July 12--At 16, Keaton Stromberg seems like a normal California teenager. He likes to skateboard, surf and spend time with friends.
But that's where the similarities end.
Stromberg is a member of the musical trio Emblem3 that formed in 2007 when he was just 10. The trio gained national attention while on the show, "The X Factor," where they placed fourth.
"I'm so grateful for the experience and it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Stromberg says from his California home. "It was hectic and got me ready for what we were about to experience."
Since its time on the TV show, Emblem3, which also consists of Wesley Stromberg and Drew Chadwick, have been hard at work on its debut album due out later this summer.
The trio's first single, "Chloe (You're the One I Want)," is beginning to get heavier radio airplay and the guys released a video for it.
"I never imagined to have the response that we've had," Stromberg says. "There are always girls around us and it's really fun. Everything has happened so fast."
Though they've quickly become popular, Stromberg and crew have been working on music for seven years. The trio started writing together when they were 9, 11 and 12, respectively.
On "The X Factor," the trio introduced themselves to a nationwide audience with their original song "Sunset Boulevard," and were later chosen by judge Simon Cowell to be on his team.
At the time, the trio fought hard against being called a "boy band" and didn't want to seem manufactured.
"We play our own instruments and we felt it was offensive," he says. "But now that I think about it, the term 'boy band' does fit us. We're all guys and we make music. I think we're in good company when it comes to having the boy-band status."
Since the show, Emblem3 has amassed 15 million YouTube views and an international fanbase, and was clearly the show's breakout band. After its current tour, Emblem3 will open for Selena Gomez on her worldwide tour.
Stromberg says the band signed with Syco Music and Columbia Records, with award-winning songwriter and producer Savan Kotecha, who has worked with Maroon 5, Usher and One Direction, serving as their executive producer.
Stromberg says it was amazing to bounce ideas off of these accomplished songwriters.
With MKTO WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 16
WHERE: Sunshine Theater, 120 W. Central
HOW MUCH: $15 at holdmyticket.com or 886-1251
(c)2013 the Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, N.M.)
Visit the Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, N.M.) at www.abqjournal.com
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