Sequim-bred band tries again for TV fame

Emblem3 is shown auditioning for Fox TV's "The X Factor.” The X Factor

Emblem3 is shown auditioning for Fox TV's "The X Factor.” The X Factor

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. — Last spring, a Sequim-bred band was slated to go on “America’s Got Talent,” the NBC reality show where contestants angle for a $1 million prize.

But then Emblem3 [Wesley Stromberg, 18, his brother and Keaton, 16, and longtime friend Drew Chadwick, 19] were scrubbed from “Talent” at the last minute.

The Stromberg brothers’ mother, Laraine Larson, said she’d received word of the change in an email from producers at NBC.

“It is, in fact, good news,” Larson said.

She hinted at the time that the producers might be putting Emblem3 onto a different show.

Now, Larson has sent the latest word by email: Emblem3 is scheduled to play an original song on “The X Factor,” Fox television’s competition for a $5 million grand prize.

“The X Factor” has its season premiere, with judges Simon Cowell, Demi Lovato and Britney Spears, at 8 p.m. Wednesday on Fox Channel 13; the program airs again at 8 p.m. Thursday.

Emblem3, which auditioned in San Francisco for the show, may well be featured in the opener, Larson said.

Larson moved from Sequim to Huntington Beach, Calif., two years ago to base Emblem3 in the middle of the music industry in Southern California.

Since then, “the boys,” as she calls them, have played in such Hollywood-Venice Beach clubs as the Witzend and Hard Rock Cafe.

Emblem3 specializes in a blend of reggae, jazz and hip-hop that “we try and keep as fresh and funky as we can,” as Chadwick puts it.

The young men formed their first band in sixth grade, Larson said; they went on to sing in Sequim High School’s Select Choir.

Mom could not say for sure, however, whether Emblem3’s turn on “The X Factor” would come this week or in a forthcoming episode.

“We are all under confidentiality clause not to give any media interviews at this point,” she noted, adding that fans can see and listen to Emblem3 on the band’s Facebook page.

Years ago, Larson co-founded The Summit in Sequim, which is now the Pathways holistic health center on Bell Street.

In Huntington Beach, she works as a massage therapist as well as Emblem3’s manager and makes sure “the boys go to yoga, to keep them grounded.”

“The X Factor” typically draws 8 million to 9 million viewers.

This season, those will include the Strombergs’ aunt Karen Griffiths of Sequim (the PDN’s “Peninsula Horseplay” columnist), their grandparents Bob and Deonne Hanson, Wesley’s godmother Victoria Jazwic of Sequim, and any number of former classmates from Sequim Middle School and Sequim High School.

Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at

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