Even if it feels like boy bands really came into the spotlight in the 90s, you might be surprised to find out that this concept has its roots in the barbershop quartets of the early 19th century. While the boy bands we know and love have precious little in common with barbershops – save perhaps, hairstyles that are admired and copied all across the world – these groups of handsome, singing young men are by no means a thing of the past.

The new kids on the block (see what we did there?) are 5WEST, a group of young men, based in one of the most prominent music cities in the world, Nashville, Tennessee.

Consisting of four talented young men, 5WEST was developed by the multi-platinum producer Bryan Todd, who has also had a hand in the success of iconic names like Kelly Clarkson and Miley Cyrus. 5WEST is represented by one of the biggest artist management companies in the world, Marshall Arts Talent.

The guys

The youngest member of the group, Luc is just 16 years old, but don’t let his age fool you – this talented young man hails from Europe and speaks 5 languages (presumably not counting the language of serenading palpitating young fans).

Jon-Paul has music in his blood, and his family has strong ties to the music industry.

You might know Peet from Instagram, where he has a loyal following of fans already.

Fourth member Owen’s soothing singing voice is the result of training by none other than Queen Bey’s vocal coach.

5WEST recently performed at the Mr Gay World finale, held in the Cape Town City Hall, where they had the crowd on their feet, and Hendrik was lucky enough to spend some time with the guys, chatting about their musical journey thus far, and their aspirations for the future. If you’re interested in finding out who these young men are, make sure to check out the GaySA Radio podcasts page for Hendrik’s conversation with the group.

In the mean time, here is a little taste of what 5WEST has to offer, performing on the Expresso morning show on their recent trip to our sunny shores, and remember to check them out on Facebook.