Having already delivered a vast array of chart-topping, hit-making artists, including Another Bad Creation, MC Brains, 702, and the history making Boyz II Men, N.E./Bell Biv DeVoe alum, Michael Bivins, an astute impresario like no other, is introducing to the masses his latest musical discovery: the mega-talented Boston, Massachusetts quintet, Beano Boyz Crew. Their sound may be somewhat reminiscent of the glory days of pioneers The Jackson 5 or, of course, the aforementioned R&B juggernaut known as New Edition; however, the Boyz themselves actually identify more closely with the overall unique dance style made famous by the legendary b-boy collective Rock Steady Crew.
Rolling out recently caught up with 2/5 of the Crew, Thornell Williams and RalphC, and this is what transpired …
First things first, please introduce for me the members of the Beano Boyz Crew?
Thornell Williams & Ralph Codio: The members of the Beano Boyz Crew consists of Thornell, Ralph (Codio), Donald (Simmons), Darius (Rutledge), Marquis (Smitherman)…we also rock with a DJ/rapper [Looze Cannon], from Detroit.
How did the five of you actually come together to form the group?
T.W.: Well…before we became the Beano Boyz Crew, some of us were a part of a group called Status Quo from ABDC [America’s Best Dance Crew]. We were introduced to Michael Bivins following our departure from the show, and he began to work with us. We are all from Boston.
How would you all describe and/or define your sound?
T.W.: Our sound is mainly hip-hop and R&B. We have recorded all types of music since we began working with Biv…trying to see what fits best.
Individually, what do each of you bring, both personally and professionally, to the “creative table” when it comes to the overall vibe of the Beano Boyz Crew?
R.C.: Each of us have something different of course. Personally?? We are different with different personalities. We have [Thornell], who is the funny man, a very talented guy that likes to keep the energy high…we have a perfectionist [Marquis], a guy we can depend on to keep it all together…[Donald], a smooth criminal [RalphC], and a big bro of the group [Darius], who makes sure we doing what we do as a Crew. Professionally, we would all agree that we contribute equally in one way or another to what we do.
What particular string of events led to your initial meeting up with the iconic industry taste-maker Mr. Michael Bivins, and eventual inking to his SportyRich Enterprises imprint?
T.W.: Our manager, Terry Walker, grew up with Michael Bivins. He introduced us, following our loss to the Jabbawockeez on MTV’s ABDC. He arranged an audition with Biv following the show and the rest is history. Some of the original members decided to leave. We found some new members and here we are.
That being said, how much overall creative input does Mr. Bivins have when it comes to having a handson approach with “all things” Beano Boyz Crew?
R.C.: We play as a team, and Mike Biv is the head coach. We learn from him. He has a wealth of knowledge.
Your lead single and video is entitled “Supa Model.” Tell me about this track specifically. How did this song even come to fruition?
T.W.: Various producers and writers brought music to the table. Many of the songs were experimental, seeing that we were originally a dance crew. Most of our recording sessions were also development sessions, because we had to find what fits. “Supa Model” was a unanimous decision because it was about the ladies.
“Supa Model” is obviously the first entry from your soon-to-be released debut studio collection. Has your forthcoming LP been titled yet? If so, what does that name represent both to and for you all?
T.W.: As of now…the plan for the title is @TheY, which is where we do all of (our) practices/rehearsals. The Roxbury YMCA has been very good to us; allowing us to have a place to come and practice our craft. Everything took place @TheY…even our initial meeting with Biv!
How did you all discover your musical talent?
T.W.: Our parents had a lot to do with it…we listened to a lot of music at home. We all did.
Who have been your greatest inspirations musically and why?
R.C.: We grew up listening to the teenage Usher, Biggie Smalls and a lot of New Edition and Bell Biv DeVoe — our parents erab– and Biv and his crew are the most successful group from our city. We hope to be as successful as they are, with careers as long as well.
What do you all feel you offer the music industry that we don’t already have in other performers?
T.W.: We pride ourselves on the saying that, “we are not a group…we are a crew!” We want people to feel like they can come to any one of our shows, parties, events and have a good time, enjoy our performances and support us in everything we do. We like to support others as well. It’s about our movement…not just the music.
Have you all encountered any problem getting to this point in your career?
T.W.: Yes…we have been at this for a while…it’s 5 years in the making. We have lost crew members who gave up, causing us to have to regroup. This happened several times, but we’re solid at this point and confident in what we now have.
What do you all want people to get from your music?
T.W.: When people listen to our music, we hope they view it as something new and different that they can get into; especially if they appreciate the art (of) music. We want them to know that the “cool male acts” still exist, and that we can still have the elements of the classic groups before us and still appeal to today’s youth and generation.
When can we expect some new music from you all?
R.C.: Top of 2016.
What has been your greatest achievement(s) so far?
T.W.: We have many, but our greatest achievement as a Crew is not giving up and the brotherhood we have.
If you all could collaborate with any one artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?
R.C.: Chris Brown and Michael Jackson — if he was living — they both make dancing a strong part of their presentation and their music is unique. Chris Brown is the dancer/singer of our generation, so it would be really cool to work with him.
If you all could play any venue in the world, which one would you choose and why?
R.C.: Madison Square Garden, hands down! It’s like the performing mecca! A platform that everybody wants, and many don’t get there. You have to be on another level to be in that building.
One track of yours that you all think defines you all and why.
R.C.: The track that defines us best is ‘Bout That Life,’ which is the name of our documentary. Many youth can identify with what goes on in their ‘hood and with their peers or you can look at it like every young person has dreams of being successful, having fun and money to ball out, so ‘Bout That Life’ defines us as well. We like doing what we do and doing it freely.
Is there anything I left out or just failed to mention?
T.W.: We think you covered it.
Any “parting” message(s) for our readers?
T.W. & R.C.: Follow us on Instagram: @beanoboyzcrew — Peace and Love!