Brooklyn Middle Schoolers Score $1.7M Record Deal: Report

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Three eighth-grade kids from Brooklyn who have played in a metal band for years just scored a huge contract with Sony, and it was a YouTube video that got them noticed. Danielle Elias reports. (Published Thursday, Jul 17, 2014)

    A group of heavy metal-playing middle schoolers from Brooklyn head-banged their way to a major record deal, signing a $1.7 million contract just a few years after playing their first gig on the street in Times Square, according to a published report.

    The band Unlocking the Truth -- comprised of 13-year-old guitarist Malcolm Brickhouse, 13-year-old bassist Alec Atkins and 12-year-old drummer Jarad Dawkins – committed to a two-album deal with Sony Records, according to the New York Daily News. The Brooklyn boys are promised $60,000 for their first album and could get an advance as high as $350,000 for their second record.

    “It’s so exciting. We’re jumping over the moon,” Dawkins' mother, Tabatha Dawkins, told the News.

    The group got its start playing in Times Square and Washington Square Park, Tabatha Dawkins told the News. Videos of their performances garnered hundreds of thousands of hits on YouTube, and Eric Clapton’s drummer helped them get gigs across the region after seeing them play in 2012.

    Since then, they’ve played at the Apollo Theater, Webster Hall, during a Brooklyn Nets playoff game and the Coachella music festival. They've met celebrities, played "Jingle Bells" in a commercial for a clothing store and have been featured on the late night show "Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell."

    They’re spending their summer break this year traveling the country as part of the Vans Warped Tour.

    Even though the trio is finding musical success, Tabatha Dawkins, who is also the band’s co-manager, said they still have to focus on school work. All three are entering eighth grade this fall at various schools in Brooklyn and are good students.

    “School work comes first,” she told the News. “If their school work is not done, they don’t play.”