I have such a strange, persistent soft spot for Day26. I even went back and created a tag on this blog a year ago because I’ve written about them a lot.
But I don’t really know how much longer that will be the case.
Look – I just don’t get why talented people do reality shows. Allowing the real you to supercede the talent you possess just seems like the exact opposite thing to do when you want people to buy your music or go see your movies.
With the possible exception of Monica, no talented artist has actually benefitted from having a reality show. Toni Braxton is overshadowed by her insanely jealous sister Tamar, Keyshia Cole was overshadowed by her mother, Fantasia was reduced to “uneducated hoodrat,” Brandy came off unfocused and whiny, Tiny just came off hood and unintelligible, and Kandi seems to be living in her 1999-2000 glory years.
And yet – so what? They are also six of the most talented R&B singers currently recording and, when they are on their shit, are pretty damn peerless in their lanes.
But I just don’t believe that seeing their lives – contrived though it may be – makes anyone more willing to buy their album than they would have been otherwise. Except maybe their stans. But they don’t count. I actually think it makes people less willing to take them seriously as artists because all they see is the reality show caricature of themselves that they play.
I mean, even if you accept the premise that a reality show will help you sell records, Day26 includes not one shot of these four men doing what they do best – singing. It would seem to me that if you want to show these guys clawing their way back to the top*, you’d show them putting in the work. You’d show Brian or Robert hittin’ a big note. You’d show them in the studio late, tired. You’d maybe show them working on vocal arrangements. You’d show them choosing cover art or outfits. Rehearsing.
In short, you’d actually tell us that these guys are a vocal group that we should be paying attention to; that we should be excited to hear music from.
Real talk: Day26 needs to put out a good album that people will actually buy. Based on the first two singles, I don’t think that’ll happen. Being on TV will get them a check, but it won’t extend their career if the records don’t sell.
I’m sure Brian Angel is a temperamental dude. You know what else he is? The group’s strongest lead vocalist with the best phrasing and its most charismatic video performer.
Next time, tell me that.
*Let’s face it – Day26 were never really on top. They were on top for one week when their debut hit number one its first week out. It tumbled fast and the second album faired much worse.