Formed in Los Angeles in 2016, PRETTYMUCH have all of the things that no boy band can go without. The checklist starts with tight five-part vocal harmonies and continues with hot syncopated dance moves, sweet and sometimes flirty lyrics, and a powerful Svengali figure in their corner. For PRETTYMUCH, it was TV talent show king and One Direction mastermind Simon Cowell who had the bright idea of combining the forces of Brandon Arreaga, Edwin Honoret, Austin Porter, Nick Mara, and Zion Kuwonu: five singers from the U.S. and Canada who’d already been pursuing solo careers. Yet while PRETTYMUCH certainly draw inspiration from their forefathers in Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC, the slickly compelling contents of EPs like 2019’s Phases and 2021’s Smackables feel entirely contemporary. That’s down to the combination of sugary pop appeal and Trap&B swagger in songs such as “Corpus Christi” and “Smackables.” Just as distinctive are the Latin and K-pop elements that come to the fore on thrilling team-ups with CNCO (“Me Necesita”) and NCT DREAM (“Up to You”). Like those acts, PRETTYMUCH have made it their business to give the boy-band template a major upgrade.
ORIGINLos Angeles, CA