News / Arts & Entertainment

Hot Chelle Rae's 'Whatever' Keeps it Real

Larry London
Pop rock band Hot Chelle Rae started in 2005 when Ryan Follese and Nash Overstreet decided to form a band together.  Both had grown up in musical families since Ryan's father Keith Follese and Nash's father Paul Overstreet were both successful country music songwriters in Nashville, Tennessee.  In 2011 Hot Chelle Rae gained fame with their hit song "Tonight Tonight" off their debut CD Lovesick Electric.

Hot Chelle Rae topped the Billboard Adult Pop Chart in 2011 their song "Tonight Tonight" which sold over two million copies.   Nash Overstreet says the year was filled with exciting moments including being honored at the American Music Awards as the "Sprint New Artist of the Year".   

"We released 'Tonight Tonight' on Valentine's Day [February 14] in 2011 and that year just flew for us," said Overstreet.  "We got our first award from the AMA's (American Music Awards), we played Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve in [New York's] Times Square for a million and a half people right there and even more [watching on TV] around the world.  We have had a really good time for the last year or so".

Despite a list of country music hits written by both band members' parents, Ryan Follese says he and Nash chose a different direction with their music.

"Our parents were really huge pop music fans and we were exposed to all of the pop artists of the 1990s and earlier," said Follese.  "Nash grew up on Prince and Michael Jackson and we [both] grew up on the Beatles.  I feel like, secretly, our parents want to do pop music so it was never frowned on, it [pop music] was very much loved and celebrated in our household".

Hot Chelle Rae is on tour with pop star Demi Lovato starting in June.   Ryan feels a very strong connection to their supporters for one simple reason.

"Our fans are the most important thing because we did not have any for so long.  Once you have them (fans) you do not want to let them go," Follese added.

Hot Chelle Rae is an interesting name for a band.  Ryan explains where they found the inspiration.

"We named our band after a fan who was pretending to be an entirely different person on MySpace and her handle was Chelle Rae and she was attractive in her photos…I know we are not the only guys to click on an attractive photo and say (sarcastically), 'Yes, that is really her.' She pretended she worked at a record label and would help us and it went on for a long time.  We found out she was not real."

Hot Chelle Rae released their sophomore CD Whatever in November and Ryan explains how their music has evolved.

"I think in our first record, Lovesick Electric, it was a learning experience like a lot of peoples' first albums are.  You learn a lot about yourself, your songwriting, who you are, and who you want to be.  This second album is us not taking life quite so seriously and us having a good time and writing about real experiences we went through versus premeditated stories that might not be as real as who we are".

Hot Chelle Rae released the Top 20 Billboard hit "I Like It Like That" earlier this year and are currently on the charts with the song "Honestly."

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