Longform

The Trio of Brothers of AKNU Went From the Shelters of L.A. to The X Factor

AKNU (pronounced "anew" and an acronym for A Kind Never Understood) is a Los Angeles-based pop and R&B trio of the brothers Scott -- Marquis, Mark and Rayne. Together since 2008, AKNU came out of the early experiences of Marquis and Rayne who, as preteens, performed and toured professionally as Triple Pla and New Five Era. The group's father pushed the members at a very young age -- Rayne since the age of four -- to perfect their singing and dancing talent before he departed from their lives for more than a decade. During that time, the three boys lived in shelters, with dreams of a better life fueled by music and movies like Hook. In 2013, the talented outfit appeared on The X Factor and was given positive comments from Simon Cowell. Today, the guys tour nationally and internationally, and in 2013 released an eponymous EP of original material. We caught up with the band the morning before it played the Open Door Youth Gang Alternative earlier this month.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.