Island Record’s rising stars come in the form of a boy band. Carson and Conner Boatman, and X Factor stars Josh Levi, and Austin Percario are paving their way in the music business as Citizen Four.
The four-piece, who debuted in June, spent the summer shooting cover videos for pop hits like Nick Jonas’ “Bacon,” Rihanna’s “Needed Me,” and “Mercy” by Shawn Mendes, among others. They even partnered with the YouTube supreme, Kurt Hugo Scheinder, for his “Cold Water” cover. (below)
Aside from their YouTube work, Citizen Four just released their first original track called “Cold,” which has set the bar pretty high for the future! Earlier this week, I caught up with the band to ask a few questions about what’s to come. It’s early in the game for these guys, but you’re going to want to keep them on your radar!
POPULOVE: Your covers are huge on Youtube! How do you decide on a song to cover?
Austin: I like choosing songs that have a personal meaning to me. The more connected I feel to an artist the better.
POPULOVE: What goes into shooting one of your cover videos?
Austin: We’ve been really fortunate to work with some really talented people. Kurt Schneider is one of the best producers I’ve ever sat with. He puts in such thoughtful work while making music. His buddy Manny Figs is Kurt’s videographer & has an eye to capture cinematic moments, so there are a lot of working parts to complete one video!
POPULOVE: Your videos are set in some pretty awesome locations! Where was the craziest place you’ve shot a video?
Austin: The craziest place Citizen Four has shot a video was probably at the top of this mountain in Topanga, CA. We hiked & sweated our way to the top of this spot where we overlooked the city, all for our “Bacon” cover!
POPULOVE: Tell us about working with KHS. How has that affected your career?
Conner: Working with Kurt Schneider was actually a huge goal of mine in high school and college. I used to watch every cover video he made because I’ve always been able to tell his work is very professional. Working with him was so fun because I got to see the equipment and sets he uses to record in real life. He’s a really hard worker and it shows and all of his videos.
POPULOVE: Austin, you were on X Factor. What was that like? How did it prepare you to be in a group?
Austin: X factor was a learning experience & put me on the path to being an artist. It gave me the teamwork skills to work as one with Citizen Four.
POPULOVE: And , Josh? How would your describe you X Factor experience?
Josh: X-factor was the scariest and most incredible thing I’ve ever done. It created a fearlessness that I keep with me in everything I do. I’m grateful :)
POPULOVE: You’ve just release your own track called “Cold.” What can you tell us about it?
Josh: “Cold” is our first ever-original piece of music (of many) that we’ve released to the world to let everyone know what our vibe and standard is. It’s actually the second song we’ve ever recorded together.
POPULOVE: What can we expect from you guys in the future as far as original material?
Conner: In the future we plan on performing our first single COLD as much as possible, and continue recording and writing songs. We are recording a few more covers before Christmas but you’ll have to wait and see about more original music ;)
POPULOVE: Who is one artist you want to collab with?
C4: I think as a band we’d all LOVE to collaborate with someone like Rihanna, Zayn, or Drake, to name a few.
POPULOVE: What brought you all together as a band?
Carson: What brought us all together as a band was that David Massey (Chairman of Island Records) wanted a band for his label. He reached out to Tim Byrne (C4 Manager) who also put together Fifth Harmony and One Direction. After months of searching, they finally came up with the four of us, and here we are!
POPULOVE: Where did you get your name from?
Carson: We FINALLY got our name after about two months of throwing out literally hundreds and hundreds of ideas. The word citizen was a word that we all liked because we though it sounded cool and we are all citizens of the world, and there are four of us, so we decided upon citizen four. As you can see we’re all a bunch of rocket scientists.
POPULOVE: What makes you different from the other bands out there?
Josh: We’re making music that feels authentic and writing lyrics that we would listen to ourselves. I think we all approached this band and our music as something that breaks the stereotype and model of what a “boyband” is.
POPULOVE: What is one message you want to give to your fans?
Conner: I want our fans to know that no matter where they are in this world, what they’re doing at this very second ,or what their dreams are, anything is possible in this life. I also want you all to know how much we love you and appreciate you and how much your support means to us!