New breed of boy bands takes over airwaves

Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:07pm EDT
 

By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Boy band fever is storming the music scene in the United States, led by the Brits who are breaking away from the slick, squeaky-clean image of old as they battle to become America's newest pin-ups.

The five young men of The Wanted take on their baby-faced rivals One Direction with their self-titled debut EP released this week, following One Direction's No. 1 first album on the U.S. Billboard charts last month.

It's more than 10 years since New Kids on the Block, Backstreet Boys and N'Sync ruled the U.S. music scene and sent hordes of screaming young girls to record stores.

In Britain, boy bands have never gone out of fashion, although the new breed appears to have grown up.

If One Direction are the co-ordinated, clean-cut, media-savvy boy band, The Wanted are the rebellious antidote, uncensored by their team and left to win over audiences by goofing around with each other, and the media.

"We're different, we all play instruments, we don't dance and we don't dress very well," The Wanted's Tom Parker told Reuters.

The Wanted - Parker, Max George, Siva Kaneswaran, Jay McGuiness and Nathan Sykes, aged between 19 and 23 - were put together after mass auditions in the U.K. in 2009, and are managed by Scooter Braun, the mastermind behind Canadian teen idol Justin Bieber.

"All the acts that I manage are built organically and they all get to be exactly who they are," said Braun, 30, who encourages The Wanted to be open about drinking, partying and dating girls.   Continued...

 
Manager Scooter Braun (3rd L) poses with members of British-Irish boyband The Wanted (from L-R) Siva Kaneswaran, Tom Parker, Jay McGuiness, Max George and Nathan Sykes for a portrait in Los Angeles, California April 4, 2012. Boy band fever is storming the music scene in the United States, led by the Brits who are breaking away from the slick, squeaky-clean image of old as they battle to become America's newest pin-ups. Picture taken April 4, 2012. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni