Big Time Rush breaks out of the box

Written by Lindsey Gillespie

“To be put in a box”: to surround (someone or something) and make movement difficult, according to the article, “What do people mean when they say “don’t let people put you in a box’?” from the website Quora

We often hear about people who believe they have been “put in a box.” Whether they are talking about their career or personal life, to most people this can feel like someone has taken control of their destiny, somehow putting invisible walls around them that confine them and inhibit their movement into new territory, growth, and success. While this could happen to anyone, we can learn valuable lessons about overcoming this situation from someone who successfully “climbed out of that box.”

Now imagine you’re a musician and you’ve released your first hit single. It will become what people recognize you for and where they associate you from. Over time, you’ll develop your own little (or large if you’re Taylor Swift or Harry Styles) niche style and fanbase that sets you apart from other artists. This is your box. Fast forward 10 years and you’re tired of that same old box. You’ve outgrown it and are ready to move on. Can you do it?

This is what is currently happening with the boy band, Big Time Rush. You’re probably asking yourself, 

“Lindsey, what does this have to do with public relations?”

Well, I’m about to tell you.

Big Time Rush was first introduced to the world in 2009 on the Nickelodeon television show with the same name. For five consecutive years, Kendall Schmidt, James Maslow, Logan Henderson, and Carlos Penavega sold out tours, filmed four successful seasons, and stole the hearts of fans all over the world. In 2014, following the finale of their fourth season, the band announced their hiatus. With other bands like One Direction on the rise, Big Time Rush was losing traction and grew tired of the box Nickelodeon put them in. They wanted to expand their discography and do more with their career, but were unable to do so due to their kid-friendly image. 

The band released its third studio album, 24/seven, in 2015. One of the songs on it, “Love Me Again,” is about someone trying to get another person back in their life and making them fall in love with them again. This song had an inherently more mature sound than their past releases. Nickelodeon did not think that song showcased the kid friendly image that they wanted the bands to portray. The band was forced to remaster the song and publish a version that they were not proud of. At this point, the boys were ready to break free. The original demo of the song was then published to YouTube by the band and within minutes, Nickelodeon was forcing the band to take the video down, threatening to cancel the upcoming tour, and terminate the band. This was the turning point for the band.

Fast forward to 2021. Big Time Rush was back. But this time, the group bought the rights to the band from Nickelodeon. They were about to do things their way for the very first time. Without a major network behind them, the band had to be careful with their next steps. Announcing two comeback shows, the band tested the waters to see if the world would receive them again. In an interview with radio DJ and show host Zach Sang, Penavega stated that these shows were vital for the future of the band. These shows would finance the next steps and the new music that the band wanted to produce. Within minutes, both shows sold out. The world was ready for Big Time Rush.

As expected, the band performed their well-known songs from the hit television show but showcased their newest work as well. Fans were thrilled with the new sound and happy that the band was making music that reflected on their adult lives, as most of their fans are adults just like them. But the media believed otherwise. 

No matter what the band does, they will forever be remembered for their Nickelodeon show and compared to that period of time in their careers. But with the motivation and support from their fans, they are being lifted out of that box and exploring new sounds and career moves. While the band will always look fondly at their career, they want to be known as Big Time Rush, the band. Not Big Time Rush, the kiddie tv show. Schmidt stated in the interview with Zach Sang that “the television show gave [them] credibility as a band, but [they] do not believe that the work [they] are producing today reflects on their past.”

As a fan of the band and a public relations major, I believe this journey is a perfect example of taking risks and showcasing that you are able to get out of that box that people put you into. Whether it be your career or personal life, with people supporting you and believing in you, you can get out of that “box.”


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