No Guidnce have come to claim the UK’s R&B crown.
Kaci and Zeekay, both 19, Josh, 22, and Ebubé, 20, are piled onto a sofa at their label’s swanky office in King’s Cross, North London. Their excitement, even over Zoom, is clear: today marks their biggest release yet, Is It A Crime, a proper sensual ballad penned in collaboration with Ariana Grande-hitmaker Victoria Monét.
“She hit us up on Instagram after Genius posted one of our TikToks on their feed,” Josh says. “She said she’d love to have a session with us and that’s how it came about.” A medley of super-smooth, ever-so-horny harmonies, Is It A Crime recalls the heyday of bands such as Jodeci and B2K: “They all look better than the best /Just might take me home one or two or maybe four /‘Cause we all know more is more,” the greedy gits croon, bemoaning the hardships of being surrounded by just too many hot women. It’s a hard life, eh?
Before Is It A Crime hit the airwaves, No Guidnce were already well-acquainted with viral success, having racked up millions of streams on Spotify and views on TikTok with singles Committed and Lie To Me.
“I’d be lying if I said we didn’t expect those songs to do reasonably well,” Zeekay admits. “There was a lot of build-up, especially behind the scenes with fans on social media, which meant things took off pretty quickly.”
The four-piece have been working together since April 2021. Zeekay and Kaci knew each other from a previous project and went on the hunt for two more voices to complete the group. They clicked with Josh immediately, before Ebubé, the one with the “lower end sound”, as Kaci puts it, came on board as the missing link. “Luckily, we all get along,” he says, laughing, but not so hard that I don’t believe him.
As Britain’s hottest new boy band gears up for world domination, we asked its members all about their favourite foods, worst habits and top holiday destinations. You know, the important stuff.
10% Where were you born, where were you raised and where are you based now?
Ebubé: Born and raised in South East London. Now I live in North London.
Zeekay: Born and raised in South East London, as well. Still in South East, born and bred, bone and blood.
Josh: Born and raised in North London. Still living there.
Kaci: Born and raised in South West London [the interview gets more interesting after this, we promise – Ed].
20% What kind of “emotions” and “experiences” influence your work?
Josh: And relationships.
Ebubé: But mostly life experiences. A lot of the stuff we do isn’t really individual, it’s as a group. So we come together and share stories which makes the music that we do.
Zeekay: We’re a boyband. Girls want to hear us sing about certain things. A lot of the stuff we talk about is love and relationships as a result – that forms the basis of our inspiration.
30% What’s a bad habit you wish you could kick?
Josh: Whenever I have a day off, I can spend the whole day lying down on the sofa and watching a TV series, and I won’t feel bad about it.
Zeekay: Procrastination, too.
Kaci: Mine’s biting the skin on my fingers. I tried to use the disgusting nail varnish but it always ruins any handheld (??) food I eat!
40% What’s the strangest DM you’ve received?
Ebubé: Sometimes they’re just creepy.
Zeekay: There’s a time a girl DM’d me, and she just said: “Buy me a Louis Vuitton bag.” I was like… It wasn’t successful, but I respected the effort.
Kaci: Someone wrote on my TikTok the other day: “I don’t want them all. I just want you.”
Josh: I’ve gotten some weird inappropriate nudes. It’s not great.
50% If you’re cooking food to impress someone, what will you make?
Zeekay: I’m gonna go for Mexican food. You can buy the kits!
Josh: I feel like I could cook a really good steak, too, with some broccoli and garlic butter.
Kaci: I’d probably be too adventurous with it because I don’t really cook that often. I just need the instructions. Maybe chilli con carne or something like that.
60% You rule the world for a day. What’s going down?
Josh: Everyone’s Spotify automatically likes No Guidnce! Like when Apple Music did that thing with U2.
Kaci: I’d give myself so much money. I’d also distribute it more evenly.
Ebubé: Make planes only have business class.
70% Name something you love, something you like, and something you hate.
Ebubé: We love sushi.
Josh: And Coca Cola.
Zeekay: We like music.
Ebubé: We hate a lot of things. Economy class.
Kaci: I hate queuing.
80% No.1 holiday destination?
Ebubé: South of France.
Josh: Bali or Saint Barts.
Zeekay: Dubai or Tokyo.
90% What’s the most pointless fact you can share?
Josh: I heard that koalas naturally have chlamydia [not strictly true, Josh, but you can read more about koala chlamydia here].
Kaci: China is one fifth of the world’s population, which is mad [actually 18.7 per cent but close enough – Ed].
100% If you could travel back in time to see an iconic music act perform, who would it be?
Josh: Whitney Houston.
Ebubé: Michael Jackson.
Thanks, No Guidnce!