In 2011, BET promoted Mindless Behavior as being the "much-needed return of the R&B boy band."
The group toured around the country with the Backstreet Boys, Justin Bieber and Janet Jackson, and had two breakout singles — "My Girl" and "Mrs. Right." Years later, one of the founding four members of the band, Princeton Perez, is still feeding what he calls his "hunger for hustling" by diving back into the music scene and launching his solo career.
For this episode of In The Know: Profiles, we met with Perez to talk about what life has been like since Mindless Behavior and how he stays motivated to make music, dance and try new things.
"I knew at a very young age what I wanted to do," Perez told In The Know. "My childhood was very busy, I joined a group called Mindless Behavior when I was — I want to say — 10 years old, 11 years old."
Mindless Behavior broke up in 2013, when Perez was about 15. After taking a break from the spotlight for a while, Perez wanted to come back and be a performer.
"I just want to make people laugh and smile and entertain."
While Perez loves singing, he says he feels most comfortable in the dance studio. That's also what sets him apart from other singers trying to break into the business — he can showcase multiple talents in one performance.
"Dance is, like, the main focal point of me as an artist," Perez said. "Look at Michael Jackson, Usher and Chris Brown and Omarion and Bobby Brown — like, those are men who not only sang, but really danced — really put on a show."
Perez has been able to move comfortably from his boy band days and is welcoming a career of his own. He dropped a solo EP this July, has one million followers on Instagram and went on tour in support of his new album.
But being a star means more to him than fame, money and social media following. He wants to give his fans what his artistic heroes have given him.
"Being an entertainer, it's really, like, a process," Perez said. "I get to wake up and I get to sing and dance for a living, like that's lit in itself. People who see me perform or hear my music, I want them to leave feeling motivated."
Watch the full In The Know: Profiles episode above to learn more about Perez, his triple-threat career and life after Mindless Behavior.