For pop-rock three-piece PUBLIC, the global explosion of their single “Make You Mine” seemingly came out of nowhere. But it happened at just the right time.
Formed in Cincinnati, Ohio by John Vaughn (Lead Vocals/Guitar), Matthew Carter Alvarado (Bass/Synth/Vocals) and Ben Lapps (Percussion), the trio met in their high school jazz orchestra and began having jam sessions, which led to playing any local show that they could in the area. Their eclectic interests from disco and funk to punk and classic rock brought and kept them together.
For years they cut their teeth playing in their hometown, making a name for themselves. Their success led them to open for Twenty One Pilots. After that, it wasn’t long until PUBLIC landed their first U.S. tour with fellow Ohio natives Walk the Moon. The trio has since gone on to support notable acts such as Why Don’t We, Jesse McCartney, Young The Giant, AJR, The Driver Era, and American Authors.
Self-released by PUBLIC in 2015, “Make You Mine,” which was both written and produced by the group, really began to gain traction at the start of 2019. The catchy, pulsating chorus of PUBLIC’s "Make You Mine" became the soundtrack for TikTok videos all around the world, from promposals and marriage proposals to animal videos and TV characters. As TikTok was taking off as a video-sharing platform, the song’s popularity skyrocketed in tandem, and the band accumulated over 2.5 million TikTok videos featuring the track. Celebrities including Jennifer Lopez, Ashley Tisdale, and The Jonas Brothers all posted TikTok videos featuring “Make You Mine.”
Working with Jonas Group Entertainment with Kevin Jonas Sr. helped fuel the roaring flame of “Make You Mine,” PUBLIC began garnering attention from major labels, ultimately deciding to join the Island Records family in July 2019. With over 1 million streams daily on Apple and Spotify, PUBLIC began out-streaming some of the world's biggest artists. But as the track gained momentum, they realized that a lot of listeners didn't know who they were. They needed to put their band name and their faces to this viral song, appealing specifically to younger generations of listeners who didn’t know who crafted the hit they just couldn’t get enough of. With that in mind, PUBLIC worked tirelessly to build their brand which garnered attention from the likes of Billboard, Seventeen, Cosmo, TigerBeat, and more, leading them to their first performance on national television on Live with Kelly and Ryan, followed by a performance on Nickelodeon’s ALL THAT.
With the growing success of “Make You Mine,” PUBLIC has released a new version of “Make You Mine” (mixed by Grammy Award winners Chris Lord-Alge and mastered by Emily Lazar), becoming the #4 trending track on TikTok, spiking to over 7 million streams each week. It’s since reached over 260 million streams to date. The song’s popularity has extended beyond the U.S. to Southeast Asia.
Following the viral success of “Make You Mine,” PUBLIC has been writing together, but they’re not focused on trying to recreate the hit single that opened the door for them. While “Make You Mine” has taken on an incredible identity in the social media world, PUBLIC has also evolved as artists and writers, harnessing their passion for pop music, while also remaining outliers in the genre. On May 8th, the group showed how they’ve grown and released their new single “Honey In The Summer,” a funky, sun-kissed anthem to get everyone ready for the blissful season ahead. Co-written and produced by John Fields (The Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Switchfoot, Pink, and more,) this breezy laid-back love song is guaranteed to put you in a good mood, making it a quintessential summer hit.
Part of what has helped the group find their own niche sound is the fact that John, Matthew and Ben each have their own distinct musical tastes. For Ben, he’s found his musical home in Earth Wind & Fire and Nile Rodgers. While Matt has found himself influenced by melodic bass lines from Muse, Maroon 5, or the Red Hot Chili Peppers. John, on the other hand, has been drawn to everything from John Williams’ film scores to The Killers and Maroon 5. Because making music is such a collaborative process for PUBLIC—from writing to producing—all of the three members’ tastes shine through in the infectious music they create.
While PUBLIC works on their next chapter, they remain focused on their fans, the “Dot Tribe,” named for the two dots in the band’s names. They’re also focused on turning their slick pop songs into arena-ready, live shows on the road, further fueling their electric connection with their fans. Until then, they’re working on becoming the next rock ‘n’ roll pop group—one you won’t be able to forget.