UK R&B quintet MiC LOWRY discuss why new EP ‘MOOD’ plays on “social media’s culture”

UK R&B quintet MiC LOWRY discuss why new EP ‘MOOD’ plays on “social media’s culture” and look back at how they got together as a group.

By Daniella Ekundayo

This talented R&B quintet from Liverpool compromises of five members who go by the names of Kaine Ofoeme, Akia Jones, Delleile Ankrah, Michael Welch and Ben Sharples. The boys gained popularity for assisting Justin Bieber on the European leg of his ‘Purpose’ tour. Yet, their mesmerising harmonies, soulful riffs and runs and distinctive music covers is what first catapulted them into the public eye.

During the interview, the boys expressed their admiration for the 90s era saying, if they could transport themselves back to any era of music “it would be the 90s of course”. They went on to express their love for 90s r&b groups and how the likes of “Boyz II Men, 112, Destiny’s Child and Brandy” have greatly inspired them. The five-piece group ranging from 21-22 years old have successfully brought back these childhood influences, in a way that fits with the current state of contemporary r&b. MiC LOWRY went on to praise recent musical projects by artists outside the r&b sphere such as “Wretch 32, Giggs and AJ Tracey” to name a few, adding that “it’s a great time for UK music right now”.

They gave recognition to rising r&b stars such as “Zak Abel, Jorja Smith and Mabel” whose success is creating a diverse number of equally popular genres in the music industry. Before recording sessions, they sat down and listened to several old school anthems with the intention of reigniting those “throwback” vibes. Whilst Mood does have this old school essence, they believe they’ve created a “contemporary r&b record” by bringing their own kind of “British twist” to it.

The boys declared MOOD to be an appropriate title for the EP and revealed that they wanted to create something that plays heavily on “social media’s culture”. They worked with various producers on this EP, including some very talented individuals that worked on Bruno Mars’ last album and gifted musician Babyface. They plan to spend some more time in the US, when working on their next project.

MOOD “reflects what the tracks are about and our different types of moods” Ben describes. “It was a standout thing for us to go with that title” they all agreed. The EP is a way for the boys to return to their r&b routes after having recently released songs which fall more “on the commercial and pop side of things”. They hope the project will give people an insight into what they’re about and the type of music they’re “trying to put forward now”.

The seven-track musical project has a variation of slow-paced love songs and slightly more up-tempo songs. Boomerang and Know What You Like are indeed my personal favourites. They admitted that Know What You Like was in fact their favourite song to record and let out how they were all “going crazy, hyping up the track” whilst in the studio. I think we can all agree that Know What You Like is a bop!

Taking us on a trip down memory lane, they began sharing how they got together. “We knew about each other whilst growing up in secondary school” they said. Despite this, it was not until they began attending vocal workshops that they got acquainted with each other. This is where they began “singing together” and truly understanding how each of their own vocal abilities could come together to make what we identify as MiC LOWRY today. They formed a close bond, recognise each other as “family” and even went onto say “we see more of each other than our own families”. Many remain unaware of just how MiC LOWRY started and that the group occurred naturally. It is their collective “love for music and singing” that continues to strengthen their bond.

“This is a friendship that has passed the point of being considered a friendship, it has now become a family” band member Ben reiterates. We then ventured onto the topic of Bieber’s European Tour. MiC LOWRY then went on to share a rare, completely unexpected and surreal moment. They explained that one night, themselves and all of Bieber’s crew headed back to his mansion. What began as a regular party with music and festivities ended with Bieber switching off the lights and music and then uttering “let’s all have a game of hide and seek”. Strangely enough, they ended up playing “manhunt” in one of Bieber’s mansions.

Having been in the industry for a couple years now, I believed it vital that the boys share any advice from their experiences with other groups who are also trying to come up in the industry…

“Rehearse as often as possible. When you’re harmonizing and singing together the main contributor to that is just making sure that you’re all singing regularly. Subconsciously your voices will kind of fit where they need to be. You’ll be able to familiarize yourselves with each other’s sound. We’ve been doing this now together for six years. It’s a lot of time spent singing together. We started focusing on doing music covers and different arrangements. Looking back on it now, it would’ve been great if we would have started by writing together. We left this original side of things. We think artists should start with this creative side of things, focusing on the original music as soon as possible. As with singing, it takes a while to become rounded artists and know what exact sound you want to make together.”

To close, they ended the interview with an assertion of where they would like to see themselves in the next five years…

“In the next five years, we still want to be touring, strong. Each time we go on tour, we want more people to hear our music. It’s the usually really, it’s about becoming a bigger artist and sharing the music to more people across the world.”

MOOD EP is out now! Stream/Download:

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