After an intense but rewarding journey Curtis, Amer, Angelo, Ryan and Kyle—better known as Rebel Coast—won the first season of The Next Star: SuperGroup. They conquered their obstacles of dancing, group dynamics and individuality, not to mention had their first single “We Are The Brave” reach #1 on iTunes music video charts when it was released.
Faze caught up with the winners after they took the crown to chat about music inspiration, The Next Star: SuperGroup highlights, the finale and what we can expect from this group of rebels.
What kept you motivated to continue singing and pursuing a career in music?
Amer: I think that once you get involved in music it sticks with you—it becomes a real passion. I think that even if I don’t make it one day in the music industry, I’m always going to be someone who’s playing music.
Kyle: People play sports and stuff to get all of their anger and aggression out. Well, I don’t play sports. I play music, and writing is like an out of release for stress.
Who inspires you musically?
Kyle: The three major inspirations for me are Marianas Trench, Hedley and Simple Plan. I didn’t really plan for the blue hair (like Mariana’s Trench lead man Josh Ramsay). I just wanted to do something different for the finale and they were like “we’re going to go blue/black” like it was in the summer. I was like “okay, but let’s throw in more blue because it’ll pop more.”
Amer: For me it would be Ed Sheeran, John Mayer and The Weekend. I think John Mayer is a common interest among us.
Curtis: My favourite artist is Ben Howard. He’s a huge inspiration to me, but I’m also a huge classic rock fan like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
Ryan: Mine would be John Mayer and The Beatles.
Angelo: My top three would be Ed Sheeran, John Mayor and Gavin DeGraw.
You came to the show as individuals and then were put into groups. Were you nervous about who would be in the group?
Kyle: I wasn’t really too nervous when we were put into groups because anyone who is here has the same drive and motivation to be here so it’s not like you’re going to be put into a “bad group” so it’s kind of like a win-win whatever way it turns out.
Curtis: I was a little bit biased because I wanted to be with Ryan—we go to school together so we had a long term friendship before the show. To be perfectly honest, all of the guys on this show are all amazing, and I’d love to work with every single one of them.
What’s a personal challenge you had to face on the show and how did you overcome it?
Ryan: The dancing made us all step out of our shells. Personally, I play guitar and most of these guys have the similar kind of vibe. Stepping onto the stage as a boy band and learning all of these steps is definitely a change.
How would you describe the finale?
Ryan: I think it was everything I expected it to be and more. There were so many people there! We were kind of nervous about the performance because we were working with dancers and the stage was huge, but I think we got down to work and we really put everything into it.
What was going through your mind while you were on stage with Rebel Coast and Jordan Francis was about to announce the winner?
Angelo: The fact that a whole year’s worth of work was leading up to that one moment—it was the most intense moment of my life. I know I’ll never forget it. It seemed like forever.
Curtis: It was definitely one of the most essential moments of my life. Everything I’ve ever done musically and all of my dreams of being a musician just sort of flashed through my mind. I was excited and scared at the same time. When they announced it, I was still sort of in shock, but as soon as I got off stage and started to talk to some of the producers and dancers, I burst into tears because I was so happy.
Kyle: I was good and held my composure until we got off stage. Then Nico and I started to talk and I just lost it—it was very weird!
What are some highlights while being on TNS: SuperGroup?
Ryan: I think I can speak for all of us when I say that the music video so far was definitely the best part of our experience, so far. I don’t know where to start, there were so many people there, so many cameras. There was a lot going on. We partied all day, essentially, with cameras on us. We worked so hard on that and seeing it go to #1 on iTunes was amazing.
Amer: Also when we trended—that was unexpected. After the episode, when our name changed, we trended on Twitter like five minutes afterward. (#RebelCoast!)
What’s something that TNS: SuperGroup has taught you that you’ll continue to apply in your life?
Ryan: One thing I’ll take from this whole experience, aside from stage presence and learning how to sing, is how to work with people in the industry, making connections and how to make a name for yourself. It’s not just about who’s the best singer or dancer, you need to have good people skills and that’s what this experience has taught me.
Curtis: I didn’t have any vocal training before The Next Star; I took guitar lessons. I think that I’ve definitely learned a lot from our experts—Nico and Sarah. We had a lot of talk about separating our mind and body and I feel like I’ve gone really far in the past couple of month, improving as a vocalist and within our group dynamics.
Kyle: I feel like, for all of us, at the beginning it was all about trying to figure out who would be in the centre and when. We were all competing to be leads, but then we realized it’s not about one person; it’s about all of us as a unit.
What are you determined to do now that the show is over and Rebel Coast was crowned Canada’s first SuperGroup?
Curtis: We have two new singles, “We Are The Brave” and “Don’t Stop Now,” available on iTunes. Hopefully we’ll have a music video out soon for “Don’t Stop Now” (which was partly filmed at the finale). We’re going to record some more and start going on tour with The Next Star Season 7. Maybe another tour over the summer. We want to continue as a band and keep making music together.
Want more from Rebel Coast? They’ll be performing live during The Next Star auditions in Montreal (April 29) and in Toronto (May 17 and 18).
Keep up with Rebel Coast and download their singles “We Are The Brave” and “Don’t Stop Now” on iTunes.
Check out our interview with The Next Star: SuperGroup runners-up Electric Ave