The boys of PrettyMuch are saying goodbye to one of their members. On Friday, the group — responsible for hits like “Phases” and “Summer On You” — announced that after “some very difficult conversations as a band,” Nick Mara had decided to leave the group to “take on new endeavors as an individual.”
The boy band — originally comprising Mara, Brandon Arreaga, Zion Kuwonu, Austin Porter, and Edwin Honoret — thanked their fans for sticking with them over the last six and a half years, and shared the first taste of the new PrettyMuch with the release of a song titled “H2L.”
“No matter where Nick goes or what he chooses to pursue, the rest of us will continue to love him like a brother and support him like family on his new journey in life!” the band wrote, linking to a podcast on Patreon explaining their transition. “This is NOT the end of PrettyMuch. It is simply a new beginning where we can finally feed you guys the music and content you deserve in our own way!”
For his part, Mara shared a statement on his personal social media thanking his former bandmates for being with him “through the highs and the lows.”
“The time has come for me to reset myself. After long thought, I realized I see a different direction for myself to truly do what’s best for me,” Mara wrote. “This was the hardest decision I had to make and has been lingering for the past year.”
Mara also thanked his former members for the “great conversation” and the support for his decision. “Although I will be moving on from the group, I wish nothing but the best for PrettyMuch!” he wrote. “The bond we have built over the years will never break, and I know we will always be like brothers.”
Accompanying PrettyMuch’s announcement was a visualizer for their song “H2L,” which showcased the start of the four members’ new musical journey following Mara’s departure. The video ended with a message to Mara: “Although you will be missed, we wish nothing but the very best for you. We never could’ve done any of this without you,” the group wrote.
This isn’t the first time the group has had talks about a member leaving. Porter, who welcomed his son Theo in 2020, told People last year that he considered leaving the group to focus on being a dad. He worried that balancing fatherhood with the group would take a toll on his fellow members.
“There was definitely a moment where, in a time of weakness, I thought [that I had to leave the band],” Porter said at the time. “Like, am I going to drag the boys down? Being in the band, being a dad, is that going to ruin the image?”
“I didn’t want the boys’ worlds to now have to revolve around me, and slow down their process to success because they’re all very talented guys and deserve every ounce of success that they can gain,” Porter added at the time. “To say I didn’t have that thought would almost dehumanize me. To me, that was the worst possible outcome — that I would have to leave the band and give up something I enjoyed doing. But I would have done it if it meant giving my son and the people I love, a better life.”
Instead of leaving the band altogether, Porter decided to move out of the house the band shared to live with her ex-girlfriend and his son.
PrettyMuch’s announcement of Mara’s departure comes just three months after fellow boy band Why Don’t We announced they were “going on hiatus” as they faced a legal battle with their ex-manager. Meanwhile, CNCO, with whom PrettyMuch released “Me Necesita,” announced their breakup in July. And last December, Little Mix — whose member Jesy Nelson had left a year prior — announced that it would also be taking an elongated break.
Mara’s departure mirrors the exits of the likes of Zayn Malik from One Direction and Camila Cabello from Fifth Harmony, who left their respective groups to pursue solo music careers. It’s unclear if Mara plans to pursue music as a soloist.
PrettyMuch’s “H2L” comes several months after releasing their single “Talking 2 You.” They also collaborated with Jeremih on “I Don’t Wanna Leave” last year. In 2021, the group also dropped an EP titled Smackables.