Liam Attridge, Ricky Garcia and Emery Kelly, the wildly talented teens who make up the “forever” part of Forever in Your Mind, will never forget it. During FIYM’s recent Boston concert, they asked fans to take out their phones and turn on the flashlights. In an instant, 2,000 points of light illuminated the hall like a starry sky. “It was so beautiful to see them respond like that,” recalls Liam. They’d better get used to it.
With the release of their self-titled debut Hollywood Records EP, FIYM is about to light up the pop music universe, thanks to their sophisticated artistry, high-kilowatt on-stage energy and positive message. “We like to have fun with everything we do,” notes Ricky. “Being part of this band feels like I’m singing with my best friends.” The L.A.-based trio has had a big head start, having toured North America on the 2015 DigiTour alongside Demi Lovato. Fans know Ricky from his starring role on the Disney Channel Original Series Best Friends Whenever, and Emery from his co-starring roles on Disney Channel shows such as Dog With a Blog and Lab Rats.
But for all three members of FIYM, nothing runs deeper than a passion for creating music, as the new EP shows. Produced by Doug Rockwell and Khris Lorenz, the EP features four songs, three co-written by FIYM. The debut single “Hurricane” has already been gaining steam, with more than half-a-million YouTube views. “It’s just a fun, crazy song,” says Liam, “a metaphor for the euphoric emotions you feel when you’re with that special person in your life.”
The EP showcases FIYM’s laser-like feel for vocal harmonies, as on the upbeat rocker “Enough About Me.” The ballad “Compass” reveals the guys’ softer side. “It’s about losing the person closest to you,” notes Liam, “and then finding the compass that points them back to you.” The EP wraps up with “Whistle,” a catchy pop gem that sums up the FIYM message: If you seriously want to have fun, give us a try. “We put in so much work and dedication,” says Emery. “We’re like three annoying brothers, but at the same time we tell ourselves that music and a love of our fans is what keeps us going.”
The FIYM story begins in Long Island, N.Y., where first cousins Liam and Emery both grew up. They started taking acting classes early on, and before they hit their teens both had co-starred in several local musical theater productions. “As time progressed we learned to sing and act better,” Emery recalls. “I have the best memories of that time.” In 2013, on a whim, then-15-year-old Emery signed up for the hit TV talent show, X Factor. He passed the first audition and headed for Los Angeles. Luckily for him, while waiting to perform for Simon Cowell, he met fellow competitor, San Antonio native Ricky Garcia.
“I started pursuing music at 10,” remembers Ricky, who grew up in a home filled with soul, R&B, hip-hop, country and pop music. “My parents were supportive. They knew I liked to sing and act.” How supportive? The Garcia family moved to Los Angeles in 2011 to get his career on track. Ricky entered several talent showcases, a strategy that paid off when he met artist manager Joby Harte, who connected Ricky with the Walt Disney Company. Joby is FIYM’s manager today.
When Ricky and Emery met at X Factor they instantly became friends. Rather than compete as soloists, the two joined forces with a third hopeful to form a band, dubbed Forever In Your Mind by Simon Cowell. From there, the trio built a foundation, but in time it was clear a new third member was needed. That’s when Emery called his cousin back east. By then, Liam had become a veteran stage performer, a trained singer and an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, just what FIYM needed. “When someone asks you to come to L.A. and do this, no 15-year-old would say no,” Liam recalls. “I bought a one-way ticket to Los Angeles, and I’ve never left.”
In the two years since, FIYM has been on a roll, acting in hit Disney shows and creating a string of thrill-ride cover videos, such as their remakes of “Cake By The Ocean,” “Shake Your Booty,” and “Night Changes.” Over time, the band has matured as players, performers and songwriters. “Songwriting is another way to increase our creative ability and express how we feel,” Emery says. “When I write with Liam and Ricky, we’re like triangle. We come together and shoot a beam to the sky.”
The EP release is part of a broader plan. FIYM has a development deal with the Disney Channel for an original series starring the band, and this summer, Emery, Ricky and Liam will roam the countryside, performing live for fans and making new ones everywhere they go. Though they laugh about achieving “world domination” one day, Emery, Liam and Ricky are truly living day by day. That’s not hard to do when every day they are having so much fun. “The music we offer is us being who we are,” notes Emery. “The things we think and dream about we put into our music.”