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  • Writer's pictureSammie Starr


Updated: Aug 6, 2023

The story of NDGO is one that is filled with growing pains, member changes, and learning the value of what making music truly meant to them. But to really get to know NDGO, you have to start from the beginning.

Who exactly is NDGO? Well, to get to know this up-and-coming pop-rock band, their story is one filled with lots of growing pains, member changes, and overall learning the value of what making music truly stems from. Something that originally started as something to satiate inner childhood musician fantasies would emerge into more than they ever hoped it could be. But the blood, sweat, and tears that would go into such a journey would ultimately define what NDGO is. A prismatic act peppered with a bit of an edge, NDGO is more than your common pop-rock experience. While there were several times the band could have thrown in the towel, NDGO has shown that even through their darkest times, the band was capable of moving forward and finding success.

"Losing Game," one of my all-time favorite songs I wrote this with two of my best friends, Dave Williams and Jeremy Garcia. Similar to "Empty Room," this song too touches on the aspect of music from a relationship perspective. Music is a love-hate situation. At times, it can be very rewarding and loving, and in other moments, it can be heartless.

The reason NDGO continues to make music is not for the clout or the money it gives them. But from their journey of struggle and destruction came a message of hope, love, patience, and understanding. While this venture has not been the easiest for them, sometimes the lessons one learns along the way not only make one wiser but also reinforce the strength in one's internal armor. For NDGO, the rat race to achieving one's dreams has taught them to never settle for less, but within that fight to be that beacon of hope to others that need that same guidance as they fight their battles too. With their latest singles "Empty Room," "The Only One," and, "Losing Game," NDGO not only shares stories of self-doubt, anxiety, and relationships but also touches on a very interpersonal topic: We all share the same struggles and imperfections, and we all deserve to be loved despite them. Although NDGO is still new and blossoming within the pop-rock scene, their new singles are showing right off the bat that the mint pop-rock act is worthy of the listener's attention.

What started NDGO?

Hector Longoria: NDGO started because... Well, to be honest, the answer is not that simple. Originally, NDGO, or, at the time, Aviarist, our old band name, allowed several wild souls to express all emotions through music. A dream of living on the road, performing every night, and composing music that satisfied the inner child was our main objective. Chasing this ultimate goal was it! Music paid the bills. Like the great "Destiny’s Child" so well put it, "Can you pay my bills? Can you pay my telephone bills? Do you pay my automo’ bills? If you did, then maybe we can chill." Unfortunately, a goal once at the tip of our fingers had now grown exponentially, further creating a void between members. Something forged to bring joy through our struggles, blood, sweat, and tears was now destroying relationships among friends and loved ones. Murphy’s Law grasped my hand and taught me a valuable lesson: "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong," and so it did. After the original band members parted ways, it was up to me to figure out what was to come of this. Several times I said I was throwing in the towel and getting back to the never-ending Rat Race, but deep within I knew this wasn’t what I had envisioned for myself, my family, or NDGO.

In the following months, I began to experience some of my darkest times. Self-destruction, self-sabotage, and, worst of all, pushing the very people who unconditionally loved me away. This is when my best friend, personal manager, confidant, and most importantly, the love of my life explained that if I chose to move forward in this endeavor and be successful, my mind, heart, and soul required a significant transformation. If I chose to ignore all warning signs, our personal lives, and NDGO would surely fail, becoming another statistic. In the process of searching for happiness, truth, and change, I quickly noticed NDGO’s writing style began reflecting the higher vibration I was now part of. In short, the reason NDGO was created was once for fame, money, and clout. A group of dudes writing music is waiting for their big break. It is now apparent that NDGO has been designed to spread a message of hope. NDGO is the beacon cutting through the fog, guiding like-minded people to a world of understanding, patience, and love. We aim to be the candle you light when the darkest of times seem overwhelming.

Photo Credit: Levi Guzman

I want to express to the world the gratitude, love, and joy I now reside in. We all tend to set aside all these qualities because of how the world treats us, but what if we could change that? What would be the harm in helping one another, no matter the differences? "Optimism is a strategy for making a better future.

Because unless you believe that the future can be better, it's unlikely that you will step up and take responsibility for making it so. If you assume that there's no hope, you guarantee that there will be no hope." Noam Chomsky Vivian, thank you for always seeing the best in me and never allowing failure to be an option. You’re the reason NDGO thrives and continues to capture people's hearts. Because of you, I can now show the world what I was so afraid to embrace: LOVE. The beautiful message you’ve shared with me is now part of every individual who chooses to connect with NDGO, and I plan on giving everyone every ounce I have to offer. We all deserve love.

What is the story behind the band's name?

Hector Longoria: The story behind the band's name is a wild one. As we all know, the name can easily make or break the band's outcome. Branding, logos, emblems, and the memorizing of said name—every detail plays an important role when it comes to a band's name. We all knew how important and difficult it’d be to come up with a catchy and meaningful name, and lucky for us, we were at the right place at the right time with the right people. I remember sitting in Aaron Marsh’s living room as if we were part of King Arthur’s round table discussing the next major play. I sat closest to the kitchen with my back facing it. To my left sat Lee Rouse, and to his left stood Josh Landry. Right in front of me sat Addy (Adonijah Cartwright), grinding away on his laptop.

To the left of him sat Jaten (Jaten Dimsdale, aka "Teddy Swims") and Pat Lyfe (Patric Lowry) behind him. Jaten immediately started throwing out cool concepts centered around paranormal topics like aliens and connecting with ancestors. He suggested "Star Child," and everyone kind of just shrugged it off. Several names based on his first idea were circulating, and amongst the chatter, he then mentioned the name "Indigo Kid". We then changed our focus to the new idea he tossed out there. Shortly after, Addy turns his laptop on and says, "It should be "Indigo" abbreviated to look like..." and there it was, our new band name "ND//GO". The forward slashes didn’t make the cut. All this happened in Monroe, Georgia. I loved every minute of it. The home housed so much talent, and we were privileged to see it firsthand. Thank you, and much love to you all. Huge shoutout to Sid (Former Guitarist: Sidney Steelhammer) for being a part of this journey as long as you did, because we all know how much you loved this baby.

What inspired your last few singles, "Empty Room," "The Only One," and your newest single, "Losing Game?" What was the process like to write those instrumentals? I know you guys are influenced by a lot of 90s pop, R&B, and hard rock to create the sound you have made.

Hector Longoria: The inspiration for each of these singles deals with two major topics I feel musicians deal with in life. The topics are different, but the sacrifices are always the same. For example, "Empty Room" speaks about self-doubt surely leading to the plateau of an artist.

Without risk and chance, an artist cannot reach their full potential, resulting in playing for an empty room. The outcome of a project is the direct result of how much passion is invested. This song definitely has some 2000s-style melodies with that iconic boy band feel. During the writing process, I remember Josh commenting how the first half of the chorus reminded him of the song "Dilemma" by Nelly ft. Kelly Rowland. I loved that song as a kid, so we ran with it. It just made sense. "The Only One," on the other hand, was written for my two beautiful daughters, Zada and Aleya. This is one of the last songs we wrote for the first original album with Lee and Josh. We spoke about the topic I wanted to write about and how we should approach it. In conversation, the movie "Interstellar" came up, and I explained how much that film impacted our family. Lee, being the amazing guy he is, proceeded to use Han Zimmer’s masterpiece as inspiration to create "The Only One". Understanding that you make mistakes as a parent will ease the anxiety. We’re not perfect, but as parents, we know our love is unconditional, and your smiles are the reason we continue to push boundaries.

I’m here to show my kids the possibility of achieving a dream as long as goals are set and followed through. Brian (Brian Bradley, thank you again for taking the time to design a music video that Viv and I cherish. The time you and Viv took to gather all the footage necessary to make this happen was a sacrifice like no other. Thank you a million times over. To both of you. Finally, "Losing Game," one of my all-time favorite songs I wrote this with two of my best friends, Dave Williams and Jeremy Garcia. Similar to "Empty Room," this song too touches on the aspect of music from a relationship perspective. Music is a love-hate situation. At times, it can be very rewarding and loving, and in other moments, it can be heartless. Another reason this song means so much is that the instrumental complements the lyrical content very well. I’m a little biased because it’s the first time I implemented a new style of vocals I had been experimenting with. Dave and Jeremy went hard on this one for sure! Side note: The music video Kevin McDermott and his homie Eric Alaniz put together is just amazing. Kevin’s depiction of a boxing match for this track completed the ensemble.

Lyrically, can we dig into what a lot of these singles are talking about?

Hector Longoria: Digging into lyrics is my favorite part. I’ve always been the one to try and decipher any message if any exist. I guess I’m just a deep kind of person. For the most part, all these songs are about situations I’ve experienced firsthand or seen a loved one go through. Lately, I’ve been listening to the world and its chaos. The next wave of things is going to doom us into the future. (DYNO definition: A 'dyno' is when the climber makes a dynamic movement that uses momentum to get to the next hold.) What are you hoping listeners take away from these experiences?

Photo Credit: Levi Guzman

There are multiple things I’d love the listener to take from these experiences, validation that you’re not alone is my main one. A warning to the youth about repeating cycles but not forgetting the nostalgia. Questions to the ether with responses that only you can understand, and if you don’t, don’t beat yourself up about it.

Capable of admitting that sometimes the only way to hear it is in silence. In layman's terms, you relate to me through my songs, and I relate to you through the ether’s frequency in silence. Does that make sense? Every song is a puzzle in my life, with every wild twist and turn. Just listen.

I know it's a bit early to say, but how would you say you guys have grown from these few singles you have released so far?

Hector Longoria: After releasing the recent singles, we’ve felt that our growth has been slow but consistently on the rise. Our numbers fluctuate, but our focus has always been and will always be writing the best genuine music for our friends. Our audience, whether they be future, past, or present, will always have access to the hotline. Just type in that four-digit code on any platform, and you’re sure to find what you’re looking for. Don’t be disappointed if you don’t hear it; not everyone is ready. If you know, you know. "Don't listen to the person who has the answers; listen to the person who has the questions." Albert Einstein

What is next for you guys moving forward?

Hector Longoria: The next thing on the agenda is to take over the world, Pinky. All jokes aside, next I head to LA to meet up with the man, the myth, and the legend, Kev (Kevin Kerestes), to create and finish an amazing record we started writing in February of this year, 2023. This has been the year of innovation and perseverance. Allowing the mind to run rampant and push the boundaries of music, all while working toward completing each goal on the list. Every member of the team looks for opportunities, wherever they may lie.


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