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Justin Thorne (20) – Travis Garland (20) - V Sevani (21) - Kevin McHale (22)

The members of NLT aren’t pretending to be anything they’re not. They love pop music, have been born and bred on pop music, and have manicured their pop music to a brilliant, effervescent sheen on their self-titled debut, Not Like Them.

While the quartet’s hometown roots are split between Los Angeles and Texas, it was their similar artistic drive that led them to each other. Growing up in his family’s Synthesis dance studio in Los Angeles, V was never far from the names that have shaped popular culture’s last decade, including 50 Cent, Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson and Destiny’s Child. Chris Stokes was a familiar face in the studio, as it was a home-base of sorts for B2K, and after much pestering, the superstar producer told V that if he put a group together, he’d be willing to take a listen. V was 14 at the time, and not knowing where to really start, looked to an acquaintance he’d worked with on an instructional dance video—JJ, whose dance coach, Terry Bixler, skyrocketed to acclaim for his choreography and staging on Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation 1814” tour extravaganza…

Then 13, JJ ironically had B2K on his young resume, having danced in one of the group’s early videos (on the acting front, he’d also had a speaking part on television’s “Will & Grace”). Through an agent, the pair found Kevin, who was living in Dallas. His sister was an agent, and when Kevin mentioned that the trio were looking to become a quartet, she recommended one of her theater actors, Travis.


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