Winning a BET Award for Favorite Group could be considered a career high for most any R&B singer, and Houston-born crooner Brian Angel (aka Brian Andrews) is no exception.
When Day 26 garnered the award in 2009, Angel and his bandmates were riding high on a chart-topping album debut, critical praise and hours of major television exposure on Sean “Diddy” Combs’ smash MTV show, Making the Band.
Fast forward three years and a second hit album later, Platinum-selling Day 26 has agreeably disbanded to take on solo endeavors, and Angel is well prepared for his future.
For starters last week Brian released his single “Killa” featuring Dorrough Music via his own Ambassador Way Entertainment (AWE) in conjunction with his new Dallas-based management team HULK Entertainment.
In addition to the music, Brian is always looking for viable ways to give back to his community. He is currently a spokesperson for the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA), and has activated a “Be Aware” viral Twitter campaign. With “Be Aware“, fans can text BREAK-ANGEL to 52000 to easily donate $10 to this cause.
Brian recently spoke to UrbanBridgez.com about his new debut solo single “Killa,” the break-up of Day 26, his new management, biggest industry lessons learned, his new label and much more!
UrbanBridgez.com: You’re gearing up to release your first solo single. Tell fans what they can expect from it?
Brian Angel: Just the real Brian, the fun upbeat Brian. All of the people that really rock with me, they’ll get it you know. They’ll get the reason why I choose this song to release first. That’s pretty much what it is.
UrbanBridgez.com: Many people call you the voice of Day 26, what difference will we get from your upcoming mixtape that separates it from the sound you helped create in Day 26?
Brian Angel: I really want to address the whole voice of Day 26. I feel like everybody played a huge role with the sound of Day 26. They’re extremely talented guys, even Que. So as far as me being the voice of the group I was just apart of it, not the voice. As far as my sound, I can say they’re going to get that real heartfelt R&B. The realness I feel like R&B has been missing for quite sometime now.
UrbanBridgez.com: Who have you worked with or will be working with on this mixtape?
Brian Angel: I can’t really speak on it right now (laughs). But I’ve worked with some heavy hitters and people that Day 26 has actually worked with in the past as well. I’m really looking forward to everybody hearing what I’ve been doing and working on. I’m hoping everybody goes out and supports it as well.
UrbanBridgez.com: When can we expect the mixtape to drop?
Brian Angel: As for right now, there is no date. I’m still working and trying to make sure that I give the people all of me. What I mean by that is the real me and that I’m not just doing songs just because. I’m doing songs that I feel people can actually relate to.
UrbanBridgez.com: You recently signed a new management deal, tell us about that?
Brian Angel: Yeah, I’m with Hulk Entertainment for new management, they’re a Dallas based company. Not only management, but they also have a record company that they have distribution through eOne. I’m just signed to them for management, they’re super great (laughs). I definitely can’t complain, I feel like I left one situation feeling a certain way and walked into a great situation where people actually care. People want to see you win!
UrbanBridgez.com: You and the fellas of Day 26 officially announced your separation so to speak recently, was it a hard decision to come to?
Brian Angel: To be honest with you, I’m not going to sit up here and lie to you. I never wanted Day 26 to end, that was never in my mind, that was never anything that has come out of my mouth. I’m still reppin Day 26 till the day I die. I got a tattoo on my skin. But I think it was something the rest of the group members decided on their own. There is this thing we have as far as majority rules, as far as voting is concerned. I guess they kind of did that without consulting with me. So it is what it is.
UrbanBridgez.com: We spoke with Willie and he gave us his side, what’s your side on why the group didn’t work out?
Brian Angel: There is always three sides to a story you know. His side, my side and somewhere in the middle is the truth! I’m going to keep it as real with you as possible. I felt like there was a need for me to find new management. I didn’t go off and sign a solo deal like the rumors were saying. Like I said before I didn’t want to leave Day 26, it was just a situation where I decided to change managements. I even went to the guys several times about getting new management, getting new management! They were pretty much happy with the way that management was working, but I wasn’t. So I took the step to find new management, I think the guys were upset about that. They took it as I was trying to leave the group, never once did I say I wanted to leave the group. Still till this day I would never say anything bad about any of those guys. They’re super talented, those are my brothers whether they claim me or not. We went through a whole lot together and that’s something that I could never forget and it’s something that I will hold on to for the rest of my life. I just wasn’t happy with the way management was at that time.
UrbanBridgez.com: I was talking to someone who was with you in the studio recently who shared with me that you felt that way as well. Do you think because of your issues with management that you were singled out because they didn’t feel that way?
Brian Angel: The thing is I wasn’t the only one who felt that way. But I guess due to “loyalty,” they was still there so I guess they were trying to ride this thing out. I just couldn’t sit there and take whatever was given to me. I’m sorry I just couldn’t and I want to apologize to all of my supporters, I don’t like calling them my fans so I call them my fams. Because I feel like they’re my extended family. So I want to apologize to the ones who think I’m the reason the group broke up. I wasn’t, we was a group that was constantly growing. Super talented guys, everybody wrote, some produced, some of us act, so we were constantly growing. I don’t feel like we’re totally over, I feel like this is a growing period for us to go out and do our thing. I wouldn’t doubt in the future that Day 26 will get back together and do another album.
UrbanBridgez.com: Willie also told us he felt the same way, some of the things he said kind of geared towards the fact it seemed like it was every man for himself. Do you agree with that?
Brian Angel: I don’t think that fully. We know how the group was put together, it was competition, competition, competition! I think some of us never got out of competition mode. I’m not going to say any names, but I for one was for the group. I was also the one if there was a problem or something I didn’t agree on I always spoke my mind. I’m a firm believer in a closed mouth doesn’t get fed. There were issues that would come about and I would address them immediately. Once you let things sit and simmer, all that does is build up and that person will eventually break down. I’m not that person. It might have seemed like I was the problem in the group, but I really wasn’t. There were just issues that needed to be handled. We were brothers but at the same time it’s business. You can’t let your business be any type of way, I like mine to be in order!
UrbanBridgez.com: Was it something so bad that the group had to part, it couldn’t of been fixed?
Brian Angel: Definitely, it was something we could of fixed. But the group had to fix it, not anybody from the outside. It’s not where I can’t stand them or want to be around them. They’re my brothers till the end. It was just a situation I felt like outside people involved kind of tampered with some of the guys decisions. My problem was never with anyone in the group. I know there was a comment about me being jealous never on my years of being on Gods green earth have I ever been jealous of another man. I have no reason to be jealous, I am blessed. I have a great family, I’m blessed to do something that God has blessed me with and I’ve dreamed of all my life. So the jealousy thing was put into someone’s head to believe that. It’s all about divide and conquer, that’s the reason I stepped away from our management and got new management.
UrbanBridgez.com: What’s the biggest life lesson and business lesson you learned while being in Day 26?
Brian Angel: Biggest life lesson, is not everybody is your friend. You can be with a person way more than you are with your friends and this person say I love you, you my boy, I got your back, etc. And they can be on some sneaky, snake type of thing. I’m not saying members in the group was that because they weren’t. But as far as the Day 26 situation that’s something that I’ve learned. Being apart of the group was amazing to me and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. I can’t wait to get back with my brothers and do it the way it needs to be done.
UrbanBridgez.com: Whatever happened to the other group you was in?
Brian Angel: I was signed to Music World, I respect Matthew (Knowles), really smart man and knows what he’s doing. It’s just a situation again where the group and label grew apart. We got to go on tours and travel the world, see and experience things. There was never any product put out. I felt like I needed to get out of that situation in order for me to grow. So we all parted ways.
UrbanBridgez.com: Outside of music what else are you working on?
Brian Angel: Music is my life (laughs)! I have my own label Ambassador Way Entertainment, that’s apart of music though, I got an artist name G-Run that is super talented. A dope MC from Houston, he’s going to be the first artist I release on the label. We have several artists but he’s the one I’m concentrating on right now. I have some movie roles coming up, I can’t speak on too much but I’m trying to get my Denzel on (laughs). Just grind this thing out!
UrbanBridgez.com: Do you have anything else you want to leave with your fans?
Brian Angel: Follow me on Twitter, I just want to say thanks for supporting Day 26! We got some great, great fans, that have rocked with us from day one! I really appreciate those people. In my mind and heart Day 26 is not over. We’ll be back!