Day26: Breaking The Bad Boy Curse


Interview with Que of Day26

By Tahirah Edwards Byfield

The fourth of MTV’s Making The Band was the most controversial season yet. As well as publicly solidifying the end of girl-group Danity Kane, the season also documented a turbulent three months for Qwanell “Que” Mosley, Robert Curry, Mikey McCluney, Brian Andrews and Willie Taylor of Day26. With fighting between band members and the looming threat of disbandment, the future of Day26 also seemed to be ambiguous.

However, instead of facing a fate similar to their female counterparts, the R&B quintet released a chart-topping sophomore album Forever In A Day and are seemingly closer than ever before. Whilst on the road touring with The Dream, Que from Day26 spoke to SoulCulture about music, the Bad Boy curse and the ‘reality’ of reality TV.

q2“TV Editing can be a bitch. I don’t really agree with how MTV portrayed me; how it was edited on television isn’t exactly how it played out in real life.” Que declares. With Que at the centre of most of the group’s disagreements that were aired in the season, he addresses the issues behind the fighting. “I did learn from my mistakes because I did react how everyone saw on television. If they showed the full story then people would understand why I was reacting the way I was reacting.”

Laughing hesitantly when asked what the full story actually was, he says, “Well I’ll give you some of it – people thought I had a lot of money so they were try’na come after my family; like robbery and death threats to the family so I had to get them out of Rochester [Que’s home-town].” Que’s personal problems were a culmination of odds against the group at that time.

“The biggest misconception about the group is that we’re a bunch of big cry babies! We weren’t just crying; the reason why [we were crying] is because we were scared our careers were gonna be over first of all! We weren’t making any money, because we were filming for MTV for three months!” As Day26 had little creative input on their self-titled debut release, the group’s primary income is from touring. “Then we were arguing and we’d never gotten into fights before like how we did this season so we didn’t know how it was gonna end up.”

day26lp1So are the disagreements over? “We’re not fighting no more. But you know, through all the fighting and the disagreements, it brought us so much closer. It’s so weird because I can honestly see us together for like 10, 20 years. Like brothers.“

With their fellow co-stars Danity Kane travelling a similar journey, I ask how Que felt about the demise of the girl-group. “You know honestly, it sucks because I was a real big fan of them before Day26 when I watched Making The Band 3. So when they broke up, it kinda hurt because when you’re a fan of somebody it’s like ‘dang, get it together!’ and it sucks that they’re not together. I don’t wanna get in their business too much; they said it out there, they don’t wanna continue Danity Kane. It’s sad. I really feel bad for Dawn because I was there and I saw what was going on. And they’re not showing everything so everybody thinks ‘oh this solo deal with Dawn’ and they’re not seeing the stuff that happened with the rest of the girls. ”

sf7Que’s girlfriend and the only remaining member of Danity Kane still signed to Bad Boy, Dawn Richards, has faced lots of accusations of being the main cause of the break-up from fans and bloggers. She is currently recording material for Diddy’s new album Last Train To Paris as part of creative group, Dirty Money, with Diddy and singer-songwriter Keleena.

While Danity Kane’s situation upset Day26, Que says they never questioned their own longevity in response to it. “That thought really never came to our mind. We understand the brand of Day26 and we LOVE our career. I can speak for all the guys – this is how we eat, this is our life, and without it I don’t know how we’d survive. So even though we fought and had our difficulties we knew our goals and we knew we had to protect Day26, so anything that’s personal we had to put aside because we were at work and at work you can’t let the personal interfere with being professional.”

Although Day26 were keen not to allow their personal issues interfere with their work, it definitely impacted on the sound of a particular tune, “Perfectly Blind.” My personal favourite, the track stands out from other ballads on Forever In A Day, as it is void of clichéd ‘slow-jam’ lyrics and production-heavy beats but full of an ardency that resonates through the boys’ vocals.

When mentioning it, Que pipes up excitedly. “It’s the shit right? I think it’s the shit because it’s so real! When I was going through the situation on Making The Band, I was really stressing, that’s not fake, I was really going through those experiences and I felt like nobody understood where I was coming from. So when I went home, me and Dawn wrote “Perfectly Blind.” It’s so honest, that’s why I like it so much.”

With the Day26 allowed to input creatively this time around, the boys also have writing credits on their current single, “I’mma Put It On Her,” “Truth Is A Lie” and other songs. Being able to flex their song writing and production abilities on the project seems to have given Day26 extra passion for the studio. Although Forever In A Day was only released in April, the group have already began preparing for their third album.

“We’ve already beat the Bad Boy Curse!” Que laughs, referring to the precarious career-ending reputation of Hip Hop’s last standing major label. “Nobody made it to a third album! So to all the haters, who hate on Bad Boy and Day26, ha! We’re not catching the curse, we’re working on our third album!”

So is there a Bad Boy Curse? “Basically I think the Bad Boy curse deals with the artists. It’s up to you! It’s up to you if you want to be successful it’s not Diddy’s fault, it’s not the label’s fault. I mean, they have to promote and there’s things they have to do but you have to have that hustle and you have to have that grind in yourself. You have to really want it, because if you don’t really want it, want it, then the Bad Boy Curse is gonna happen to you!

day26cover“If you can’t understand the brand of your project and the common goal of what you’re trying to do – if you don’t have that professionalism then of course you’re gonna feel the Bad Boy curse. He gives us an opportunity, it’s not his job to baby us, you know what I’m saying?”

With Day26 determined not to become a Bad Boy casualty and seemingly setting plans for a long future, I ask Que what he still wants to achieve within the group. “Musically I wanna get Grammies, I wanna perform at BET awards, I wanna do the European awards shows; I wanna experience what it feels like to really be an artist and not a reality TV star. And I want people not to look at us just as reality TV stars, I want people to give us the respect as artists – because we can sing, we’ve got talent and that’s what we really want!”

The album Forever In A Day is out now (Bad Boy/Atlantic). |