Creating a ‘Zine
With PRETTYMUCH

Working with PRETTYMUCH was like hooking up to an IV of instant energy.

The five-member boyband’s passion is unmistakeable. If you were having a down day prior to interacting with them, their presence is likely to have made it just a bit lighter.

When I was asked to curate the written content for the exclusive PRETTYMUCH bespoke print issue, it was not the first time my path had crossed with them. In Oct. 2017, I interviewed Brandon and Edwin about their single titled “Teacher,” which was just the second song the ground had released. The two had the same energy, and they were thoughtful about the message behind “Teacher” to empower women. In many ways, that conversation was unknowingly the preamble for this project.

That said, as fun as talking music with artists can be, diving in with all five was a completely different and much more immersive experience as I had the opportunity to familiarize with Brandon, Edwin, Nick Mara, Austin Porter and Zion Kuwonu as human beings.

Brandon dished his first official producing credit—”Gone 2 Long” off of the group’s May 24 EP Phases—but he really lit up when given the space to express how important creativity is as a whole for his soul.

Edwin was keen to discuss climate change.

Austin detailed how the likes of music and painting helped him reconcile feeling like the black sheep of his family.

While Nick gave voice to his background as a dancer, he could hardly go one sentence without mentioning the love he has for his mother.

Zion wore his sensitive nature on his sleeve.

And after being let into their more personal individual reservoirs, listening to Phases hits differently.  On the surface, shallow as it is, it can be almost subconscious to write off any artist associated with the boyband label. With PRETTYMUCH, that would be a mistake. I learned that firsthand.

Their cohesive delivery isn’t manufactured, for one, and knowing that in itself is enough to develop a respect for their music that might not have otherwise been.

Words by Megan Armstrong / Photography by Shea Flynn

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