On October 24, 2019, Will Porter, a singer and rapper better known as 5ive, had his entire world come to a screeching halt. After spending the first 17 years of his life with his twin brother by his side, many of which were dedicated to working on music together in their hometown of St. Louis, 5ive was shaken to his core upon learning firsthand how quickly life can change. On that fateful fall day, he was told the devastating news his brother had passed, leaving him at a loss for words and ultimately feeling shell-shocked.
Uncertain of what the future would hold, 5ive decided to head into the studio as a way to not only process his grief but pick up where he and his brother had left off musically. Three weeks after losing his other half, 5ive finished a song they had begun writing together, independently releasing the audio for “Me and My Brother” on YouTube as a way to begin processing such a colossal tragedy. The heartfelt tribute, which features an impassioned hook the two co-wrote and a soulful instrumental reminiscent of church hymns, began capturing the attention of fans and the music industry alike.
As the emotive offering swiftly made its rounds online, 5ive found solace in knowing he was making his twin brother proud. Determined to carry Walter’s legacy forward, even adapting his brother’s nickname as his own artist moniker, 5ive released an official music video to accompany the song. The video features archival footage of his late brother, inviting others to see a glimpse into the undeniable bond they shared. The clip, directed by VickMont Films, now boasts an impressive 11M+ views and counting.
“When Walter passed away, I didn’t know what to do, so I went to the studio to release my pain and my emotions. That’s just how I deal with things,” 5ive recalls of the process leading up to the song’s viral success. “I recorded it really late and posted it on YouTube. It started getting buzz because I think people were really feeling my love for my brother. That song is a letter to him. Music was both of our dreams, so I want to pursue it even harder now and do it for him.”
With a newfound purpose to finish what they started, 5ive continues to turn his sorrow into fuel, crafting songs that showcase both his perspective and his talent. While growing up in St. Louis, 5ive discovered his penchant for songwriting at an early age, taking notes from his parents who were also musically inclined. Given that R&B and hip-hop soundtracked him and his brother’s youth, the two naturally gravitated toward experimenting stylistically while drawing influence from both genres. They got their start uploading covers to YouTube and began exploring their respective passions for music as a collaborative duo. During this time, 5ive developed his voice as a singer and discovered an interest in dance, visual art and live performance, while Walter found himself being drawn to rapping. Together, they created a distinctive sound, one that 5ive is consistently working to uphold as he grows stronger into his own artistry as a soloist.
Following the success of “Me and My Brother,” which continues to introduce 5ive to new ears on a daily basis, he garnered the attention of major labels and went on to sign his first contract with Barry Weiss’ RECORDS LLC. (via Columbia Records) in the summer of 2019.”
Citing renowned singers Chris Brown, Trey Songz and Jacquees as influences, as well as rap artists such as Kevin Gates, Meek Mill and Polo G, 5ive strives to motivate people through his music and story alike. As exemplified through singles such as “Fame” and “H.U.R.T.,” he continues to look toward his brother’s memory for inspiration, often embodying his larger-than-life persona and encouraging others to be appreciative of what they have while they still have it. As a student finishing up his senior year at an arts-focused high school in St. Louis, 5ive is putting in overtime to build a solid foundation, work on polishing what will soon become his major label debut album and connect with his fans on a personal level.
“For me, the key thing is to stay true to however I’m feeling on any given day,” 5ive says. “It is my responsibility to let people know how my brother and I view life. I want to open everyone’s eyes. That’s why I talk about my suffering or my pain so people can be like, ‘Man, I appreciate what I got now and I’m not going to take it for granted.’ I’m really in this for personal reasons, passion reasons.”