New York City's musical makeup remains just as diverse as its cultural identity. Brooklyn stands synonymous with hip indie rock, Times Square functions as a mecca for superstars, theater belongs to Broadway, and Harlem provides a home to hip-hop. However, the Upper West Side now claims its own cleverly catchy pop outfit in THE HEYDAZE -- Jesse Fink [vocals, guitar], Andrew "Wonderberg" Underberg [producer, keyboardist], Andrew Spelman [lead guitar], and Alexander Glantz [drums].
In 2013, Jesse approached Wonderberg with song ideas he had been working on with his University of Pennsylvania buddy Andrew. As family friends, the producer and vocalist go way back to when Jesse's parents paid the high school senior Wonderberg to teach a sixth grade Jesse how to properly work Logic and Garage Band on a Mac. Their first composition, "Little Bandit", began as a voice note which Andrew texted to Jesse at two in the morning. After a little production magic, the track turned into something special with its fingerpicked acoustic guitar and irresistible refrain taking flight.
"There's not one specific genre," Jesse proclaims. "We classify ourselves as Windows Down, Stereo Up music. It appeals to a wide range of people, and it's meant to be catchy and make you feel good. We all have different tastes in music, and you can hear that within the music. That balance is becoming our signature."
Andrew continues, "It's pop music, but with a lot of thought put into it. That's what we do."
The boys got down and dirty handling everything from promotion, emailing blogs and marketing to conceptualizing and producing videos themselves. As a result, "Little Bandit" drummed up over 240,000-plus Soundcloud plays and nearly 40,000 YouTube.
"The whole thing started very D.I.Y.," explains Jesse. "It was very rewarding when things started to pay off because we did it ourselves, and we really saw the results. We even recorded everything in Wonderberg's living room."
"I'm glad my girlfriend allows us to," laughs Wonderberg.
"It's the most seriously I've ever taken everything in my life," states Andrew. "We put everything we have into this."
That included developing an impressive live following. After adding fellow UPENN student Alexander to the fold, THE HEYDAZE sold out The Studio at Webster Hall in New York City, garnering the attention of the New Yorker and leaving the crowd begging for more. They went on to support both Jesse McCartney and TIMEFLIES on national tours in 2014 before holing up in Los Angeles to write.
In the midst of it all, they unveiled "Don Juan". Driven by a swinging acoustic rhythm, quirky samples, bright keys, and Jesse's silky smooth croon, it reflects both their sense of humor and knack for an immortal hook.
"'Don Juan' began back in my dorm," Andrew recalls. "We brought it to Wonderberg, and he helped us fine tune it."
"That song is totally tongue-in-cheek," smiles Jesse. "Ever since we became more legit and serious, all of our friends would say, 'You guys are in a band; you must be getting so much ass!' We just look at them like, 'Not really'. This track plays off that. It makes a joke out of it. 'Don Juan' is the ultimate playboy, and none of us are like him!"
Ultimately though, THE HEYDAZE have enough magnetic charm to make you fall in love at first listen.
"There's a little bit of a different slant here," says Wonderberg. "That's what makes it special and keeps us excited."
Jesse leaves off, "Music can make a difference in someone's day or even their life. This is a lift -- whether you need it or not. I hope people can relate to our music and feel like sharing their experiences, feelings about life, relationships, and anything else."