It seems like the pop band era didn’t happen too long ago; the beginning of the century derived a staggering deal of boy bands and pop groups with not only vocal talent but also dancing talent. Just ask Brittany Hargest what it was like to be a part of a cultivated era in music. Her name might ring a bell and take you back to your childhood where names like ‘NYSNC and The Backstreet Boys were the faces of pop music during that time.
The 23-year-old fresh face from the Nashville suburb of Franklin, Tennessee was the youngest member of the popular teen group, Jump5, at the age of 11 but being the youngest was never a problem for her as she was already used to it.
“I’ve been the youngest person in almost everything I did leading up to Jump5,” she says. “I was the youngest in my classes, so I was actually really used to it. Plus, I grew up with the rest of the members of Jump5, so it didn’t feel any different for me.”
Growing up, Hargest was already accustomed to hard work at a young age. She developed a professional career at the age of three in singing, acting in commercials and in live theater and competed in dance competitions, all giving her the advantage . However, it was one particular audition that would change her life: the Jump5 audition. At the tender age of nine, Brittany and her brother, Brandon (who is 16 months older), were already prepared for all the challenges that would come their way.
Pop bands were notorious for their step-by-step dance moves, which took long hours of rehearsals for perfection but those hours was only a workout for Hargest.
“Before Jump5, we were dancing seven days a week for hours at a time,” she says. “Our lives were literally eat, sleep, school, dance, so rehearsing [for eight hours daily] was nothing for us.”
Jump5 was full of adventures and experiences, but also with significant meaning. Following the September 11th attacks, Jump5 expressed their grief and dismay through their cover of Lee Greenwalds “God Bless The USA”, which led to a performance at The White House in 2002 when President George Bush and wife, First Lady Laura Bush, hosted a night of music.
“I was 14 at the time and completely terrified,” she says of performing. “But he was such a cool guy and did his best to make us comfortable and calm. I’ll never forget that day for the rest of my life.”
Despite their massive success, Jump5 eventually had to come to an end. On December 16, 2007, their final concert in Nashville marked their disbandment, ending eight years of prosperity and success as a group.
“We had been doing it for almost a decade, which was literally half of our lives,” Hargest says of the split. “We loved every second of it, but we just felt it was time to move on and find new challenges.”
Since the end of Jump5, Hargest has explored the many opportunities and challenges in the music industry, including a formation with Brandon, called “guest.” The Hargest siblings finally had the opportunity to showcase their own music with “a slightly different sound, writing and recording our own music together.”
Brittany moved further in her music career when she went solo after signing a deal with SoulStride Records in February 2011, allowing her to release her own album. Through thick and thin, Hargest says putting out her first album, “Love All The Way” (released last September) solely was “one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences I’ve ever gone through, and I had such an amazing time doing it.”
Behind the title “Love All The Way”, Hargest endorses an empowering, optimistic message.
“I wanted everyone who listened to it know how greatly they were loved by our perfect and merciful God,” proudly expressing her faith. “God doesn’t just love us some of the time; He loves us no matter what we do, and he loves us all the way. There’s nothing we can do to stop that and that to me says it all.” Hargest hopes that listeners will understand how “amazing that simple fact is.”
After four years of walking into their own paths, the members of Jump5, once again, found themselves in the same room, in which Hargest calls an “accident” but performed the moves of “Spinnin’ Around” like they were still on tour. Even with the brief reunion, Brittany does not see Jump5 repeating history as they are already moving on with their lives. She jokes that a possibility will be a long ways away, fearing that too long will mean “breaking bones left and right, trying to do all of those flips!”
Clearly passionate about music, Hargest is inspired by many musicians and says her main reason of singing is because of the “different stories told through music and how it connects to people.” While she is passionate about music, Hargest is as passionate about dancing, teaching competitive dancing in Nashville. Just like old times, Hargest is currently touring across the country promoting her album and performing from show to show, proving that she is a hard worker when it comes to passion.