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    Making the Band 4 Season Finale

    On Saturday, I got the chance to attend the taping of the MTB4 Season Finale Xica and I were in the building, as Day 26 and Danity Kane celebrated the release of their new albums. Donnie J, the newest solo artist on Bad Boy preformed his new single featuring Diddy, which will be available on iTunes, this Tuesday. Day 26’s new self-titled album also drops next Tuesday featuring their newest single, “Got Me Going”. The energy was definitely high as the the artists performed in front of a live studio audience. Diddy made some surprise announcements—all three acts would be going on tour together later this year and there will be another season of Making the Band 4. Check out some of the interviews from backstage.

    Day 26

    Anita: Hey guys! You were great at [HOT 97] Full Frontal!

    Brian: [In Michael Jackson voice]It felt good, yes it felt good!

    A: Well your album is coming out…

    B: Yep, this Tuesday. Since you’re from HOT 97, you both get two copies!

    [Laughter]

    A: So, about the album, should we be looking for special appearances, producers…?

    Will: Mario Winans..

    Robert: Brian Michael Cox

    W: Danja Soul Diggers…Diddy of course

    Q: Our album is fire.

    B: It’s fire!!!

    Q: Not to throw any other CDs out the way, but I think with this, R&B is coming back. The way it used to be, with Jodeci, New Edition, we did our thing and tried to bring it back.

    Xica: How do you feel being compared to people like Jodeci?

    All: It’s a honor!

    X: Well, hey I don’t know, some people would feel a certain type of way…

    W: We think of it like this, right now, [people will compare us because] we’re new. Right now those comparisons are amazing, because those people have sold out arenas. So we don’t mind that. We’ll take it for now, but after Tuesday, we’ll see what happens.

    A: We were talking to Ankh Ra [vocal coach] backstage and he was looking on at your guys with admiration, and we were saying that there are really no other boy or girl groups out there right now, so you definitely have the opportunity to pave your own way.

    Q: We are number one on MTV right now, number one on Amazon (even though our album isn’t out yet)…

    X: Well Congrats, and thank you!

    Seven, producer

    Anita: How was it working with Donnie, ya’ll definitely vibed on the show and had really good chemistry, how was that?

    Seven: Yea, Donnie’s my brother. He’s genuine, he’s a killer…He’s not like anyone who’s out there right now. We have a duet together right now that’s called Rolling Stone.

    A: Did you work on the whole album together?

    S: Yes, and Diddy is the master of ceremonies. He knows how to put the whole thing together.

    A: Great, well we can’t wait for the album to come out to see what’s happening on that.

    S: Thank you.

    Dawn & Shannon of Danity Kane

    Anita: Hey girls, so you’re album dropped last Tuesday, how is it doing?

    Dawn: We’re currently number one. Which is amazing, it’s not an easy thing to do, like we did the first time, and I think we’re going to break the numbers we did the first time. I think what’s most important is that it’s our baby, we wrote…[inaudible]

    A: Yes, we saw on the show that you got the opportunity to write a track, and have the girls sing it

    Xica: That’s a big deal, a lot of artists don’t get that opportunity.

    D: [It seems like] Your publishing is bigger than the songwriting and we wanted to show that side

    Shannon: I think when people hear you’re from a reality show, they’re like “Yeah…okay”. It’s like we wanted to prove ourselves…

    D: It’s not like one day we woke up and decided that we wanted to sing.

    X: Let me ask you a personal question. After watching the show, do you feel more positive about yourself?

    D: Yes, I always did. Coming from New Orleans…I come from a city where its a lot of light skin, dark skin [issues]. I wish I could have went deeper into the story [on the show], but you… know I can’t. I come from a city where this [referencing her skin color] is not hot. You know what, I know God is here…You know I think all girls go through something like this and you know… it’s real.

    DWoods of Danity Kane

    Anita: I wanted to ask you about the makeover show. How did it feel with Diddy kinda came out of no where, criticizing your look?

    DWoods: Well we kind of just expect it now. I think, at the end of the day if you feel good about yourself, you have to just sit back. You can’t look for someone else to give you validation… Like my hairstyle is very extreme and I didn’t know what he was going to say but I liked it, I was ready for him to say something! If I had to change it, then so be it, but I would be ready…but he ended up liking it.

    Xica: What would you say your influence/role…[in the group] is this time around?

    DW: It’s a lot of the same thing. I’ve always been the first one to stand up and initiate the conversation about things that we needed. My flavor or whatever you want to call it… is…they call me they chameleon, I bring something new…I’m definitely a writer. I’ve been writing since before. Collectively, Danity Kane has six placements on this album.

    X: Did you guys ever bump heads during the making of the album, or were you all basically on the same level.

    DW: ….[Each of us wants to do what’s best for the group] We do need to go very international, very high energy very pop, because that what works in the business…

    X&A: Congrats.

    Donnie

    Anita: Congratulations on your new single! How’s the album coming along?

    Donnie: It’s crazy…,like every time we think its finished, we end up recording and doing another hot song and now we have too much. At first I started off I didn’t have enough, we didn’t know what to think like, we want put out the right product…they’re all hot.

    A: Its better to have more songs, then not enough songs. We talked to Seven (producer) earlier, and he was saying that you guys vibed off each other like crazy. On the show you can see how ya’ll fed off one another.

    D: He opened me up to be a whole new artist. I was like Boys II Men, Dru Hill, N*Sync, influence. And now he opened me up to early 80s, late 70s…James Brown.

    A: So he put you on to new things.

    D: Yea, definitely.

    Xica: How much creative influence did you have [on your album]?

    D: I had a lot. I got to write out on almost all the tracks. I did a single with Quarte, he wrote “Get Naked” on Britney Spears’ album, he’s a crazy writer. And this single was written by the Soul Diggers, a lot of people think it was Seven, because the vibe is crazy. I helped influence the track because of what he taught me.

    X: What’s the hardest thing to adjust to now that you’ve made it.

    D: I guess just the traveling a lot. Some people will just be getting to the airport at 8am, ready to go on vacation all happy and excited, and then they’ll meet you and be like, “It’s Donnie from Making the Band”, and I’ll just be arriving from a long week or a long month. But you just have to keep a smile, because their meeting you, like you have to think of it, like if I met Michael Jackson…

    X: Is that your dad?

    D: Yea

    X: And is your Mom here?

    D: Yea, she’s behind me

    X: Do they travel with you often?

    D: Yea, sometimes. My mom is managing me right now.

    X: Where does your family live, where are you from.

    D: Originally from Canarsie, Brooklyn. We moved to Long Island.

    X&A: Thank you for talking with us, Congratulations!

    Anita N. is the staff writer for HOT 97 and HOT97.com

    Xica A. is a videographer for HOT 97

    xicasheadmesevenmeandsevenShannon and DawnNita and DonnieD.Woods and XicaDonnie and Xicamtb4_2mtb4_4Nita and D.Woods

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