Courtney, Jon, Michael, and Rob make up the Midwest-bred R&B quartet of eye candy named One Chance. That’s all they need — just one chance to live out their dream of becoming the next big male R&B group. Their dream came to fruition when they had the opportunity to perform in a showcase for R&B powerhouse, Usher. After leaving a lasting impression, Usher then signed the group to his record label, US Records. Since then, the foursome has been preparing for their self-titled debut album. Though the album has been pushed back several times, they’re confident that now is their time. With a bevy of featured artists and a variety of song topics, the lively bunch assures us that it will be worth the wait. One Chance talks to Clutch about the lessons they’ve learned through the music industry, relationships and the coveted items they keep in their “swag bags.”
Clutch: Can you tell us the vibe for your debut album One Chance?
Jon: The upcoming project is going to be bananas! It will pretty much be a classic. There are a lot of records that talk about real issues that people go through everyday as far as relationships are concerned. Of course we have the party/club records that people can have fun to and ride down the street bumpin’. And you know we gotta have the ballads.
Clutch: Who did you work with on the album?
Courtney: We worked with T-Pain, RL, Bangladesh, J Lac, Shawty Lo, Akon and the list goes on.
Clutch: This has been a long time coming. Did the album get pushed back at one point?
Jon: We know that everybody has been waiting a long time for our album to come out, but please believe we’re not making fast food here, we’re trying to make a home cooked meal and that takes time. We had to really develop and grow closer together and make sure that we’re putting out quality music. We don’t want to be an act that puts out an album with only two hot songs and the rest are wack.. We believe in God and know that everything happens in due season and the right time is now.
Clutch: How influential has Usher been in shaping your careers?
Jon: When we came to Usher, we were pretty much already [polished]. Nobody put us together; he took that extra step by introducing us to the world. Behind the scenes he showed us different things by speaking and not speaking. Sometimes you can just watch somebody and learn from different things they do and the way that they act or react to certain things. That’s a lot coming from the hottest dude in R&B.
Clutch: As a male R&B group, do you feel any pressure to be as good as or better than past and present groups in your genre?
Jon: We got a chance to [speak with ] Wanya of Boyz II Men and Ronnie DeVoe of New Edition and they had great words of encouragement. They said that we were a breath of fresh air to them and that was a big thing for us because these are the groups that we look up to: Jodeci, Boyz II Men, and New Edition. So I think we’re on the right track.
Clutch: Through your struggles as a group, what has motivated you to continue moving forward?
Jon: The thing that motivates us to continue is that this is what we love to do. We’ve been striving to get to a certain point to meet a lot of goals of our own and we just look at it like either we’re gonna make it or we’re gonna die trying. This is like the mob- you can’t get up out of it!
Clutch: Since this is your debut album, what’s the craziest thing you’ve learned so far in the music industry?
Jon: The craziest thing is that with the music game it’s 90 percent business and 10 percent artistry. It’s all about the politics in the music. Just like the saying goes: the more people you know, the further you go…
Clutch: I know the ladies want to know everyone’s relationship status, so spill the beans!
Courtney: Single, I don’t have any rings on my finger…
Rob: Definitely single!
Michael: I ain’t got no rings on my finger either!
Clutch: How would you maintain a healthy relationship in this industry?
Michael: Anybody who is interested in coming into our lives has to be able to ride, they gotta be able to go with the ups and the downs and they gotta really be down with you when you’re making money and when you’re not making money.
Clutch: Do you want to share any information about your upcoming projects?
Jon: Right now we’re just really focused on that one thing, getting the album out and promoting the single (U Can’t feat. Yung Joc). So our whole goal is to milk this cow (the group) until it’s dry and then we’ll start thinking about distributing our other niches and talents everywhere else. Rob writes, Mike produces, Courtney acts, and I don’t know what I do.
Sheena: You’re definitely the spokesperson, Jon!
Jon: Yea, you’re right!
Clutch: What are some items that you all just can’t live without?
One Chance: In our swag bags, we always have: Jean Paul Gaultier or Unforgiveable cologne, Orbit gum, Marc Jacobs shades, and condoms just in case we get lucky!