Viewers of last week’s, American Idol were surprised by a performance by an up and coming singer, song writer named Travis Garland. On the show we saw the person credited for discovering Travis was blogger, Perez Hilton who talked with Ryan Seacrest. However what hardcore Travis fans already know is , he was in fact discovered by Chris Stokes and was a member of boy band, NLT.
For those that do not know, Stokes is the man credited for mnnaging R&B boy band, B2K, which featured Omarion. Before that Stokes managed another R&B boy band, Immature aka IMX. N:T (Not Like Them) was most likely meant to be Stoke’s answer to *N Sync for a new generation. The group was made up of Travis Garland, Kevin McHale, Justin “JJ” Thorne and Vahe “V” Sevani. He signed them to his label TUG (Th Ultimate Group) which has had various distribution through Geffen, Interscope, Universal and Epic Records. NLT hooked up with some of the hottest in the industry to help shape their debut album. With the guidance of Stokes and former teen idol, Marques Houston, the guys worked on a Pop/R&B sound. They had songs like, “That Girl” produced by The Underdogs, and “She Said, I Said” produced by Timbaland They even covered “Angel” a lesser known single performed by Pharrell Williams from his solo album, In My Mind. With the right mix of good looks, dance move, and a soulful sounds with Pop sensability, NLT seemed to have the strongest chance to break as a group out of all the new melennium’s new generation of boy bands. (Varsity Fanclub of Capitol Records, V Factory of Reprise/Warner Bros and NLT from TUG/Geffen/Interscope) The guys had thousands of loyal fans and support from key trend setting DJs like Jojo Wright of 102.7 KIIS FM in Los Angeles.
Despite all the buzz and even touring on Johnny Wtight’s “Bandemonium” Tour with Menudo and V Factory, the guys could not break at radio. Geffen made one last attempt to help create traction for them by releasing the Ryan Tedder produced “Karma” as a last single and video. But after Geffen/Interscope pushed back the release date for their intended debut album, (originally intended for a 2007 release) Not Like Them, it was eventually cancelled. The guys then went their separate way in 2009.
Since leaving the group all four members have been doing different things to stay in the entertainment business. Most notably, Kevin McHale who has appeared on, The Office and is a regular cast member of Fox’s hit music series, Glee.. As previously mentioned, Travis Garland has also been able to find life after NLT as well. He managed to sign a solo record deal with Interscope Records. This happend after his popularity grew online. He began releasing viral videos of him singing over already known songs, and making them his own. His most poular video/song remixes are “Dead And Gone” (originally by T.I. Featuring Justin Timberlake) and “Beautiful Nightmare” (Originally “Sweet Dreams” by Beyonce Knowles)
Travis and Kevin’s success after NLT is a testament to how nuch the music industry has changed though the years. Both these guys are clearly two very talented young men, their currebt success after the long road shows that. However because this generation of kids’ viewing and listening habbits have changed socially, maybe the presentation of a boy band is not as affective. Teens of today are growing up finding music on the computer instead of MTV’s TRL. Since both Garland and McHale were able to eventually find an audiance to show their obvious talent, it shows that maybe some record executives need to reevaluate how they market to the kids who buy the music in the digital era? Maybe there are many Pop stars out there with talent that are not getting to a hungry audiance waiting to love them? This would all be because the record label they are signed to is too old school to actually reach the audiance willing to buy their product? The question has to be asked if the presentation heavy boy bands of years past like *N Sync or Backstreet Boys would have made it in today’s music business. Can you imagine today’s music industry without someone like Justin Timberlake ever being able to develop because of marketing problems at the label? The music industry is certainly changing fast, but one thing remains true, a hit is a hit! If the song is good and the artist is talented, they will eventually shine through. This is why Clizbeats is cheering for Travis Garland and is wishing him luck with finally getting the recondition he deserves!
The first single from Travis’ untitled solo album will be, “Believe” co-written by Travis with producer, Danja. It is a slight departure from his sound with NLT, but it without a doubt shows us that Travis’s skills as a performer have developed nicely Clizbeats predicts as we always do that Travis Garland is the next big Pop star in 2010! Look for Travis Garland’s new album to be released later this year via Geffen/Interscope Records.
“Believe” (Studio Version)
(Produced By Danja)
(Live On American Idol)
Travis Garland on MTV’s 10 On Top
Travis Garland Remixes
“Dead And Gone”
(Originally By T.I. Featuring Justin Timberlake)
(Originally “Sweet Dreams” By Beyonce Knowles)
NLT Related songs
(Produced By The Underdogs)
“She Said, I Said”
(Produced By Timbaland)
(Produced By Ryan Tedder)