The curtain rises, the spotlight centred on the audacious trio, a band with a name that resonates an emergency. Why "911" for a band name? Lee, with a cheeky grin, jests, "I was a policeman." But delve a little deeper, and you'd realise it's their audacious take on uniqueness. "We wanted to be different, an anomaly among boy bands of the 2000s," Jimmy admits. The quirky comment about Jack Daniels from Spike had us laughing, reminding everyone of their playful spirit from the '90s. In a world rife with boy bands, what made 911 stand out wasn't just their number-laden moniker.
It was their electrifying, gravity-defying dance moves. With Spike and Jimmy being the dynamite dancers since their boyhood, Lee's addition only sparked more energy into the group's performances. But how do these high-flying dancers keep their feet planted on the ground? The answer's simple: family and gratitude. "Gratitude for over 28 glorious years in the music industry," as Spike puts it.
Gratitude for over 28 glorious years in the music industry
This industry, glamorous as it might seem, can be a labyrinth of highs and lows, and having family at the end of the day serves as a heartwarming compass. The members wear multiple hats, and for Spike, the hat of a father remains close to his heart. In their stellar five-year run, 911 made a mark that some bands can only dream of. They racked up ten top 10 singles in the UK alone, resonated with fans in South East Asia, and by the close of the '90s, had sold a whopping 10 million singles and 6 million albums globally. But like all good things, their journey hit a pause in 1999. Then came 2012, when nostalgia hit hard, and 911 was back under the limelight, reuniting for ITV2's The Big Reunion, alongside other iconic bands like Atomic Kitten, Liberty X, and B*Witched. The reception? Electric. Fans were treated to an arena tour, a comeback album "Illuminate... (The Hits and More)", and the soulful single "2 Hearts 1 Love". By 2014, the band had embarked on their Illuminate tour, making waves once more. Fast forward to 2023, and 911 is still making moves. They've recently teamed up with Đức Phúc, a bright talent from Vietnam, and graced us with a bilingual bop titled "I do" (or "Em đồng ý" for those brushing up on their Vietnamese). A song with versions in English and a blend of English/Vietnamese, it's a testament to their adaptability and willingness to explore new horizons.
But to truly appreciate 911's magic, we need to peel back the layers. Enter social media – that double-edged sword has been a muse and a menace for many. For 911, it's been a learning curve. From the rush of endearing messages from fans worldwide, especially their unexpected fame in Vietnam via TikTok, to the occasional backhanded jibe, they've seen it all. As for the current TikTok hit 'I do"? They find the fusion of old and new a fascinating learning curve. It's the best of both worlds, really.
The Middle East's burgeoning music scene beckoned, and the trio didn't think twice when they were presented with the opportunity to perform in Dubai. Spike, with a playful glint in his eye, jests at the prospect of 911 headlining a fictional '90s festival in Saudi Arabia, showcasing their enduring sense of humor.
On a poignant note, the band doesn't just restrict their voice to music. In line with Musivv's advocacy, Jimmy underscores the importance of mental health. "In a world where men are often shackled by societal expectations, it's vital to talk and express." Whether past or present, the therapy's embrace is vital. It's not just about striking chords on a guitar but also about striking a chord with emotions. 911 might be known for its catchy tunes and dynamic moves, but it's clear their journey has been about so much more. In the turbulent tide of the music industry, they remain, more than two decades later, a lighthouse of authenticity and resilience. As the curtain falls, you realize their name isn't about emergencies; it's about unforgettable memories.
Get nostalgic this September 22, 2023, with the Throwback Boyband concert, featuring 911 & A1, live at The Agenda in Dubai Media City — snag your tickets now from Platinumlist.net, Ticketfolks.com, or Virgin Megastore!
MIXER is musivv's segment featuring artists from outside the UAE and the Middle East. Features under this segment are eligible for a nomination under this category in the Musivv Awards’ annual recognition.