Within five minutes of meeting me, you’ll know a few things, I love TV and grew up absolutely obsessed with Backstreet Boys. Yes, within five minutes I’ll let you know those two things. So when On The Outside popped up in my life, I was intrigued. While I grew up in the era of boy bands, over the years they’ve been a rarity in pop music with only a few reaching those BSB levels like Jonas Brothers, One Direction, and BTS. However, with On The Outside, I feel like they’re well on their way because they aren’t just a pop group -they’re a country-pop boy band. In an industry that’s dominated by solo artists, On The Outside is proving that boy bands have a place in the genre.
We talked with On The Outside about their country-pop roots, thriving on Tik Tok, and more in this back and forth between a ‘Tiger Beat’ fanatic for life and the next generation of boy bands.
Kendra: As someone who spent their entire adolescence glued to MTV and debating the likes of Backstreet Boys and N’SYNC, I am ashamed I never thought of a country-pop boy band. What a great, sort of undiscovered realm to pioneer. How did you all come together, and do you think country music is ready for this?
On The Outside: It all started with the brain of Mike Shimshack (one of our producers). Mike’s idea of starting a Pop-Country boy band came years ago. He connected with our current manager, Aimee Nadeau, to help the idea come to life! Aimee ended up discovering and getting in touch with Devin, our first member, and the rest of the guys were brought on through ongoing friendships, Dawson being the exception of finding him from YouTube! We all meshed so well from the start and formed an instant brotherhood. We truly think this is the perfect time for country music to accept a boyband of its own. The pop-country trend continues to grow in the industry, and we want to be a part of that.
Kendra: I love the idea that you’re One Direction and Dan + Shay musical lovechild. Perfect explanation as a whole, but if you each had to pick a boy band and country icon to pick your style, which two would each of you pick?
Bloom: One Direction and Chris Stapleton.
Dawson: One Direction and Luke Combs.
Dev: Why Don’t We and Kane Brown.
Jon: Jonas Brothers and Sam Hunt
Sam: One Direction and Thomas Rhett
Kendra: Since starting up last year you’ve released a lot of singles, including your latest “Why Me.” How much have you noticed growing as a group since your debut single to “Why Me?”
On The Outside: Our growth as a band has been exponential since our debut. “Why Me” has really accelerated our growth and we have many more songs already recorded that will expand our growth even more!
Kendra: Are there any plans for a whole album?
On The Outside: It’s been no secret to our fans that we have more than a whole album already recorded! There are definitely plans for an album release.
Kendra: No matter what era we’re in, one thing remains the same with boy bands – a pretty intense fandom. How has it been with your Outsiders?
On The Outside: Our Outsiders have been the most amazing fans and we are proud to call them our family. It’s always been our goal to create a community where we can all come together and truly connect. What’s unique about this fandom is that we are actually a part of it too. We, like our fans, are all Outsiders and we all plan to be nothing but the truest forms of ourselves. We accept and love one another for that. To us, this will always be more than just a fandom.
Kendra: While the boy bands I liked as a kid utilize social media today, they’re not using it like artists like yourselves are. Since you’re the boy band of Tik Tok, what’s your advice when it comes to making a viral Tik Tok moment?
On The Outside: When it comes to making a viral Tik Tok the best thing to do is watch a lot of Tik Toks. You have to understand the humor of the app and what makes it big. Then just keep making videos until you find something that sticks!
Kendra: With everything that is going on in the world right now, can you share a song that never fails to get you through when the world around you feels like a mess?
Bloom: A song that comforts me through this mess is “Six Feet Apart” by Luke Combs. It’s from an artist’s perspective about everything that’s going on but reassures that “there will be light after dark, someday when we aren’t six feet apart.”
Dawson: The Beatles have always grabbed my attention. One of their songs “Here Comes the Sun” reminds me that things will get better and take everything day by day. That’s been something I’ve had to remind myself many times.
Dev: “Love It If We Made it” by The 1975 has been my song of motivation during these times. It’s really about the cold hard truth of continuous hardships that happen around us. I love how raw it is. It’s all about raising awareness of these problems in society, and how glorious it would be to make better of those.
Jon: “So Will I” by Hillsong United
Sam: A song that has recently helped me through this very trying time is “Highs & Lows” by Hillsong Young & Free. It’s a beautiful song that reminds me that no matter how dark the world gets or how badly I fail, there is always hope and God will always be here to help me make it through.