"I feel the need, the need for speed." -naval pilot Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, in Top Gun (1986) Long before the industrial revolution made planes, trains and automobiles commonplace, the desire for momentum-for the fast lane-has pounded within the human heart. From our first wobbly steps 'til the golden years force us to slow the pace, we spend our lives pushing ahead, moving toward whatever comes next. And some people just can't get there fast enough. Enter the energetic quintet Jump5 and their aptly-titled new disc, Accelerate.
In the four years since their official formation as teen power-pop sensations, Jump5-Brandon, Brittany, Chris, Libby and Lesley-has been building considerable momentum. They've released three albums, and toured with Radio Disney Live!, Aaron Carter, A*Teens, and the Baha Men. They've made the national television circuit on CBS, ABC, PAX and The Disney Channel. They've graced the soundtracks of The Lizzie McGuire Movie, Kim Possible, and the DVDs of Lilo & Stitch and Beauty & the Beast. They've even performed at the White House.
It's been one wild ride so far, but there's no doubt, along the way, Jump5 has raised the bar for entertainment aimed at pre-teens and teens, creating a 'just for us' genre kids can't get enough of. And they all agree, "We wouldn't have missed this for anything." They've relished every opportunity to make a positive impact in the lives of their peers and even younger fans.
But now that four out of five are of official driving age, JUMP5 is feeling "the need, the need for speed." Accelerate, which releases October 7th, certainly lives up to its name. A zero-60, "dare you to sit still" blast of energetic fun, Accelerate signifies a definitive shift into high gear, propelling five normal teenagers toward even greater musical and personal heights.
Producer Mark Hammond (A*Teens, Avalon, Nichole Nordeman) didn't have to push the group to excel on this new album. He just had to jump in and hang on. "There's a magic that happens when these kids get together, whether on the microphone, in the studio or live on stage," he says of the experience. "They have an energy, a sound, that's unique, totally infectious, and incredibly fun."
"We're more excited about this album than anything we've done before," Libby Hodges, 16, says. "We're accelerating to a new level-with our music, with our performances, and in our own individual lives. It may sound a bit clichéd to say, but we're growing up, and our music has never been more real or more relevant than now."
Beyond the cool, danceable pop that pre-teens love, the lyrics on Accelerate promote positive self-esteem and faith-based values that inspire and empower kids. Songs like "Pressure," which encourages kids not to cave in to people who would drag them down, and "Do Ya," which underscores the fact that real love, real friendship, is unconditional meld message and music seamlessly.
"Being real and not apologizing for who you are is a huge message on Accelerate," Chris Fedun, 17, says. "Real friends don't pressure you to be someone you're not. They like you and accept you because of who you are." It's a message kids have never been more in need of.
Accelerate also includes three classic "feel good" hits-"We Are Family," "Shining Star," and "Walking on Sunshine"-that have been given a modern spin. "We Are Family" is the official theme song of Radio Disney's Family Pledge Initiative, a pledge drive asking 1 million families to pledge they'll spend one hour a week of unique, quality family time together. JUMP5 serves as the official spokesgroup of this family-friendly campaign.
It's a natural fit for Brittany, Brandon, Chris, Lesley and Libby, each one grounded by family and faith. They are real kids who hang out with friends, love videogames, talk on the phone, do homework and chores. What makes them unique as teenagers is the character and purpose they bring with them.
"The thing about family is that they're always going to be there for you," Brittany says, "They're your back-up. It means everything to know that we're all in this together." Jump5 is blessed to have strong relationships with their families and hopes the Disney Family Pledge Initiative will help busy families make time for what matters most.
And believe it or not, these ordinary teenagers really get what matters most.
"It's been awesome to watch them grow as singers, musicians, and performers through the years," producer Hammond continues. "But much more profound has been watching them grow personally. Now more than ever I see a tremendous desire within each one of them not just to make great music, but to use the gifts and opportunities they've been given to make a positive difference in the lives of the kids that look up to them."
Only time will tell just how far JUMP5 will go, but for now, it's full speed ahead.
The infectious pop music of Jump5 has attracted a young and enthusiastic audience from far and wide. On their new studio recording, All the Time in the World, Libby, Lesley, Brittany, Brandon, and Chris continue to keep music fans jumping with their exciting and energetic sound.
How high can you jump? Guaranteed, the talented teens of Jump5 have got you beat. Singers, dancers, and role models, the members of Jump5 exemplify the very best of their generation. The music of the Nashville-based group is thoroughly modern pop, high-spirited and 100% fun. Their peers across the country already got the message with Jump5's 2001 Sparrow Records album debut. Now, with their latest single All I Can Do and upcoming second album ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD, Jump5 is poised to step into an even brighter spotlight for all the world to see.
Working with producer Mark Hammond, Jump5 has taken a quantum leap forward with the new album. Its more mature than the last one, says Brittany with her customary enthusiasm, but still has tons of energy. Luckily, these kids have energy to spare. Theyll need it for their extensive U.S. summer 2002 tour. This time, Jump5 shares the bill with the likes of Aaron Carter, A*Teens and Baha Men in their highest-profile itinerary to date. Add to that the new single being included on a CD given away with 3 million McDonalds Mighty Kids Meals this summer, and Jump5 is just inches away from household-name status.
While all this acclaim may seem overwhelming for five people barely old enough to drive, these are not your typical teenagers. All began dancing and singing early on (try pre-kindergarten!), and with the loving support of their families, nothing has stood in the way of their success. The Jump5 story begins when then-two-year-old Brittany Hargest and four-year-old brother Brandon met four-year-old Lesley Moore at dance class. In time, they were joined by Libby Hodges and Chris Fedun on the talent show and recital circuit. Having formed fast friendships, it was only natural that the talented teens of Jump5 would create a group of their own. Only this would be one teen group with a twist.
All along, recalls Brandon, we wanted to do more than just entertain people; we wanted to help them too. That commitment to positive values has separated Jump5 from other teen groups, too many of whom mimic the inappropriate sexuality of older artists. Kids are exposed to so much thats bad, says Libby. Many artists dress too provocatively, exposing themselves just to get attention. Too few out there have a positive message like ours. But kids and parents appreciate what we do.
So much so, the group quickly expanded, taking their upbeat message to schools, malls, concert halls, and amphitheaters. Earlier this year, they were welcomed into the White House when President and Mrs. Bush hosted a night of music. We never get nervous normally, but we did that time, laughs Chris. After our performance, we got to talk with the President and have our pictures taken with him..
The demands of constant rehearsal, recording, and performing means the kids receive home schooling together. But thats just fine with the five student body members at Jump5 High. Says Libby, Our teacher is awesome, but she is hard. Adds Lesley, I went to public school for most of my life, so this is a major change. But Im having so much fun, and so is everyone else in the group.
Of course, Jump5 wouldnt have made it this far if the members didnt feel a genuine mutual affection. We love each other to death, says Brittany. We really are best friends. Being on the road so much has only brought them closer, as they rely on their friendship to carry them through. However, Brandon admits there are some things to get used to as they travel the country. Chris and I are pretty neat, but on the bus its the girls that make a mess.
Thats probably the deepest dish youll get out of Jump5. This group is simply about making people happy, which these days counts for a lot. We love what we do, says Libby, but we dont let it go to our heads and we dont take it too seriously. Someday they hope to expand their artistic horizons. Writing and producing records, appearing in film and television, nothing seems beyond their eventual reach. Yet if you ask them, the members of Jump5 are less concerned about their own glory, and more focused on the audiences they touch. Says Brandon, Were kids trying to help other kids.
The months ahead will likely prove the busiest of their lives. They not only have the new album, single and tour, but they will also be featured prominently on Disneys release this fall on the DVD of the animated classic Beauty and the Beast. The group has newly re-recorded the title track, made famous in the early 90's by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson. The song, along with a stunning video version, are both included on the Disney DVD package, introducing the masterpiece to a new generation of viewers.
But Jump5 is ready for anything. As Libby says, Whatever you want to be in life, you can do it if you live your dreams. There are always new opportunities coming. Thats a life lesson the members of Jump5 have already learned well. Whos next?
Jump5's Crazy Facts
They are 5 members in Jump5(duh?).
2 boys 3 girls.
Brandon and Brittany are brother and sister.
The group was formed in Nashville.
They are signed with Sparrow Records.
First album came out August 12, 2001.
Second album is coming out August 13, 2001.
Their 1st single was "Spinnin' Around".
They re-recorded "Beauty and The Beast".
They also re-recorded "God Bless the USA".
The girl had braces then got them off. But know Brittany got them back on.
They say the word Jump in many of their songs.
They all can dance and do gymnastics very well.
They started singing and dancing at a young age.
Shower, hair, makeup takes about an hour and a half to get ready for a show.
The group wears regular tennis shoes when dancing on stage like Sketchers, Nikes, Candies, etc..
Brandon and Brittany have blue eyes, Chris has hazel eyes, lelsey has brown eyes, and libby has green eyes.
Brittany is 14, Brandon and Libby are 15, Lelsey is 16, and Chris is 17.
Three of the Jump5 members can drive. Chris has a regular drivers license, lesley has a hardship license, and brandon has a learner's permit.
All the Jump5 members have pets except for lelsey she's allergic.
Salte Cinco is how you say Jump Five in Spanish. lol