By Red Dimaandal
What is it about crush-worthy brothers and catchy tunes? Formed in 2007, this Orlando, Florida-based trio won the hearts of many with their upbeat pop songs—Connor writes vocal melodies, Riley writes lyrics, and Toby helps with both. In 2014, the boys bagged their third annual Macy’s iHeartRadio Rising Star Campaign, which then landed them a spot at the prestigious iHeartRadio Music Festival. Now, two years later, the band just released a new EP titled All the Lights with their new single “When I’m Gone” dropping to rave reviews. Here, Chalk gets an exclusive one-on-one chat with Before You Exit’s Riley McDonough—check out what we found out:
1. He loves acoustic blues music. Although BYE plays a lot of cool pop music, Riley considers John Mayer and Ed Sheeran his biggest musical influences. He’s a singer-songwriter through and through!
2. He’s so talented. This young artist isn’t just the band’s lead vocalist. He’s also the band’s composer, bass guitarist, and video editor. Yes, he does it all!
3. He’s a big kid. Now 22, Riley still likes drawing cartoon characters in his spare time. What a cutie!
4. He’s super passionate. Nobody likes half-hearted lyrics. For Before You Exit, the three bros use their personal experiences as a jump-off for their music. The band’s name is actually inspired by the sentiment “make a difference before you exit.”
5. He’s crazy humble! Riley and his brothers work hard every day of their lives to get to the top. They never think to stop, except to appreciate how far they’ve come. “There’s no way we’d be anywhere without our incredible fans,” he says. “They’re behind us every step of the way. They’re a huge piece of this band."
Image courtesy of RCA Records. Special thanks to Denise Sia of Ivory Music & Video.