WITH 6.6 million YouTube subscribers and 1.7 billion views, Boyce Avenue, formed in 2004, is one of YouTube’s big success stories.
But the band, made up of the Manzano brothers – vocalist Alejandro, guitarist Fabian and bassist Daniel – wanted to branch out, so it released its first studio album, All You’re Meant To Be in 2009.
The following year, its sophomore album, All We Have Left, was released.
The band’s speedy output was in part due to the inspiration it derived while it was on tour.
“Inspiration never clocks out. It can happen at any time for us and being on tour is great for coming up with ideas,” said Alejandro.
Hopefully the band will give Malaysian fans an equally inspired performance when it takes to the stage at KL Live on February 12.
We spoke to Alejandro about the band’s career and the challenges of making it outside of YouTube. Here’s what he had to say:
Boyce Avenue went from covering songs on YouTube, to producing original music and now working with professional producers. What has that process been like?
Alejandro: 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.
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.
Was it tough trying to gain recognition, especially from people in the music industry, as a musician rather than a YouTube artiste?
It is very difficult for outsiders to really understand us. I suppose every artiste faces that. Even signed acts are often defined by one hit that they may not even have written. That’s not much of an identity either.
So that is a common struggle all artistes face, but at the end of the day, all that really matters is that we are proud of what we do and if others appreciate that, then that’s a bonus and a blessing.
But do you think the role as a YouTube artiste is more difficult than traditional artiste dgfev online casino 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.
Boyce Avenue has covered songs by big names – Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars. Have they said anything about it?
We’ve received positive feedback from so many artistes we’ve covered like Justin Timberlake, Goo Goo Dolls, Christina Perri, Journey, Rascal Flatts, Lifehouse, and tonnes of others. It’s very flattering that they enjoy our take on their art.
Is it safe to say that one of your goals is to be recognised as a band outside of the YouTube scene?
The music industry is constantly changing. We are viewed differently by different people and it’s all about perspective. We aren’t defined by the platform we happen to be discovered on.
Our goal is to make music we are proud of and share that with anyone who enjoys what we create.
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!
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.
Your show is two days before Valentine”s Day. If you”re having a romantic dinner with your partner, what song do you want to hear at the background and why?
Ooo this is juicy. I think Making Memories Of Us by Keith Urban is one of the greatest love songs of all time so that would be a great way to set the mood.