A group of three young gentlemen who turned in their choir robes to be a part of the R&B group FAM is now attracting attention from Def Jam Recordings and is already in the spotlight on the Hill.
Micah Roland, Dekywan Debose and Andrew Williams started singing in church between the ages of 3 and 8. Now the students at Florida A&M University are singing together and slowly making their way into the entertainment industry.
Since they united in the summer of 2004, FAM has been performing at various campus events, including the recent Cingular Concert where Def Jam recognized their talent.
“They saw us at a rawest form,” said Roland, a 21-year-old music education sophomore from Pensacola.
Roland said after they performed three of their original songs, a Def Jam representative approached the group about joining Bobby Valentino and Megan Rochell on the Cingular tour, which travels to Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the country.
The group said it is currently negotiating with Def Jam about joining the tour and getting signed with the label.
While the group’s members await confirmation, they say they will continue to make strives here on the Hill. The group recently auditioned to be an opening act for this year’s homecoming concert.
“Our whole goal is to perform as much as possible,” said Debose, a sophomore business administration student from Sanford.
One of the major issues concerning the future success of the group is the fact that they do not have a permanent manager or publicist.
“We are shopping around,” Debose, 19, said. “We don’t want to jump to whatever comes our way.”
The group currently has a friend serving as a liaison between the group and different entities.
Although the members work as a cohesive unit, the members have individual goals they would like to achieve.
The oldest member of the group, Roland said his motivation comes from his family.
He is inspired by his sister, who is performing in the Broadway musical “The Lion King.”
“My sister more than anything let me know that success can happen,” Roland said. “This is a platform.”
Roland was exposed to performing at an early age while touring with the Pensacola Children’s Choir. The choir performed at the White House twice.
Debose excelled in his craft while attending a performing arts school. “It (the school) got me performing and it incorporated my singing,” Debose said.
Family members constantly motivate Debose.
“I come from a long line of singers, and no one has really done anything,” Roland said. “I want to be the first one.”
Williams, a sophomore music voice applied student from Gainesville, is no stranger to performing or entertaining. Prior to FAM he sang in three other groups, including one gospel group. His family choir, the “Blunt Family,” opened for Shirley Caesar.
“Now, I’m at another level,” Williams, 19, said. ” The chemistry with the group FAM is so different. When I used to sing with other groups it was only one or two people out of the group who could really sing, but with FAM, everyone holds their own.”
The group appreciates the support of several praying family members. Because the three have diverse backgrounds with similar motivations and inspirations, they work well and feed off of each other.
Roland hopes that everybody realizes what the group is trying to accomplish. “We are trying to bring back that real R&B.”