Pensacola, Florida
Wednesday June 20th 2018


New Respect for The New Respects

By Shelby Smithey

Newcomers The New Respects are bringing a bit of old school soul to Hangout Fest this year.

With twins Zandy and Lexi Fitzgerald on guitar and bass, brother Darius on drums and their cousin Jasmine Mullen on vocals and guitar, the Nashville-based group is a family affair.

“The pros are that we know each other well already so we can skip the ‘getting to know you’ phase when starting a band,” Lexi said. “I guess that could also be a con because we know exactly how to get on each other’s nerves. It’s up to us to choose to use our powers for good or for evil.”

Influenced by Aretha Franklin, The Beatles, and Led Zepplin, the group just released a their debut EP “Here Comes Trouble.”

“We didn’t play music together until high school,” Darius said. “We always sang together, but it was just for fun until we started the band.”

The New Respects started last year after Jasmine and Zandy wrote a song together and someone heard it and told them to start a band.

“So we did,” Zandy said.

“Growing up in Nashville we were always aware that there were better musicians and writers everywhere,” Mullen said. “Instead of being a big fish in a little pond, we were little fish in a huge pond. I think that’s why we work so hard now. We want to be great, and because we grew up around the greats, we know what it looks like.”

Both of Jasmine’s parents are musicians and songwriters, and the Fitzgerald’s dad moved to Nashville in hopes of making a career rapping which he did for a while but ended up becoming a pastor.

“As far as soul is concerned, we all grew up listening to gospel and Motown, so I feel like that’s a crash course in soul,” Mullen said.

The band just released their third single ‘Money,’ which they wrote while overcoming financial adversity when trying to get the band up and going.

“It’s funny because that was one of the first songs we wrote for the band and we had no money at all,” Zandy said. “It’s not like we’re rolling in it now, but I think that season was important because we learned that we love making music because we love music and not because we love making money. Now if this music happens to bring us a 2.4 million dollar check, we’ll take that too.”

Mullen said that their name had to be changed when we first got signed due to legal reasons. Their first name was the John Hancock Band, but Mullen said that she’s glad they changed it.

“It took probably eight or nine months to find the name ‘The New Respects,’ but we felt like it was perfect timing when we finally landed on it,” she said. “It’s so easy to lose respect for people you’re working, with whether that’s band members, label folks, producers or anyone really. But we’ve learned that everyone deserves grace and respect and even when things don’t go our way we still wanna give a ‘New Respect’ to all those around us. The rule is you reap what you sow. Hopefully, we’ll receive the same grace and respect when we mess up because we will.”

This will be the band’s first time to the Gulf Coast.

“The beach has been calling our names for a while now, so that’s going to be fun,” Lexi said.” It’s an honor to be playing Hangout Fest this year. We’re getting paid to play music and watch amazing acts like Mumford and Sons and Chance the Rapper. It’s a dream come true.”

The New Respects
11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
BMI Stage