Last week (Aug. 31), rising R&B crooners, Next Town Down announced The Hidden Hills Evergreen Sessions, where they debuted three dope R&B records as part of their “Townies Choice” movement. The premise? Their fans get to choose which singles will land on a special project, dropping this fall.

In an exclusive interview with Jessica Flores, Terence, Tre’Von, Chris, Malik and Leon discuss how they went from viral sensations to the emerging stars they’ve flourishing into.

Terence was singing the gospel in Jackson, MS, when he met Virginia-native Tre through the internet. Terence and Tre moved to Atlanta and linked up with Chris to begin cultivating what they are now. As a then-trio, they searched the “little Michael Jackson” on YouTube and found Leon, and a casual Instagram find led them to Malik.

They decided to fly to Los Angeles and as fate would have, everything felt aligned. “We met and once we met each other in person, finally, rather than Facetime, we knew like off rip,” Chris reminisced. They figured it out piece by piece, and that foundation makes the group so special. As opposed to the traditional executive route where members get scouted and molded into this cookie-cutter image of what a R&B group should be, this story is the complete opposite.

Terence shared a touching reflection from the night they met: “Malik came in and started playing the chords to Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud,” and it wasn’t planned, but they guys just started singing– I got chills,” he said. “I knew without a doubt, yo this is it. Outside of any label, it’s us against the world at this moment. Even before then, the chemistry in the room like geez, I had just met my four best friends.” Despite the room simultaneously agreeing that it was hard to follow up a sentiment like that, Tre had words of his own.  “At least for me, there’s never a moment where I feel alone. Like I don’t mean to get sentimental, but it’s so easy to feel alone doing this music s**t. So, to have other people to talk to that are literally going through the same exact thing, it’s [dope.]”

Next Town Down then was asked about what insecurities they’ve had before they got started and how have they since tackled that. Chris had an interesting perspective. “I didn’t have any insecurities going into it. [That] came after,” he said. “It’s just a beautiful balance of learning to compromise stuff. To be the best, you have to be willing to take help from people who know what they’re doing, and also balance what you know to be right. That ultimate balance is the perfect maze in the industry and the people who have solved that are the ones that maintain.”

Malik shared an update about The Hidden Hills Evergreen Sessions and said that “Kissing On” is the single fans chose. Then, each member shared a fun fact that they wanted to share with all you Townies. Terence wants you to know that he’s incredibly spiritual. Tre considers his fans as family and he consistently takes notice about what you want from his an artist. Leon and Malik reminded fans that the group works really hard for them while Chris’ goal is to be the biggest ever while aiming for a Grammy-win within the next few years.

Check out the full interview below and stay tuned for next week’s exclusive cover the group will drop via BET Digital.

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