About Big Time Rush
Big Time Rush is living proof of the proverb “good things come to those who wait.” The process of finding Kendall Schmidt, James Maslow, Carlos Pena and Logan Henderson began three years ago, and now, after an incredibly successful first season on their hit Nickelodeon show of the same name, the band is finally ready to unveil their debut album entitled BTR.
To understand Big Time Rush is to know their smash series, which boasts the highest-rated and most-watched live-action premiere in the history of the network, attracting 6.8 million viewers. Each member is a skilled singer/songwriter/musician in his own right – James and Carlos attended performing arts schools while Kendall and Logan simply honed in on their innate talent.
Big Time Rush’s real-life musical career does have some parallels to their TV show’s plotlines, but signing with Columbia Records is a far cry from dealing with the shenanigans at Rocque Records. The cultivation of the four members has been much more intense, raising the bar with A-list producers and collaborators such as Kevin Rudolf (Leona Lewis, Lil Wayne), Claude Kelly (Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears), S*A*M and Sluggo (Boys Like Girls, We The Kings, Gym Class Heroes) and OFM (Jay Sean).
Although they’ve sold over 1-million combined digital singles to date, this full-length release has been a long time coming. After a two-year audition process and a whirlwind year of filming, recording and promoting, the band eventually holed up at a Los Angeles studio for just over two weeks to record BTR. The album reflects the guys’ boy band aesthetic, but it also taps into a spectrum of genres, including pop, R&B, rock and dance.
“I think people are going to be really surprised by the kind of music that’s on the album,” Kendall says. “It shows the diversity in the group and the different styles of music we’re into, and it’s really interesting to hear the mix of our voices – it’s hard to even put a genre on it.”
BTR is comprised of original songs, some of which fans have already heard on Big Time Rush, and others that have yet to premiere on TV. The album jumped onto the Billboard Charts at no. 3 and has already sold over 200,000 units in the United States. In the first track on the album, “Til I Forget About You,” the four-piece showcases their melodic disposition and anthemic gang vocals.
“Oh Yeah” is another standout track, which was co-written by Rudolf and the band, and features the New York native’s signature rock fusion vibe. “‘Oh Yeah’ is kind of about this discovery,” James explains. “It starts off with the chorus line, ‘Who am I supposed to be,’ and it’s kind of about asking, ‘What am I supposed to do to get you to like me?’ but it doesn’t even matter if you like me or not, because we’re going to have a good time.”
The album also includes the band’s R&B duet with Jordin Sparks, “Count On You,” which was performed with the American Idol winner on the band’s unforgettable Season One episode “Big Time Sparks.” “She is amazing,” Carlos gushes. “She has an incredible voice and was a great actor.”
Big Time Rush is excited to take their music to the stage, not just to perform live before their fans, but to also show them who they are outside of their on-screen personas. “We all have such different personalities, and I think we all really want to represent ourselves,” Kendall says. “Ultimately, on the show we are playing characters, and when we get to do a performance, it’s our chance to show who we really are.”
“I think the cool thing about us is that we are cheering alongside of our fans,” Logan adds. “It’s a group effort and we’re able to do it together. It’s awesome to be a part of something big; to really change the way people see music and think about music. Being able to put music out there that people love, can have fun with and can dance to is something we’re really excited about.” And that is something worth waiting for.
Middle Name: David
Date of Birth: July 16, 1990
Place of Birth: New York City, NY
Favorite color: Green
Favorite TV show: Entourage
Favorite flower: Poppy
Favorite book: Ender’s Game
In school: Did pretty good, got mostly A’s
Favorite animal: Horse
Favorite band: Maroon 5
Favorite sport: Football
Favorite football team: Chargers
Favorite Cereal: Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Favorite superhero: Spiderman.
Favorite Frozen Yogurt: Pistachio
Biography: Singer, dancer and actor James Maslow stars in the new Nickelodeon live-action comedy series Big Time Rush, as music group member James, who has the biggest ego of all his friends and believes that he and the group are the coolest guys ever.
After moving around in his early years, Maslow’s family settled in La Jolla, Calif. when he was six years old. Maslow joined the San Diego Children’s Choir, igniting a passion for singing and performing. “Some of my favorite memories are singing at the San Diego Padres game with the Children’s Choir and performing in La Boheme with the San Diego Opera,” he said. Determined to be an entertainer, he transferred in eighth grade to San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts, despite that it was thirty miles away and he would have to rise before dawn to catch the bus to school and then endure a four hour bus ride home. He later attended the independent study program at the Coronado School of the Arts, choosing the arts over his other great love…football.
Recently, Maslow guest starred on iCarly as the cute boy who causes a rift between best friends Carly and Sam when they fight over who saw him first. He also stars in the independent feature film Mean.
“Singing is what got me into everything and made me fall in love with this industry,” Maslow said. “Both singing and acting are so rewarding that I couldn’t pick between the two.” Thankfully, he doesn’t have to choose as his new role allows him to do it all. He adds, “The great thing about playing James is that as an actor, I get to take it to the extreme. It’s fun to show off when you’re being asked to do that — as my character is completely self-absorbed and is always making a fool of himself.”
When he is not working, Maslow enjoys surfing, riding horses and mountain climbing. This past June, he climbed Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in the continental U.S. A singer/songwriter, he also plays the guitar and piano. Maslow also trains in Saito Ninjutsu, a form of martial arts his father introduced him to at the age of 10. Maslow spends much of his time on the 5 freeway driving back and forth from San Diego to Los Angeles and hopes to lay down roots in L.A. soon with his yellow Labrador, Falco.
Middle name: Francis
Date of Birth: November 2, 1990
Place of Birth: Wichita, Kansas
Favorite color: Green
Favorite TV show: Family Guy
Favorite ice cream: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Favorite Flower: Sunflower
Favorite book: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
In school: Was a procrastinator
Favorite animal: Python or Boa Constrictor
Favorite band: Taking Back Sunday
Favorite sport: Football
Favorite football team: KC Chiefs
Favorite Cereal: Lucky Charms
Favorite superhero: Spider Man
Biography: Kendall Schmidt stars in the new Nickelodeon live-action comedy series Big Time Rush as Kendall, the lead singer of the new “princes of pop” music group.
Born in Wichita, Kansas, Schmidt was raised in nearby Andover and grew up the youngest of three brothers who all caught the acting bug. After watching his two brothers, Kenneth and Kevin, travel back and forth to Los Angeles, Schmidt decided he also wanted to be an actor. While it began as “something fun to do,” Schmidt quickly became passionate about pursuing a career in the entertainment industry. “My first acting memory is starring in a Chex cereal commercial with my brothers. Even though we went to the audition separately, we were cast to play brothers,” he recalls.
When he was 10 years-old, his family finally made the move from Kansas to California. Schmidt soon landed recurring roles on General Hospital, Titus, Raising Dad, Gilmore Girls and CSI: Miami. He also guest starred on series including ER, Mad TV, Frasier and Phil of the Future and most recently, Without a Trace and Ghost Whisperer. On the big screen, he appeared in Minority Report, AI and Lions Gate’s According to Spencer.
In addition to acting, Schmidt’s other love is making music. Within the last three years, he has learned to play guitar and has honed his vocal skills from singing in the car with his mom to recording in the studio. Inspired by “Incubus,” his all-time favorite band, and “Taking Back Sunday,” Schmidt also writes his own music. Another source of inspiration is his family. “My whole family has given me the drive to succeed,” he said. “My brothers mean the world to me. They keep me grounded and offer a different perspective when I need advice.”
Schmidt was drawn to his role in Big Time Rush by the music. “Acting comes naturally to me but I think I am best at music,” said Schmidt. “If I could combine both loves, then I am successful.” Schmidt identifies with his character, who suddenly finds himself thrust into the limelight, trying to get a handle on being a part of a music group. His character Kendall’s attitude is to enjoy the ride –and Schmidt plans on following the same advice.
When he is not focusing on his music and acting, Schmidt likes hanging out with his friends or being outdoors, whether it’s to rock climb, surf or skateboard. Schmidt lives in Los Angeles with his two dogs, cat, bird, tortoise and python.
Carlos Pena Jr.
Full Name: Carlos Roberto Pena
Date of Birth: August 15, 1989
Place of Birth: Columbia, Missouri
Favorite TV Show: Modern Family
Favorite Flower: Rose
Favorite book: Into The Wild
In school: Took school seriously
Favorite animal: Monkey
Favorite band: Train
Favorite sport: Hockey
Favorite episode so far: Big Time Mansion
Favorite football team: Dolphins
Favorite Cereal: Fruity Pebbles
Favorite superhero: Hulk
Biography: Carlos Pena stars on the new Nickelodeon live-action comedy series Big Time Rush, as music group member Carlos, who loves to have fun and treats life like one big playground.
Pena, who was born to a Dominican mother and a Spanish/Venezuelan father, spent the first part of his youth in Columbia, Mo. before moving to Weston, Fla. Once settled in Weston, he joined a boys’ choir and found himself at home in musical theater. While developing his vocal skills, he also studied guitar and piano. Looking for an opportunity to break into show business, he landed a job for the Super Soaker Water Gun campaign where he appeared in numerous national commercials and was featured on the Super Soaker packaging.
Soon after, Pena landed a recurring role on Nickelodeon’s Ned’s DeClassified School Survival Guide. In addition, he has guest starred on E.R., Judging Amy and Summerland. He competed on the MTV reality show Making Menudo where he found himself among the final nine contestants vying to be in the next Menudo.
When the opportunity to audition for Big Time Rush came along, Pena was ready to embark on his first year at the Boston Conservatory and decided to pass on the audition. Thanks to his manager’s tenacity, Pena later sent in an acting piece to the producers, and a month later, landed the gig. Satisfied to put his attendance at the Conservatory on hold for now Pena says, “I’m thrilled to be on this show. I didn’t realize how amazing this experience would be – to be able to act and sing and be a part of a very funny TV show.”
Pena hopes to bring a multi-dimensional aspect to his character Carlos. “He is a tough guy with the fun personality and he has everyone’s back,” Pena commented. “But when he gets into the recording studio, this soft side of him comes out and he is singing romantic ballads for the ladies.”
Pena hopes to someday perform on Broadway and to be one of the few Latinos to win a Best Actor award at the Oscars. A certified rescue diver, Pena enjoys spending his time underwater scuba diving. A recent transplant to Los Angeles, Pena’s family and four dogs still live in Florida.
Middle name: Phillip
Birthday: September 14, 1989
Favorite color: Black
Favorite TV show: Entourage
Favorite flower: Dahlia
Favorite book: Norwegian Wood
In school: Was a class clown
Favorite animal: White tiger
Favorite band: the Clash
Favorite sport: Basketball
Favorite football team: Cowboys
Favorite Cereal: Honey Nut Cherrios
Favorite superhero: Batman
Biography: Logan Henderson stars in the new Nickelodeon live-action comedy series Big Time Rush as music group member Logan, the brains of the operation who is the voice of reason for his friends.
A native of Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas, Henderson always wanted to be in the entertainment business but wasn’t certain how to get started. After he attended an acting studio in his hometown at age 16, he fell in love with acting. His first on-camera role was as a guest star on the television series Friday Night Lights. “We filmed in a movie theatre and I was in a fight scene with the main character, Smash,” Henderson recalls. “It was the coolest first experience on set.”
Henderson enjoys singing but never considered himself a singer. “In the last year, I have been finding new ways to use my voice by working with a vocal coach and doing various exercises,” he said. While his character is still honing his skills on the dance floor, Henderson, who is 20 years old, confesses, “I am not a great dancer either but I can bust out one cool move – the back flip.”
When he has downtime, he prefers to be outdoors, either hiking or being on a board – wakeboard, skateboard or snowboard. After driving non-stop back and forth from Texas nine times now, Henderson has finally settled in Los Angeles