Although we refer to this series of blogs as our Small Business Success Stories, we always keep an eye out for organizations and groups that might not typically fall under the “small business” umbrella. Purely business-oriented or not, their stories are fascinating and offer some intriguing insights to our Signs.com community – no matter the market, industry, or topic at hand.
This time around, we hear from Midnight3, a band out of Parkland, Florida, comprising three young talented sisters. Despite their modest years, the three have already had to endure the tragedy of a mass shooting and now a viral pandemic – but they have somehow managed to not only keep their spirits high but have also continued following their path of musical success.
Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the wall decal the band ordered from Signs.com. Sporting Midnight3’s designed logo, the 41 x 29-inch decal is proudly affixed to a wall in the band’s home rehearsal room.
Strengthening a Sisterly Bond
Can you tell us about the band?
Midnight3 band is a multi-genre sister trio, ages 11, 14, and 17, from Parkland, Florida. Our main genre is rock, but we also perform pop and country songs. Layla, 11 years old, is our lead singer, keyboardist, and bassist; 14-year-old Bella is our lead guitarist and background vocalist; and 17-year-old Selena is our drummer, background vocalist, and occasional guitarist. We each started taking piano lessons around age 4, then began taking lessons six years ago on our current musical instruments at Parkland International Music Academy (PIMA), where we continue to take lessons.
What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
One thing most people don’t know about us is our Puerto Rican heritage. Our abuelita, our mom’s mom, was born there. We visited her beautiful homeland and loved it! We know you said one thing, but we can’t leave out our grandpa, Ed Burke – he was a musician, too, and produced Big Band music. His Ed Burke Collection contains about 1,400 reel-to-reel tapes comprising hundreds of hours of live radio programs featuring virtually every musician of major importance during the Big Band Era. The collection is now housed in the Glenn Miller Archives at the University of Colorado, where our grandfather is recognized for preserving an important piece of American culture.
Where does the band perform?
Midnight3 band performs in the South Florida area. Through PIMA, we’ve played at many venues in Deerfield Beach, Boca Raton, Coral Springs, Miami, and Parkland. We’ve loved playing benefit concerts like Surfers for Autism and Hurricane Relief for Puerto Rico. We have also performed at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort and at Universal Studios in Orlando. Small venues, like coffee shops, are fun, too. Last fall, we wrote a song and recorded it for a music video for the “Cool Kidz” reality TV show; unfortunately, though, the coronavirus situation seems to have halted that project.
Where did the idea of your band come from?
In 2015, we began playing public venues as members of other bands with PIMA. However, on February 14, 2018, while Selena was in class at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, she lost two friends to the mass shooting that took place that day. Bella and Layla, meanwhile, were in nearby schools and feared for the other’s safety – in fact, the shooter jumped the fence at the high school to the middle school, where Bella was. Thankfully, none of us were hurt physically, but it took some time to cope emotionally – it was family and music that helped us heal. As a result, it strengthened our bond, and less than four months later we made our public debut as Midnight3 in June of 2018.
Girls Who Rock
What sets you apart from your competition?
Three main things set us apart from other bands: First, the three of us are sisters. Second, we are only 11, 14, and 17 years old. Finally, we’re girls who rock!
How do you market the band?
Live performances have been our best marketing tool because people get to see us and hear us in person. But we also use Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube to get our message out, and we’re thinking about maybe adding a TikTok account soon. Word of mouth helps, too.
How do you “wow” your fan base?
When some people hear that a band is made up of kids, they might expect to hear Disney songs or a bad recital performance. But the people who show up and stick around are always surprised – because we play everything from Metallica, Imagine Dragons, The White Stripes, and Skillet to Vance Joy, Chainsmokers, 21 Pilots, and One Republic, to Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Elvis, and Lauren Daigle. Plus, 11-year old Layla is an amazing front-woman – she bangs her head and jumps around the stage while singing, and playing bass and keyboards, all at the same time!
What are one or two strategies for gaining fans that you have been successful with?
The main way we’ve gained a fan base is by staying true to ourselves. We like a lot of different genres of music, so we don’t fit into just one box, like being just a rock band or just being a pop group. We tend to cover songs that we like instead of only focusing on songs that are trending.
How do you compete with competitors that are bigger than you in the music industry?
Right now, we don’t compete with musicians that are bigger than us. They have the money and support of a record label, a management team, and a marketing team. Until we get to that level, we’re just going to continue to focus on what we love doing, which is playing music together.
Is there one book that you recommend our community should
read? And why?
Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly, because it’s about four women who overcame adversity and became successful in their careers.
Missing the Stage
What is one of the biggest challenges you have had with your band, and how did you overcome it?
Our biggest challenge has been the COVID-19 pandemic. As of right now, the county is in phase 2 of reopening the community – however, this means that they are opening at only 50-percent capacity. Large crowds are still being prohibited and bands are still not allowed to play. As a result, we’ve been taking it day by day, and practicing, so that that we’ll be able to perform new songs when everything returns to normal. One thing is for sure: We can’t wait to play because we sure miss the stage!
If you were to start over, what would you do differently?
We wouldn’t do anything differently. But if we had to choose, maybe it would be to start Midnight3 when we were younger to gain more experience. But honestly, we wouldn’t change a thing.
What is the one thing you would do over and over – and recommend that everyone else do, too?
Practice! Because there’s always room for improvement. Comparing a video of a song we performed two years ago to a video of the same song we played recently showed us just how much we have improved.
Can you speak to your band’s growth to this point? And why do you think it will continue?
Every time we have played at a different venue, we’ve increased our fan base. Playing live lets people see who we really are and allows us to connect with our audience. Consistency, contact, and connection have proven to be effective for us – that’s why we think it will continue.
Where can you be found on the internet?