As part of Artegon Marketplace's weeklong Anti-Ordinary Anniversary Week Spectacular, Orlando-based pop band Before You Exit performed Saturday night for the marketplace's free music festival.

Before You Exit — which consists of brothers Connor, Riley and Toby McDonough — made national headlines last year when it won the Macy's iHeartRadio Rising Star contest and scored the opportunity to perform at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas last September, as well as at the 2014 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Additionally, the brothers released their newest single, "Model," in July and the corresponding music video in October.

Before hitting the stage at Artegon, Before You Exit talked with the Central Florida Future about its newest single, career highlights and its special connection to Orlando.

Tell me about your single “Model.” What inspired writing it and what is the general gist behind it?

"Model" is one of the fastest songs we’ve ever written. We wrote it in L.A. and there was something there that made it seem like it was the one to go with, because we had all this even more upbeat stuff but for some reason that song had the feel that we were going for. It’s really about appreciating the imperfections in somebody else that they don’t really appreciate.

What is one of your favorite memories as a band?

Getting to do the iHeartRadio Music Festival last year. It was pretty surreal and we got to play with a ton of different artists like Coldplay and pretty much every big artist, and just getting to meet them and share the stage. Going from shows in people’s yards when we were younger to now playing arenas, it’s absolutely surreal and mind-blowing.

Tell me a bit about your recent U.K. and European tour.

It was awesome to travel the world with our family, pretty much, like with your brothers out on the road, and see all the crazy sights and places you thought you would never go.

Orlando is your hometown. How is the fan and community support in Orlando different from fan support anywhere else?

There’s this connection that we have with Orlando that we don’t have anywhere else, because you drive by all the places you used to play and remember having nobody show up to the shows, and now being able to play Orlando and have people come out is just amazing. It’s pretty cool that it started from the ground up here. We have our roots here and always will.

Any word on any new music in the near future?

Oh yeah, no doubt. That’s something we’ve been dying to do but unfortunately it’s just a slow process at kind of all ends of the spectrum and it’s something that we’ve already waited a while to put out music. We’ve been kind of perfecting and making sure it’s what we want to put out, not rushing it and making sure it’s the best of the best, mainly for us and listening to our own stuff [but also] for the people listening to it as well. We’re perfectionists, which is a good and a bad thing because we only want to put out the best, but also you have to put it out at some point. You’re always going to keep correcting it until it’s perfect.

Who are your musical inspirations?

Everyone. We draw from so many different genres and just listen to everything. One day you turn on country and listen to that, or it could be hip hop or rock ‘n roll, pop punk, anything. More and more these days, you hear genres really combining and rappers singing country songs and it’s really just about a melody and a good lyric, so we really listen to anything.

What would you like to tell your fans and the Orlando community?

Like I said earlier, we were playing in people’s front yards and now we’re playing all these awesome shows and stuff, but thank you, really. It’s all of our fans, even the ones who have been there since our first YouTube cover or first time they’ve heard of us, it’s just awesome that they’re still there and coming to the shows and supporting us, it’s sweet. Thanks to all of them for still coming out to see us perform all of these years.


Danielle Hendrix is a News Editor for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @ByDaniHendrix or email her at

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