The words "style, attitude, and talent to spare" don't just
describe Atlanta; they also apply to ATL, the new musical sensation that's laying claim to the city's namesake. They're not
"throwing bows" or "getting crunk;" instead, these four young men are delivering their smooth blend of R&B and Hip-Hop
to the world straight from the city with a penchant for unearthing superstars. From TLC and OutKast, to Monica and Usher,
Atlanta has proven that they've got what music lovers want. But don't dismiss this gifted group as just another 112 or Jagged
Edge clone either. One listen to their self-titled Epic Records/Noontime Inc. debut, and there's no doubting that these guys
stand on their own talent. Unlike other groups, their infectious R&B grooves perfectly merge with polished but edgy rhymes.
Who knows how to describe it? Maybe it's Southern-fried or Hip-Hop Soul with a twist, but one thing's certain: it's a potion
that only the culturally-crossed city of Atlanta could concoct.
ATL is the brainchild of Ryan Glover, CEO of Noontime, Inc. In
the style of American Idol, which had an overwhelming Atlanta representation in the first two competitions, Glover and one
of Atlanta's premier radio stations, V-103, sent out a call for three male singers and a rapper to musically represent Atlanta's
unique atmosphere. Out of 3,000 hopefuls, we now have: Danger, Tre, Will, and L-Rock. It's not surprising that only one of
the members is originally from Atlanta, being that the spirit of the city is one of transplants and different cultures. In
the same way, each member of ATL, and their music, represents a different type of flavor.
ATL's debut album, The ATL Project, features the sultry single
"Make It Up With Love." The ultra-smooth ballad, produced by R&B hit-makers Night & Day (Frankie J., Omarion), deals
with trying to reconcile with a special love who is feeling neglected. "Everyone has felt like this once in their life," explains
L-Rock. "It's about trying to rekindle a relationship between two people who haven't been spending much time together."
Another standout cut is the R. Kelly produced "Calling All Girls,"
a silver-tongued declaration alerting young women everywhere that ATL is taking over. "We were at a loss for words when we
heard that R. Kelly wanted to write a song for us," says Tre.
The members of ATL pride themselves on genuinely fusing R&B
and Hip-Hop, a claim made by other urban groups on the regular, yet their assertion is solidified on the alluring, summer-like
jam, "It's Us," anchored by Danger, the unit's resident lyricist. His witty and durable flow, backed by the tender vocals
of the others, make this Bonnie and Clyde-esque ditty, produced by the clever Bryan Micheal Cox (Usher, Jagged Edge), a obvious
standout. One of their favorites is "You Are," produced by Teddy Bishop (Ginuwine, Dave Hollister), and penned by wunderkind
writer Johnta Austin (Aaliyah, Toni Braxton). "It's an incredible ballad that showcases all of our vocal abilities," says
L-Rock. "I Know" is a "well beyond their years," soulful plea for the understanding that's essential to all relationships.
Their perfect harmonies float above producer Troy Taylor's (Tyrese, Boyz II Men) equally flawless melody. "Holla At Ya Boy"
is strictly for the ladies, as the batch flirtatiously take it to the dance floor, with the instantly recognizable Atlanta
flavor of producer Jazze Pha. Wanting a second chance, the boys sing and rap that "I wish I coulda been a better man/I wish
I was still your man," on the gentle, yet street savvy "I Wish," another Jazze Fizzle joint.
Born and raised in the "Boogie Down" Bronx, N.Y., 18-year old
Danger, who wrote and performed the theme song for BET's "Teen Summit" for 2 seasons, would visit family members in Atlanta
while growing up. Although he's been rhyming since he was a shorty, he didn't think of this as a possible career until he
encountered the distinct music scene that thrives in Atlanta. He's not at all worried about not being taken seriously as a
rapper in an R&B group. "This is one of the first projects where you're going to get an R&B flavor with true singing
and rapping, with the exception of Jay-Z and R. Kelly's Best Of Best Worlds," he says with his clipped New York accent. "Real
rappers know real rappers."
While Danger is probably the most talkative of the group, 18-year
old Tre is a close runner-up. Hailing from North Carolina, he's been singing all of his life, but has been chasing his dream
for the past 5 or 6 years, and with the looks of it, he's finally caught it. He counts Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, and
Usher as definite influences, but he strives for "up-and-coming artists to mention ATL as their inspiration in a few years."
With Jagged Edge and Jodeci as his inspirations, Will, also 18,
comes to ATL from Cincinnati, Ohio. The most laidback of the crew, he has been back and forth to Atlanta for the past 4 years.
He dismisses any doubts about the group's talent, or being referred to as a prefabricated creation. "We're not amateurs. Everybody's
been doing their thing for awhile, and now we are all on the same track. But, it's still about being ourselves."
L-Rock, describes himself as "the vocal powerhouse of the group,"
(as the others laugh at the description). "No seriously, I don't stand alone, he says firmly. "Tre and Will are just as strong,
and we are all different because there is no lead singer in the group, no one person to stand out front. We all get some shine."
The 16 year-old Atlanta native grew up in the church and wants other young people to know that it's possible to live righteously
and still have fun. "You can have values and be a part of the music industry. You can let your light shine."
Make no mistake; with the hard work they've put in over the past
year, recording until sunset and practicing all day with renown choreographer Devyne Stephens (P. Diddy, Usher), the guys
of ATL are ready for what's to come. "This is an opportunity to rep something so big for each of us," says Tre. "ATL, the
group and the city, holds a big part of who we are and what we are trying to be."
FACTS ON THE BOYZ!:
NAME: Cory Griffin
HOMETOWN: Bronx, NY
BIRTHDAY: September, 5th 1984
SIBLINGS: 2 brothers &
ARE U TIRED OF TRAVELING? ARE YOU HAVING FUN OR ARE
U READY TO GO BACK HOME? I love traveling
I'm not ready to go home and I'm having fun but its work.
WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU BEING IN
THE GROUP ATL? Everyone thinks its a real good opportunity they're real happy and proud of me.
IS YOUR PET PEEVE? People thinking that i sing.
ARE U SINGLE? Yes,I'm very
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FOOD? Seafood.
FAVORITE BOOK? Great Expectations.
FAVORITE TV SHOW? Sports center.
HOW WOULD U DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE? I'd say my style is remarkable.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE BRAND OF CLOTHING? Azzure, Akademiks.
BOXERS OR BRIEFS?
YOU EVER BEEN IN LOVE? NO.
WHAT KIND OF DEODERANT
DO U USE? Speed stick.
WHAT KIND OF COLOGNE DO U USE? Different kinds cool water, izzy meyakie.
HOW MUCH DO U WEIGH AND WHAT'S YOUR HEIGHT?
I weight about 175 5'11
NICEST/SWEETEST THING A FAN HAS DONE? Somebody wrote me a poem, it was very well put together.
WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING IF YOU WERE
NOT IN ATL? I'd be in the studio finishing my album.
WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO SPEND THE DAY
WITH? Allen Iverson.
MANY BROTHERS AND SISTERS DO YOU HAVE? 2 brothers 1 sister.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE SONG FROM
THE ALBUM? I like them all, Calling
all Girls Pt 2.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE SONG? R Kelly's new song.
DO U LOOK FOR IN A GIRL? confidence, beauty, honesty.
WHAT HAS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH ATL
BEEN SO FAR? Its been a real learning experience, opening my eyes to a lot of new things its been so far.
WAS YOUR FAVORITE SUBJECT IN SCHOOL?. Math
WHAT DO YOU MISS ABOUT BEING HOME? Seeing all my peoples, being able to play ball whenever i want
YOUR FAVORITE SHOE BRAND? Nike.
WHEN IS YOUR BIRTHDAY? September 5th.
WHAT IS YOUR SIGN? Virgo.
WHAT DO YOU NOT
LIKE IN A FEMALE? Front, act stuck up,
females that play games.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 5 YEARS? As one of the most well respected
artist in the music business.
NAME: Lawrence Gibbs IV
NICKNAME(s): L-Rock, L-Rocka, L, Young Black
BIRTHDAY: March 26th 1987
SIBLINGS: 1 Brother
ARE U TIRED OF TRAVELING? ARE YOU HAVING FUN OR ARE U READY TO GO
Traveling is fun but it's also tiring. And I am ready to go home.
WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK
OF YOU BEING IN THE GROUP ATL?
They're real supportive
but they're mad because I can't talk to them like I used to.
WHAT ARE YOUR PET PEEVES?
When my brother
wears my clothes and doesn't ask. Also when people compare us to other groups.
ARE U SINGLE?
calling call girls.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FOOD?
My favorite food is hot wings with blue cheese.
My favorite blue.
A Child Called "It".
Ink Well, Liar Liar, and Wizard Of Oz, Baby Boy
FAVORITE TV SHOW?
Family Matters, Martin, and Making
The Band 2
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?
Laid-back-fly-type of dude mixed with a Georgia church-boy.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BRAND OF CLOTHING?
Enyce, Sean John, and Phat Farm.
BOXERS OR BRIEFS?
Boxers all day (gotta have room).
YOU EVER BEEN IN LOVE?
Too many times...well at least I thought.
WHAT KIND OF DEODERANT DO U USE?
KIND OF COLOGNE DO U USE?
Polo Sport for when I wanna be "sporty," Curve for all occasions, and Angel For Men when
I wanna be sexy.
WHAT SIZE SHOE DO U WEAR?
HOW MUCH DO U WEIGH AND WHAT IS YOUR HEIGHT?
WHAT WAS AN EMBARRASSING MOMENT FOR U?
My pants fell down in a 3rd grade talent
CRAZIEST THING A FAN HAS DONE?
Snatched my L-Rock chain and headband
THING A FAN HAS DONE?
Sent me a letter and
WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING IF YOU WERE NOT IN ATL?
I'd be starting shooting guard on my way to NBA
WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO SPEND THE DAY WITH?
HOW MANY BROTHERS AND SISTERS DO YOU HAVE?
brother named Dustin he's 15
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SONG FROM THE ALBUM?
No More, because its reminds
me of a past relationship
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SONG NOW? Young Bloodz-Damn, because you can get crunk to
it, Beyonce crazy in love, because she wrote it for me
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A GIRL?
A sense of humor,
confident, attractive, big booty, they can cook, and have good morals.
WHAT HAS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH ATL BEEN
Its like i have 3 new older brothers, and having fun
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE SUBJECT IN SCHOOL?
Lunch (i hate math)
WHAT DO YOU MISS ABOUT BEING HOME?
My family friends and my bed
YOUR FAVORITE SHOE BRAND?
Air force 1's
WHAT DO YOU NOT LIKE IN A FEMALE?
DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 5 YEARS?
With a beautiful wife, wealthy surroundings, children, and doing a gospel album
YOU HAVE ANY TATTOOS IF NOT DO YOU PLAN ON GETTING ANY?
No, but i plan on getting one on my upper forearm
IS IN YOUR CD PLAYER RIGHT NOW?
Stevie Wonders-Greatest Hits, Mya-Moodring, Tyrese
HOW LONG HAVE YOU
since i was 6
DID YOU WRITE ANY SONGS ON THE ALBUM? DID ANYONE ELSE FROM THE GROUP?
I didn't write on this album. Danger wrote all of his rhymes.
WHAT SONG FROM THE ALBUM DO YOU WANT TO BE THE
I want "For The Record" to be
the next single it features DR Dre and Snoop Dogg.
WHAT CITIES DO YOU LOOK FOWARD TO PERFORMING IN?
WHEN DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU WANTED TO BE IN
THE MUSIC INDUSTRY?
When I was 13
WHAT DIFFERENT NATIONALITIES ARE YOU MIXED WITH?
and African American
WHERE DO YOU SEE THE GROUP HEADING IN THE FUTURE?
For the stars...haha
All my ATL supporters and fam and you future fans THANKS for everything
Real Name: Marvin Williams
Brith Date: March 28
112, Usher, and Jagged Edge
Real Name: Tre'Kas Sims
Birth Date: September 4th