While attending middle school in Sequim, Washington, Drew Chadwick and Wesley Stromberg (started as American Scholars) began doing sessions together. At the time, Keaton Stromberg, Wesley's brother was only nine and was not a part of the band, but was working on his own home recordings and would watch Drew and Wesley work. While Wesley had moved to Huntington Beach with his girlfriend, Chadwick spent high school moving up and down the West Coast, eventually joining Wesley in Huntington Beach, California. Keaton enrolled in a nearby art school and moved to California to join them. They released an album, Bite Your Lip and Take It under the name The American Scholars, which they produced in their basement. After going through many names, the trio settled on "Emblem3" while in Huntington Beach. They performed locally along the Sunset Strip.
2012: The X Factor
In 2012, Emblem3 auditioned in San Francisco for the second season of The X Factor USA, singing an original song called "Sunset Blvd", written by Chadwick. During bootcamp, they sang "Iris" by the Goo Goo Dolls and at judges' houses, they performed "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" by The Police. They were then selected to go on to live shows.
Emblem3 performed "One Day" by Matisyahu during their first live show on October 31.In addition they were selected as the first group to enter the top twelve by Simon Cowell. On the second live show on November 7, the group performed their version of "My Girl" by the Temptations and "California Gurls" by Katy Perry with "What Makes You Beautiful" by One Direction as the background track. After the second live show the group was ranked sixth based on the fan votes and made it to the next week's live shows. On the third live show, they performed "No One" by Alicia Keys and were ranked fourth by the fan votes moving on to week five. On the fourth live show on November 21, 2012, they performed "Secrets" by OneRepublic and were ranked again 4th by the American public. For the fifth live show, they performed "I'm a Believer" by The Monkees and were ranked third. On the sixth live show, the group performed two songs: the first one, chosen by their mentor, was "Just the Way You Are" by Bruno Mars; the second song, chosen by the fans in the Pepsi Challenge, was "Forever Young" by Alphaville. The group was once again ranked third overall by the fans' votes. In the semi-finals, they performed "Baby, I Love Your Way" by Peter Frampton as their own choice and "Hey Jude" by The Beatles as Cowell's choice. They were eliminated on the result show and placed fourth.
2013–present: Nothing to Lose and upcoming second album
Main article: Nothing to Lose (Emblem3 album)
The trio began to record their debut album, Nothing to Lose, in December 2012. It was released on July 30, 2013. The lead single from the album is "Chloe (You're the One I Want)". The second single off the album was "3000 Miles". They also toured to promote their music in their "Goin' Back to Cali Tour" that took place in April 2013.
Emblem3 became the opening act for Selena Gomez on her Stars Dance Tour that began in August 2013.
On December 5, 2013, Emblem3 had their homecoming performance on X Factor, singing "Just for One Day." After their performance, they announced their first national headlining tour, "#Bandlife."
Emblem3 released their first EP titled Songs from the Couch, Vol. I on June 2, 2014 independently.
On June 20, 2014, the band announced on their website that band member Drew Chadwick was leaving the band to pursue a solo career. The duo released their first EP without Chadwick called Forever Together on October 27, 2014.
In June 2015, the group announced that it was taking an indefinite hiatus.
In September 2015, Drew rejoined Emblem3 and the band began working on new projects.
On November 3, 2015 the band made a private announcement to fans signed up to their website revealing that they were working on a new album for released in 2016, with a tour to follow.
On February 1, 2016 Emblem3 released a new song titled "Now" on YouTube as a tribute to their fans and their past. Drew Chadwick rapped, Wesley Stromberg sang the chorus, and Keaton Stromberg sang background vocals as well as producing the song.