve established themselves individually first, but all of us are very talented women coming together and giving you such extreme sounds. It’s something that [makes] people go like, I don’t know about all that. It’s crazy and we were even skeptical like, Is this gonna work? When we got in the studio the first time and actually gelled and blended as a group the sound was just very unique. It’s not obvious, and it’s not something you heard a million times, it’s not a voice you’ve heard [before]. We’re definitely a record that you can listen to for a long period time, because there’s such a different amount of sound on it.
AHHA: Out of all of [the producers] you worked with, if you had to go through three of them who really do you feel you gelled with the best and brought the best out of you in the studio?
D. Woods: I really feel like Timbaland and his crew really, really helped us find a really great sound and used us in a very creative way, we are like instruments – because he’s so musical, and he has all of these different polyrhythms and everything. They just put us in there, and we’re another bassline or another [set of] strings – instead of him doing strings on the MPC, we was the strings. We really had fun in the studio with them, so that energy that we had, and the chemistry with the personalities transcended to the record. I would have to say also [Bryan] Cox and his team, we really gelled with [them] and had a great time creating, and they really brought us out vocally, pushed us vocally.
Dawn: Of course, you know, the man Rodney Jerkins, just because he is great at what he does, when he comes in and the room gets quiet and it’s like, Let’s work. Its just very intense. His presence is very intense. And Jim Jonsin is just crazy.
Danity Kane: Yeeeeaaah! Jim Jonsin.
Dawn: You wanna talk about swagger? His swagger is so crazy.
Aubrey: He brought us pink air force ones!
Dawn: He walks in, and it’s like L.A. to the fullest. He walks in, and hes just so fun. His team Super and Typewriter, they’re writers, two women. It was great to finally work with women, that was mad energy too.
Aubrey: He loved us like daughters, he was just awesome.
Dawn: He did “Showstopper”[which is] our single, and another joint on our record called “Heartbreaker” and it’s is mad pop. So he did an urban record and then flipped it and gave us a pop record.