#FreeWDW: What happened to an upcoming Boyband behind closed doors?

By: Elise Gremli

egremli@lc.edu

Images from Google

 

Why Don’t We is a boy band that isn’t well known. Formed in 2016, they have had popular songs on the Billboard charts, such as “Fallin (Adrenaline)”. They are loved by thousands of fans that are called “Limelights”. They were also hiding something from the public, but their friends and family knew.

The guys have released a lot of songs but five of them hit the billboard charts and I want to talk about a few of them. “Trust Fund Baby” is a catchy song that tells people that everybody doesn’t need a lot of money to get attention, and sometimes what is below the surface is the stuff that matters. “What Am I”, is a ballad that has great solos, simple background music, and is great to listen to on the beach.

One of their biggest songs has only been out for almost a year. “Fallin’ (Adrenaline)” is their first single to hit the HOT100 Charts, written and produced by the band. It’s also the song that made me a fan of theirs. Just in the beginning, it has a killer drum solo, then all the vocals plus the other instruments makes it a hit.

Unlike other boy bands like Backstreet Boys, Jonas Brothers & One Direction, Why Don’t We is still an upcoming band and has been releasing music for almost five years. The band consists of 5 members: Daniel Seavey (22), Zach Herron (20), Corbyn Besson (22), Jonah Marais (23) & Jack Avery (22). The name of the fandom comes from their first-ever released single, called “Taking You,” which opens with the line “I need you in my life like limelight.”

The fan base has grown to include fans in different states, countries and people of different ethnicities.

The last thing I want to mention is what people have found out recently about the band and their manager. When the band was formed, the boys basically wanted one thing, and that was to make music. Little did they know once they signed a contract their whole lives would change, not just in a good way, but a bad way as well. On August 26th, 2021, we learned that one of their managers was mentally and verbally abusing them. Their first couple of years they lived in the same house together called “The Compound” with their original manager.

In that place they shared two rooms out of three where the third room was “off-limits”, they could only stay awake/ play on their phones, not eat a lot of snacks or food, and work on their music for an entire day. After the article spread through Twitter the fans, family members, and friends got a hashtag trending #FreeWDW. That hashtag got used for a lot of things but for the fans or “Limelights” it was to show support for all five members, their families, and friends. After a week or two passed without any word, the guys posted something on their social media explaining how it felt being in that house and even being managed by the main manager that was abusing them. https://twitter.com/whydontwemusic/status/1436003117124841476

 

In their post, they put “making us hostages in our own home.” At the end, they thanked everybody for supporting them all these years and especially through this tough time.

To wrap things up, this band has been through a lot, from making an incredible fan base, making great music that took on new heights, and proving they are still going strong through any kind of situation. I also want to mention how much I love these guys and they make me proud every single day and that any kind of abuse shouldn’t be allowed to happen and has to be stopped.

 

Update, 09/20/2021: Per, insert news source, WDW is now allowed to publish music without their old manager

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