BOYBAND supergroup Boyz On Block have teamed up to release their debut single — and their aim is nothing less than to soothe us all through ‘turbulent times’.
The group — which features Boyzone’s Shane Lynch, Another Level’s Dane Bowers, 5ive’s Abz Love and Ben Ofoedu from Phats & Small — have recorded a cover of K-Ci & JoJo’s 1998 track All My Life.
They also have a full-length album in the works, featuring reimagined versions of 90s and 00s hits.
Ben, who is leading the project, described Boyz On Block as ‘the antidote to the Covid generation’.
He also said his partner, Vanessa Feltz, is a ‘huge fan’ of the band’s debut single.
It’s been a long time coming as the band actually met after ending up on stage together at Bolton Pride 25 years ago.
They bonded over a shared love of pop, R&B and hip hop and continued to attend parties and occasionally perform together.
Now Shane says they are taking their time to complete the album.
He said: ‘This is for us to not rush down into anything. We are taking our time on this for the right reasons.
‘We could finish an album in two weeks. Any artist can, any band can. It’s not a hard thing to do. But it’s more important for us to take our time.’
Ben agreed, saying: ‘Everything is an extension of the organic thing of four solo artists getting on stage and having fun. We tried to keep that throughout everything we do.
‘Going into the studio, it’s the tracks that we play out live. Re-recording them, re-imagining them and saying, “If it’s 2020, what would that track sound like now?”
‘And knowing and understanding that a generation hasn’t heard those tracks. But also knowing that people have heard it and taking those elements but reimagining them.
‘What would it be like if Dane Bowers was singing Set Adrift On Memory Bliss by PM Dawn, or Abz Love was rapping EMF’s Unbelievable? It’s that kind of vibe.’
Ben, best known for his hit Turn Around, described the group as a ‘friendly face’ during ‘turbulent times’.
He added: ‘Music is a time machine. For the duration of the record, it literally transports you back to where you were when you first heard it — the smells, tastes from that time period. As soon as the record stops you are back in the present day.
‘Hopefully Boyz On Block are doing that – transporting you back to a better time.
Shane, who appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in 2018, said the four-piece had avoided signing to a major label to maintain their independence.
He said: ‘The path we are trying to go down is [to] own our destinies.
‘There used to be a format. There was a right way to do things and it was all record company based, and a lot of big wigs who ruled your life. We are just avoiding that at the moment.’
He added: ‘This time it’s nice to be in a position of just understanding who we are as individuals.
‘It feels a hell of a lot easier than any other music project I have done in life. That’s the nice thing about it.’
■ All My Life is released on November 13 on Deevu Records/Block Records