Television and radio host Ryan Seacrest picked Edinburg pop band Mayberry for his “Favorite cover of ‘Amnesia’ by 5 Seconds of Summer” contest. The local group entered the final round along with four other artists Oct. 15 and the winner will be announced Oct. 22.
The band faced some obstacles to make it past the first and second rounds. Now in the final round, the group sees the support they have.
“Since the start, the experience has been surreal. We would have never thought to be picked by Ryan Seacrest for anything. Then to actually get votes from our hometown? It’s really all too crazy,” band member Esteban Rodriguez said.
Founded in 2012 they’ve reached a fanbase of more than 5,000 people across the U.S. while their cover of ‘Amnesia’ has surpassed 8,000 hits on YouTube. Having entered the contest with 12 other artists across the world, they’re the only Texas band among the five finalists.
Members of the group include Edinburg natives Esteban and Hector Rodriguez, Ono Zarate, UTPA biology student Brayden Dillard and Andrew Vela, who received his Bachelor’s in accounting at UTPA in 2012.
Selling online merchandise to help fund music releases, Mayberry released “All I Need” in March 2014 and “Just a Dream” the following June. Esteban Rodriguez, the band’s singer, said they are influenced by American rock bands The Mayday Parade and Green Day. Wanting to work with artists like them is one thing that pushed Rodriguez to become a musician.
Knowing each other from previous bands Dillard and Esteban both had a strong passion for music. Shortly after forming the band they wanted more members. Esteban brought guitarist Andrew Vela and bassist Ono Zarate on board. Wanting his younger brother to play alongside him, second guitarist Hector Rodriguez completed the band.
With people still viewing their YouTube page, their following continues to grow.
“I’ve noticed a growth in our fanbase in the past year. That’s what’s been pushing us to keep making music, for our fans and without them we wouldn’t be in the competition, to be honest,” said Esteban Rodriguez.
Although they received a message about the competition Sept. 23, they waited until the day of voting to announce the news to their fans.
“I honestly thought it was fake in the beginning,” Esteban Rodriguez said. “I had received an email on Sept. 23 and thought it was spam, so I wanted to wait till the day voting started to announce it.”
On Oct. 1 they checked the Ryan Seacrest website and everyone in the band was shocked to find out the contest was real. Being picked with 12 other artists from around the world, they were quick to spread the word. Hector Rodriguez also gathered support from his peers and teachers at Robert Vela High School.
“News of the contest was spreading fast around my school and peers were telling me they were supporting Mayberry,” Hector Rodriguez said.
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