Say hello to Rixton, a rising pop-R&B act from across the pond.
The date? Jan. 23, 2014. The place? Los Angeles’ House of Blues Sunset. The audience decibel level? DEAFENING. It was there at MTV’s “Artist To Watch Presents” live concert event that Rixton (along with fellow 2014 MTV Artists To Watch Tori Kelly, Jake Miller, Fifth Harmony, and Echosmith) slayed us with their sensual, smooth, pop-R&B sound.
C’mon, guys, stop being so serious.
OK, and their ridiculously cute onstage antics and, um, ridiculously cute faces didn’t hurt either. But trust us when we say that the rising Manchester foursome’s tightly harmonized vocals are ultimately what anchor the lads’ appeal.
When asked about the group’s distinct four-part harmony-heavy sound, lead singer Jake Roche noted that they were looking to craft “huge pop songs with soul,” elaborating: “We are all big fans of R&B, from the oldies right up to Usher. R&B is what we have in common. That and the fact that we all sing, so every song had to have harmonies.”
Men singing together? A well-versed knowledge of R&B? Urshurr? To paraphrase Dame Julie Andrews: These are a few of our faaavorite things.
Speaking of faves, the guys parody a bunch pop mainstays in their “Make Out” video. ICYMI, drummer Lewi Morgan dons a Katy Perry “Roar” loincloth, lead guitarist Charley Bagnall comes for Lady Gaga’s “Applause,” and bassist/keyboardist Danny Wilkin weeps in a bathtub à la Rihanna in “Stay.”
Though, given the fact that the clip landed at No. 2 on the iTunes music video chart and has racked up over a million views on YouTube, chances are you’ve already seen these hilarious impressions for yourself. (Jake’s Miley Cyrus in “Wrecking Ball“-style sledgehammer-lick? Never forget.)
Too bad we’re nowhere near the top of Rixton’s “WOULD MAKE OUT WITH” list, which, as MTV recently found out, boasts such stiff competition for us as Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, and Ariana Grande. But, we digress…
If things keep going the way they are, though, it won’t be long until Rixton are ubiquitous enough to be spoofed themselves. They’ve been working with talent manager Scooter Braun, who guided Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen to stardom (MAYBE YOU’VE HEARD OF THEM??), since 2013, and the pop-R&B act’s debut LP is being overseen by producer Benny Blanco, whose credits include Maroon 5 and Katy Perry (SAME QUESTION).
Until Rixton’s first studio album is released, we’ve at least got their debut EP, Me And My Broken Heart, which dropped on Mar. 18. From the sensual throwback vibes of “We All Want The Same Thing” and Caribbean swing of the title track to the sweeping balladry of “Hotel Ceiling” and laidback, breezy feel of “Appreciated,” your appetite will definitely be sated.
But here, sneak a couple more bites with these MTV Artist To Watch live performance videos, plus a free mp3 download of “Make Out” to boot. We won’t tell. Promise.
+ Check out Rixton’s “Make Out” video, watch Rixton perform “Me And My Broken Heart” live, and download a free mp3 of “Make Out” below. Find more videos, live performances, and interviews at rixton.mtv.com.