By IVENA HON
The transition from being just a YouTube artiste to an international superstar requires extreme dedication and perseverance. Just ask American band, Boyce Avenue, who is one of the many acts now proving that YouTube sensations can also make it big outside the video-sharing online platform.
After more than a decade covering songs on YouTube as well as producing their own music, the band of brothers — Alejandro, Daniel and Fabian Manzano — has gained a loyal fanbase of 6.6 million followers and counting.
The band has collaborated with fellow YouTube artistes such as Kina Grannis, David Choi, Alex Goot, Tiffany Alvord, as well as The X Factor season two finalists Beatrice Miller, Diamond White, second runner-up Fifth Harmony and runner-up Carly Rose Sonenclar. Although the Manzano brothers are widely recognised for their cover songs, original music has always been a passion for them. The band’s debut album, All You’re Meant To Be, was released in 2009 followed by a second album, All We Have Left, the next year. Their latest work, No Limits was released last year and now, the band is on tour. In case you haven’t heard, Malaysia is one of the stops! That’s right… Boyce Avenue will be performing for the first time in Kuala Lumpur at KL Live on February 12!
Ahead of the show, R.AGE got the opportunity to talk to one of the brothers, Alejandro, and here’s what he had to say about their career, struggles, new music direction and their upcoming album.
This is the first time the band will be performing in Malaysia. What can fans expect and how will it be different from the other shows on your South East Asia tour?
Our fans can expect a lot of passion! We love touring so much and it’s the one time we get to share our passion with our fans in person. We have been so graciously and loyally supported by our fans in Malaysia so we just know everyone will have an amazing time!
Throughout your career, you guys have produced some original songs as well as covers. Is it a challenge trying to get your original materials as much attention as covers?
Our heart is in our original music but we love doing covers as well. At the end of the day, it’s all music and it’s a wonderful thing to share with the world.
Of course, doing a song that is already a massive hit is going to get more views than something no one has ever heard of. The same struggle occurs with artistes we all love.
Like Coldplay comes out with a new great album and they play a new song at a live show and 95 percent of the audience seems uninterested.
It’s the nature of how we are programmed and that’s fine with us. A view count doesn’t define the quality of a song. Once you understand that then it becomes way more fun and less about covers versus originals.
If you are an independent artiste on YouTube, it is truly a big responsibility to create your own content for your viewers. It can be challenging, but it’s also very liberating to have control.
But do you think the role as a YouTube artiste is more difficult than traditional artiste because on top of producing your own music, you also have to come up with content for your channel.
If you are an independent artiste on YouTube, it is truly a big responsibility to create your own content for your viewers. It can be challenging, but it’s also very liberating to have control. Not everyone is cut out for it, but if you enjoy independence then YouTube is such a great platform to be yourself.
What were some of the major differences between producing your own music and getting it professionally produced?
Original music has been a big part of our band from day one. The second video we ever posted on YouTube was a self-produced original song and from the very first tour, we’ve loved playing our original music because that’s our message that we get to share.
We’ve learned as brothers that collaboration can be a great tool for sparking creativity. We always have control over everything we ever do but it’s great to work with other passionate people to get another perspective. It’s actually very similar to how we work internally and that’s what we love about both ways of creating/producing music.
Have you guys been working on new materials as you tour? What can you tell your fans about the direction of your next album/EP.
Inspiration never clocks out. It can happen at any time for us and on tour is a great place for coming up with ideas.
This next album will be very dynamic. From stripped ballads to heavy electric to uptempo beats with organic acoustic spread throughout.
We can’t wait for our fans to hear the new music we’ve been working on. Very fresh yet very familiar.
How do you measure success and what are your resolutions for 2015 – professionally and personally?
I measure success in happiness like how happy you are doing what you do. And how it makes others who care about you happy as well. As for our resolutions – to stay humble, hungry and happy professionally and personally.