EXCLUSIVE COVER STORY: The North Star Boys Photo Shoot
The North Star Boys — comprised of Sebastian and Oliver Moy, Regie Macalino, Ryan Nguyen, Justin Phan, Darren Liang, and Kane Ratan — started with a dream, both literally and figuratively. In 2021, Sebastian had just moved back home to Florida when he woke up one morning with a revelation. “I had a dream about starting the first ever Asian-American content group,” he says. He shared the idea with his brother, Oliver, who loved it, and the pair got to work. “I started doing research,” Sebastian explains. “I was like, ‘Is there any other Asian-American content group right now?’ I’ve always been a big fan of K-pop and BTS and all these other amazing bands, but there wasn’t a group seriously doing social media as Asian-Americans.”
There was, however, a group of Asian-American friends in Texas whose TikToks had started going viral. Enter Justin Phan, Regie Macolino, Ryan Nguyen, Darren Liang, and Kane Ratan. “We already had a friend group in Dallas because we met over social media,” says Justin. “Then, one of our videos kind of blew up and Sebastian saw it and hit us up.” The stars aligned and soon, the stage was set for Sebastian and Oliver to travel to Texas and meet Justin, Regie, Ryan, Darren, and Kane in person. “The first night we all met up, I knew it was magic right away,” says Sebastian. “I cannot explain to you how perfectly the pieces fell together. We all dropped everything, flew to California, and started this group.”
So how does a group — whose members are primarily from southern states — get the name North Star Boys? “I love this question,” smiles Oliver. “My mother is a big inspiration in my life. Growing up, she always told Sebastian and I, ‘Follow your North Star.’ It means find out where you want to be in the future and then work backwards [from there]….So starting North Star Boys is all of us coming together for the same dream.”
And that shared dream is to create content that makes a difference. “I always used to watch YouTube as a kid and I thought the idea of making something to make a person’s day or make a person smile was absolutely amazing,” says Kane. It didn’t take long for NSB to start doing that for their supporters, or as they call them, their stars. “The first week — and this is really a core memory — we went out to eat Korean barbecue,” says Darren. “We had fans waiting outside for us and we didn’t tell them to come, or post anything special. They just showed up and that’s when I was like, ‘Oh shoot, we have some fans.’”
By the time the North Star Boys visited New York City in April 2022, they’d have a whole lot more, enough to shut down Times Square. “All of us boys, we’re really humble, so seeing that, we were mind blown,” says Justin. “It was unreal.”
But despite their rapid rise to stardom, the guys have remained refreshingly real. While many of their industry peers drop records boasting of newfound money and fame, the North Star Boys’ debut single, written and produced by Oliver, is all about their supporters. “It’s called ‘You Are My Star’ just because of how much I believe in the message that there is a star in every single person,” he says.
The song, released on May 20, racked up over 500,000 YouTube views in less than 24 hours. Sebastian, Oliver, Darren, Justin, Regie, Ryan, and Kane can’t wait to perform it live at their very first concert in Los Angeles on May 22. “Every single one of us is dying to have that interaction and connection with the stars,” says Oliver. And every single member echoes his sentiments. “What would we be without them?” asks Darren. “Absolutely nothing.”
“One time I cried during a stream because I didn’t know how much I affected and inspired them,” says Regie. “I love them so much.”
The North Star Boys have an entire galaxy of stars supporting them, and despite being formed less than a year ago, their closeness is palpable. “Having six other boys behind your back is really comforting because it just feels like you can really get through anything,” says Justin. “We have a lot of obstacles, but if we do it together, we’ll be good to go.” Good to go would be an understatement. With legions of supporters, an unbreakable brotherly bond, and a sizzlin’ new single, NSB is well on the way to reaching their North Star.
COMING SOON: Individual interviews and cover stories with each member!
Photos by Dawn Kingston
Videography by Nicolas Wendl
Shot on Location at Ubiquitous