Next Radical Generation
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Next Radical Generation

Plant City, Florida, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Plant City, Florida, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Pop Cover Band


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"NRG - Holiday Tour show of their talents to Gayle Guyardo"

Video interview - News Channel 8

"Singing Sensations"

By Michael Eng | Managing Editor

Behind the stage at their recent performance at The Shops at Wiregrass, in Wesley Chapel, four members of Plant City’s Next Radical Generation gather together for an impromptu rehearsal. Decked out in coordinated silver costumes, the singers lean in. And even without microphones, their harmonies break through the white noise of Christmas shoppers buzzing through the plaza.

Hundreds gather for the evening performances in front of the stage. A less-experienced group could succumb under this pressure-cooker atmosphere.

But with dozens of performances already in the books — including two television appearances in the last three weeks — the members of N.R.G. thrive in the spotlight.

“Oh, they’re ready,” Director Yvonne Fry says. “They’re excited.”

This week, N.R.G. brings its Christmas repertoire home with two performances in Plant City. The group will perform at Lights of Love at 6 p.m. Dec. 6, and again at the Christmas Parade at 6 p.m. Dec. 7. Both events take place in Historic Downtown Plant City.

Watching the youth singing group perform, it’s hard to believe N.R.G. is less than three years old. The group began in 2010, after Fry learned several young artists were searching for a group with which to perform. Some Plant City students were traveling out of town just to showcase their talents, and Fry decided to spearhead an effort to keep those talents in the community.

“We wanted to be a wholesome Glee,” she says. “Plant City has a lot of people interested in the arts. This was a group of kids with diverse backgrounds. Some had musical theater training, others were dancers or solo artists.

“I pitched the idea, and they were absolutely in,” Fry says. “This is such a labor of love.”

Originally launched as a singing group, N.R.G. has since expanded into a full-fledged production company. In addition to the singers, the group also now features a live band, full tech crew, costume and makeup crew, and business management and networking departments. Furthermore, other than parents serving as chaperones and assisting with logistics, N.R.G. is entirely run by the students themselves.

“The kids run this business,” Fry says.

Business Manager Jourdain Cole, 13, spends as much as 20 hours each week helping with everything from scripting the shows and making cue cards to managing the rehearsal and performance calendars.

N.R.G. participants maintain a rigorous schedule. By year’s end, they will have performed more than 30 shows in 2012, including appearances at the Strawberry Festival in March, the Mitt Romney rally in October, in St. Petersburg, and the Empty Bowls Luncheon and Pioneer Days events in November.

“It’s important for (the kids) to participate in community events,” Fry says. “It’s important for them to know what it takes to make a community.”

The group creates custom set lists for every performance — including everything from popular hits on the radio today to specially themed programs such as their current Christmas performance. In addition to its cover material, N.R.G. also has written an original tune, “Never Gonna Stop Us.”

Although only some of the N.R.G. performers may pursue a career in the performing arts, Fry says the life lessons the group teaches will benefit each participant for years to come.

“This is not about building a career,” she says. “This is about building a person. They learn accountability, teamwork and attitude. … These kids will be the leaders in our community in the future.”

Contact Michael Eng at

Dec. 6: Lights of Love, Historic Downtown Plant City
Dec. 7: Christmas Parade, Historic Downtown Plant City
Dec. 19: Christmas Lane, Dover
Dec. 22: Now Snowing, Downtown Celebration

For more information, check out N.R.G.’s website at You also can become a fan on the group’s Facebook page, - Plant City Observer

"Childhood friends in the band NRG play the Strawberry Festival"


Ashtyn Steele knelt on the ground over a coffee table inside the Dance Carousel studio in Plant City on a Wednesday night last month, trying to fit in some algebra homework before rehearsal.

Steele, 14, is a member of NRG (Next Radical Generation), a performing group that includes eight of her closest friends. They're in eighth grade and have known each other since preschool.

NRG is performing Saturday at the Florida Strawberry Festival in the Sweetbay Supermarket Showcase Tent. Shows are at 7 and 9 p.m. with a meet-and-greet at 8:30 p.m.

They've performed at the festival before as part of a multigroup show. This year they're taking over the 1,200-seat tent for their own show.

But first they have to finish their homework.

They attend Tomlin Middle School and most of them are involved in other clubs and activities. But they come together each week to practice for shows like the Strawberry Festival.

NRG started in 2011, when the kids were in sixth grade. They played Munchkins in a Plant City High School production of The Wizard of Oz. NRG producer Yvonne Fry's son, Arie, 14, was in the show. She got the other parents together to help the kids start their own performing group so they didn't have to go all the way to Tampa for lessons and chorus groups every week.

Now, two years later, they're performing at big events like the Strawberry Festival and the Florida State Fair, and sang the national anthem at Little League opening day. NRG Junior, with kids ages 5-10 including Fry's 7-year-old daughter Barie, began in August.

"Being able to sing on all these incredible stages is fun," said Bryson Keel, 14. "I love seeing the audience's reaction and communicating with them on a different level than speaking."

They perform mostly pop songs, and some country. Musical director Andrew Rafalski tries and sometimes fails to get them to sing some older songs. Journey's Don't Stop Believin' made it into one of their mashups, but he says that's just because the chorus kids on the Fox show Glee made it popular again. They pick songs with positive messages, and they also wrote and choreographed an original song.

"We were all close but after these last couple years we've just grown so much closer," Keel said. "We goof around and have fun with it, but we make sure we get the job done, too."

"We treat each other like we're family," Steele said. "I just love hanging out with them."

They've also performed for community groups like food banks, Rotary clubs, and domestic violence centers.

"They've learned about what it takes to make a community work, and how we support each other," Fry said.

They have a band made up of four teens. Jourdain Cole, 14, is the group's business manager and captain of NRG's Relay for Life team. Jacob Cothren, 14, and Steven Watchoskey, 14, are the tech managers. They run all the sound equipment.

"The performers are no better, no more important than the tech crew, the band, the business manager," Fry said. "This is not about making the kids famous."

Their friendships come first, and they learn how to work together.

"They want to work hard, but to them, that's what's fun," Fry said. "They love the thrill of walking into a new situation and figuring it out."

Keeley Sheehan can be reached at - Tampa Bay Times

"Plant City teens shine under the Broadway lights"

The teen pop group Next Radical Generation is no stranger to performing for crowds in their hometown of Plant City but just a few days ago they were performing in the Big Apple on Broadway.

The group of 13- and 14-year-old friends spent two weeks in New York performing in the musical "Feather" as a part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival.

"It was an unbelievable experience that I’m never going to forget," said group member Ashtyn.

"I was super excited and was counting down the minutes for us to go," said Bryson, who is also part of the group.
“It was awesome," member Arie said. "It was real life choreographers, performers and actors from different Broadway shows like 'Wicked.'"

“I was just so excited," Jourdain said. "I couldn’t believe the opportunity."
After their stint on the stage the group hit the streets of New York and performed at landmarks like Central Park and Grand Central Station.

“Just to know that we as a performing group were performing there, it was unbelievable" group member Benji said.

“It’s just so amazing, getting to go, and going as a group made it a whole lot better,” member Marlee said.
“[They] go to do their own performances for NRG throughout the city and in the same studio where Mariah Carey has recorded songs, words can’t do this justice,” said the group’s executive producer Yvonne Fry.

NRG is set to be featured in Busch Garden’s “Christmas Town” this holiday season. - Bay News 9


Crazy Baby Lately
Never Gonna Stop Us
Why Don't We



NRG is a rad musical group made up of life-long friends from Florida. Theyve spent years polishing their high-octane, uplifting show and theyre hungry for more. Whether its performing in venues all around their hometown or bringing their positive message to the bright lights of New York City; theres no stage too big for these awesome kids. With an unbeatable combination of talent, charisma and energy, NRG is on a mission to emphasize that positive life choices and individual responsibility can be really cool. They come complete with a full support team of technical and backstage professionals, business and management experts, and a merchandising and marketing team that are second to none. NRG always lights up a crowd and leaves a great impression. Are you RAD enough?

Band Members