In the last couple of years YouTube managed to bring forward some of the music industry’s currently most successful artists: Justin Bieber or One Direction are just two examples of the website’s massive influence on today’s charts. Others include Shawn Mendes, Troye Sivan, Charlie Puth, two time Grammy winners Pentatonix, 5 Seconds of Summer, Robin Schulz and many more.
If you manage to have a hit on the social media platform, if your video “goes viral”, chances might be that you will find success outside of the online community. It’s all about creating a name for yourself online on the numerous platforms like Soundcloud, Spotify, and most prominently YouTube.
Combine your musical efforts with interacting with fans and supporters on social media sites like Twitter or Facebook and you are on the verge of building yourself a fellowship. And every artist knows: You’re nothing without your fans. Because what good does it do to create a record that no one buys?
Whereas Bieber is the product of YouTube alone, One Direction participated at a casting show in their home country in the hope to find fame. However, it was only their presence online, their videos on YouTube, mostly not even posted by themselves but fans, that turned them into the global success they would eventually become. Because from that moment on their potential fandom multiplied in size.
And whereas people on casting shows need fans in order to go further in the contest, YouTubers essentially do not need viewers to continue existing, even though it doesn’t hurt to know people are watching your videos, especially if you want to build a fanbase. Also, you do not need to make a call (that costs money) to continue to see them on the screen.
Two bands that found fame and most importantly fans on YouTube, Against the Current (1, 4 million followers)and Boyce Avenue (8 million followers), stopped by Hamburg this week. AtC played at Übel und Gefährlich on March 6, while BA performed at Docks on March 8. Each time they asked who in the audience discovered them on the online platform and a significant number of hands were raised and woohoo sounds made.
Both AtC and BA are predominantly known for uploading covers of popular songs on YouTube and yet both bands played primarily original songs off their own records. Even though their cover songs were perhaps the ones most people sang along, the artists originals were just as catchy.
The one thing that the two bands unified was their very casual and relaxed way of interacting with the audience, a feature some industry-made acts lack in their performances.
Against the Current performed sneaks from their upcoming record “In Our Bones” and thus pleased hard core and new fans with their surprisingly diverse set list that included original songs like “Forget Me Now” or “Chasing Ghosts” and a rockier version of Bruno Mars and Mark Ronsons’ “Uptown Funk”.
Lead singer Chrissy Constanza’s clear voice and the band’s (Daniel Gow, Will Ferri) rocky tunes combined send out a Kelly Clarkson meets Fallout Boy vibe.
Boyce Avenue thrives off the strong all-male ensemble comprising of Alejandro, Fabian, Daniel Manzano and Jason Burrows.Lead singer Alejandro’s strong voice surely is one of the key factor’s of Boyce Avenue’s success, however it’s the dynamics between the three brothers that drove forward the show.
Besides original songs like “One Life” or “Family” from their upcoming record “Road Less Travelled” which prompted the audience to sing and swing along, covers like Shawn Mendes’ “Stitches” reminded the audience of the band’s true YouTube roots. Boyce Avenue’s tunes make the grey world a little bit brighter. They are what you want to hear on a long drive, music to let yourself sink and get lost in.
Both bands were largely built by supporters online and this inherent trust from both sides, trust into the band, trust and gratefulness for the support, is what really turned both performances into a true success. YouTube gives artists a chance to present themselves to an audience in a way that is so much more intimate and personal than the conventional ways of the music industry and I’m excited to see what’s still in store for these two bands.
Maria was listening to tunes from both bands while writing this review.